British screen legend Maggie Smith has successfully stolen nearly every scene she’s been in with her droll one-liners and irreverence that only The Right Honourable Violet Crawley, Countess of Grantham, could get away with. However, when ITV’s smash hit Downton Abbey returns early next year, the arrival of another old broad may provide some competition.
Season 3 takes place in the roaring twenties and sees Shirley Maclaine join the ensemble cast as Martha Levinson, Lady Cora’s mother, visiting from America.
The American Film Institute recently honored Maclaine with their Life Achievement Award and on-screen daughter Elizabeth McGovern introduced a clip which gives us a glimpse of what we can expect from Maclaine and Smith.
What sort of relationship the acting heavyweights will have remains to be seen. The clip above could suggest jesting between old friends or alternatively, bitchy comments veiled by the politeness and etiquette so important at Downton.
Either way, expect fireworks when Season 3 of Downton Abbey kicks off January 2013.