According to Elizabeth McGovern and Allen Leech, Maggie Smith used her prop cane to stop the approach of one Downton Abbey crew member 

By Maria Pasquini
September 23, 2019 02:47 PM

Maggie Smith likes her personal space!

During an appearance on Watch What Happens Next with Andy Cohen, Downton Abbey stars Elizabeth McGovern and Allen Leech were asked a very particular question about working with their legendary co-star.

“What’s a sure-fire way to know that Dame Maggie Smith is in a bad mood?” the fan inquired.

“That’s a great question,” replied McGovern.

“The cane,” added Leech, as McGovern nodded in agreement.

The pair went on to tell a story about how one time, Smith used the prop as a way of letting someone on set know they’d gotten too close for comfort.

“She always has the cane and obviously it’s for the character but there was one first [assistant director] — “ Leech remarked, as McGovern interrupted to say that Smith “hated” him.

They went on to explain that the crew member had a tendency of getting “a little too close” when talking to you, and was also “very, very touchy.”

Maggie Smith
| Credit: Jaap Buitendijk/Focus Features

“Literally she would always have the cane there and as she would see him coming it was like, ‘Here he f— comes,’ ” Leech said, giving a playful imitation of Smith.

Reenacting how interactions between them would go, the costars explained that as he began to lean in, Smith would quickly stick out her cane in order to put up a barrier between them.

“That’s far enough, that’s far enough,” Leech said, as he imitated Smith again.

The long-awaited Downton Abbey movie arrived in theaters last week and has already made quite an impression on the box office.

During its opening weekend, the film brought in an impressive $31 million, beating out both Ad Astra and Rambo: Last Blood.