However, the actress, 81, plans to watch the period drama now it has finished for good.
Maggie Smith (Joel Ryan/AP)
She told CBS News: “They gave me the boxed set. And I’m going to do all sorts of things now, ‘cause I’m free!”
The story of her on-screen aristocratic family wrapped up with the Christmas special, which – except for the Queen’s speech – topped the Christmas Day ratings.
But although it was a period drama, Dame Maggie has revealed she got away without wearing corsets.
Downton’s Dowager Countess had a stiff upper lip – but no corsets ((NBC/Universal/ITV)
“In actual fact, I have to say that I did cheat a bit,” Smith admitted. “Because I promised that if I sat up, bolt upright, I made it look as though I were wearing corsets.”
And on the secrecy surrounding how the series would end, she joked: “Nobody was allowed to see the script. You had to read it and then eat it, just in case. Do not leave it anywhere!”
But despite plans to relax with a box set, Dame Maggie has kept busy – starring as Miss Shepherd in The Lady In The Van, a movie based on the real-life story of a woman won spent the last 15 years of her life living in a van in playwright Alan Bennett’s driveway.
Dame Maggie Smith in The Lady In The Van (Sony Pictures)
Dame Maggie said: “I cannot begin to imagine how it must have been in reality, or what Alan had to cope with.”
She added: “You pass all the time people just on cardboard on the street – she had a van. But you see these people just in doorways and it’s just, I mean, what do they do all day?”