|Shirley MacLaine and Jack Black in a scene from Bernie., Deana Newcomb / Millennium Entertainment|
The Daily Beast interviewed Shirley MacLaine, who plays Lady Cora's mother, Martha Levinson, on season three of Downton Abbey, one of the things mentioned in the interview is why she thinks Downton Abbey is a hit:
One question she has been asking herself lately is why she and so many millions are fanatically gripped by the Masterpiece drama, Downton Abbey, in which she was recently cast. The publicity generated by her hiring prompted the producers of Downton to call her agent, ICM’s Jack Gilardi, to thank him.
“She is so professional and very creative,” said Gilardi, who has represented her for 20 years. “She has a great gift understanding people. She knows how to make you tingle.”
She had never seen the series—but after watching the first two seasons, she was hooked. Now, she is muzzled by creator Julian Fellowes’s edict that no one from the cast can talk about Season 3: MacLaine, who will play Martha Levinson, Lady Cora Crawley’s mother, could not offer much insight.
“Why is this a hit? I haven’t come up with the answer,” she said. “I think Maggie Smith is one answer. I liked Upstairs Downstairs, but not like this. It is really worth an examination.”
You can read the full interview here, in it Shirley talks about her new film, Bernie, and her philosophy on life.