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Downton Abbey stars praise Maggie Smith following A New Era release

Digital Spy (UK) logo Digital Spy (UK) 01/08/2022 Ian Sandwell

Downton Abbey: A New Era is now out to own on digital in the UK and we've got an exclusive clip from the bonus features, which you can watch above.

The featurette sees stars Michelle Dockery, Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern reveal what it's like to work with Maggie Smith who, of course, plays the legendary Dowager Countess in the series.

"Sometimes I still pinch myself that I get to work with Maggie and have worked with her for so many years now. It's a real privilege because she is one of the greats," praises Dockery, with McGovern adding: "I don't think she's even herself aware of what it is she does that people love so much."

Bonneville sums it up perfectly by saying: "Maggie Smith is a phenomenon, let's face it. You just have to raise your game whenever you're on set with her because she takes no prisoners."

Penelope Wilton, Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey: A New Era © Focus Features Penelope Wilton, Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey: A New Era

Watch Downton Abbey 2 on Prime Video

Downton Abbey: A New Era sees the Crawleys head to France to figure out why the Dowager Countess has inherited a French villa, leading them to discover more of her unexpected history.

At the end of the previous movie, it was revealed that she was dying, but fortunately Smith got one final outing as the Dowager Countess and it's fair to say there wasn't a dry eye on set during a pivotal scene.

"It just feels really monumental and very special to be a part of it. And if this is the last one, it's kind of a lovely way to finish it," Michael C Fox previously said of filming on the sequel.

Downton Abbey: A New Era © Focus Features Downton Abbey: A New Era

"I feel like I can think about so many different points, not just in this, in the previous film, where you just don't really feel like you have to think about the scene and about the acting, you just have to be receptive to what is actually happening in that moment."

If you missed it at the cinema (or just want to relive it), Downton Abbey: A New Era is now available to Download and Keep in the UK, ahead of its DVD and Blu-ray release on August 15.

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