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    Maggie Smith's Trick For Keeping People At Arm's Length Is Brilliant And I'm Taking Notes

    Let this be a lesson to us all.

    Maggie Smith is a treasure and in case you need another reminder of that there is this story from the set of the Downton Abbey movie: When she was in between filming, she used her cane prop as a way of maintaining her personal space.

    Jaap Buitendijk / Focus Features

    Actors Elizabeth McGovern and Allen Leech shared that gem on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, after being asked how to tell if Maggie is in a bad mood.

    Nick Briggs / PBS/Courtesy Everett Collection

    “The cane,” Leech replied, which McGovern nodded to in agreement. “She always has the cane and obviously it’s for the character," but when one assistant director would get “a little too close” to her and “very, very touchy,” Maggie would instantly pull out her cane as a barrier.

    “Literally she would always have the cane there and as she would see him coming it was like, ‘Here he fucking comes. That’s far enough, that’s far enough.’”

    Liam Daniel / Focus Features / courtesy Everett Collection

    Can you just imagine Maggie Smith uttering those words in her intimidatingly refined accent with her cane in the air? Same.

    Jaap Buitendijk / Focus Features / courtesy Everett Collection

    From now on I'm carrying around an umbrella at all times to keep my personal space intact à la Maggie Smith.

    Carnival Films for Masterpiece / PBS / Courtesy Everett Collection

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