Known for her recent work in Downton Abbey and the Harry Potter films, the Oscar-winning actress now stars in The Lady in the Van, a film about an elderly woman who lived in a van for 15 years.
Our guest today is British actress Maggie Smith, who’s been working for half a century and has appeared in more than 50 films. She’s among only a handful of performers to win best actress and best supporting actress at the Academy Awards. Those honors, for “The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie” and “California Suite,” date back to 1970 and ’79. But Maggie Smith has become better known to American audiences in recent years for playing Professor McGonagall in the “Harry Potter” films and for her scene-stealing performances as the dowager countess in the Masterpiece series “Downton Abbey,” which wraps up its final season March 6. Smith stars in the new film “The Lady In The Van,” which is based on the true story of a homeless woman who lived in an immobile van parked for 15 years in the driveway of writer Alan Bennett. NPR