For those of you tremendously worried about the future of Maggie Smith beyond “Downton Abbey” season 3, there is some good news coming out now that should allow you to breathe a sigh of relief: according to the 77-year old actress’ own representatives, reports that she was in dire condition and hospitalized after a heart problem were blown out of proportion.
So what is the truth here concerning Smith’s condition? In reality, the Emmy-winner was just on her way to a routine checkup, and she is in good health and able to continue working moving forward, at least so long as she wants to. Smith’s future with the show has long been a subject of debate, as writer and creator Julian Fellowes has proclaimed that she often works to the beat of her own drummer. She negotiates her contracts one season at a time, and may not make her decision as to appearing in a fourth season until after the Christmas special airs next month.
The majority of the “Downton Abbey” actors are still under contract for at least one more season, so from this standpoint there is nothing really to worry about when it comes to the show going on for at least a little while longer. The only other actor in serious limbo is Dan Stevens, who is currently enjoying his time appearing on Broadway alongside Jessica Chastain. Like with Smith, Stevens will probably make his decision in the weeks ahead. While both actors may want to leave the show to explore other options, they will not find many that are more commercially successful. “Downton Abbey” season 3 was the highest-rated one yet for ITV, and with season 4 possibly being the last, why not just stick around for one more go?
Stay tuned: these sort of negotiations will be ongoing, and we will have more on whatever Smith and Stevens decide in the near future. If you want to go back and read our full review for Sunday’s finale, you can do so here.