The Last September
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2015 | 2011

1 item from 2015

Maggie Smith at 80: 'a walking, talking flame'

23 January 2015 8:00 AM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Jean Brodie, Hedda Gabler, Downton’s Dowager … Maggie Smith has been a luminous and witty presence in film and theatre for six decades. Tessa Hadley writes about her astonishing career

If you’re an actor then the physical creature you are – your given physique and face and voice and range of gesture – is your fate, with which your talent must negotiate. No, it’s probably closer even than a negotiation: I suspect your talent arises, as with a dancer, from out of the body you have, and is inseparable from it (so different from the relatively bodiless act of writing). You may have the gift of transforming yourself, but that transformation too can only come out of your bodily repertoire; you have to have it in you. Maggie Smith the actor is all in those dragged-down enormous eyes with their Watteau irony and melancholy, and in the fine-boned long face »

- Tessa Hadley

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2015 | 2011

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