Who says at at 81 you can’t be pretty, witty and bright? Dame Maggie Smith definitely is all three, with a dash of sass.
Smith, a nine-time Emmy nominated actress and four -time recipient, was honored Sunday as supporting actress in a drama series, for her role as Violet, the sharp-tongued Dowager Countess of Grantham, in “Downton Abbey.” She previously won Emmys for the role in 2011 and 2012.
But before presenters Minnie Driver and Michael Weatherly could accept the award on Smith’s behalf, host Jimmy Kimmel intercepted the trophy and told Smith to retrieve it herself.
“No, no, no, no, no. We’re not mailing this award to her. Maggie, if you want this it’ll be in the lost and found,” Kimmel joked.
Smith showed two can play that game and put out a statement formally accepting her award.
“I was very astonished and pleased to win the award. I feel the Emmys has been overly generous to me,” Smith said via the Masterpiece PBS Twitter account. “If Mr. Kimmel could please direct me to the lost and found office I will try and be on the next flight,” the actress wrote, signing the note “Old Maggie”.
— Masterpiece PBS (@masterpiecepbs) September 19, 2016
The show earned 69 Emmy nominations in 15 categories over the past six seasons including Drama Series, Writing for a Drama Series and Casting for a Drama Series.
In recent years, Smith rarely attends awards shows outside of the U.K., even though she has been nominated for (and won) multiple Emmys, Golden Globes and Oscars.
Kimmel even noted her absence in his monologue. “We have a new rule. This year for this first time ever, you must be present to win. If we call your name and you’re not here to accept, the Emmy goes to the next name on the list. It’s called the Maggie Smith Rule,” he joked. “This year, she had a Sunday ceramics class she couldn’t get out of.”