Downton Abbey movie ‘will be 84 year old Maggie Smith's last appearance as Lady Violet Crawley’ – even if there is a sequel

DAME Maggie Smith will make her "last appearance" as Lady Violet Crawley in Downton Abbey the movie.

The 84-year-old actress has reprised her role as Dowager Countess of Grantham for the hotly anticipated film, which followed the success of the TV series, but she will not be returning if the franchise gets a sequel.

A source told The Mirror Online: “Maggie feels she has done all she can with the character and bosses are now planning for the idea of another film without Lady Violet as a main cog in the wheel.”

Maggie had reservations about her character's progression in the series four years ago.

In 2015, she said: "I can’t see how it could go on. I mean, the Countess must be 110 by now.”

The star was reluctant a film version of the programme would be a hit.

Speaking at the BFI and Radio Times Festival in 2017, she said: "I just think it’s squeezing it dry, do you know what I mean? I don’t know what it could possibly be.

"It was so meandering, what would you do?

"Anyway that’s not my problem. That’s the Lord’s problem.”

She later joked any follow ups would be centred around her character's death.

She continued: "I was firmly convinced it would start with the funeral.

"I could croak it and it would just start with the body."

The film star  – who has appeared in major hit movies during her career including Hook, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, as well as Nanny McPhee – has claimed the period drama has ruined her life.

She said: "I led a perfectly normal life until Downton Abbey. I’m not kidding. I’d go to theatres, I’d go to galleries, things like that on my own. And now I can’t and that’s awful. The Fulham Road’s dodgy!”

However, show producers are keen for the show to continue and are planning another productions.

Creator Gareth Neame previously told the Digital Spy: "We're percolating [ideas], back of the mind… We'll know soon and how popular it's been, or whether people just thought it was for the TV and that was that. I hope it's not the latter."

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