We need films for grown-ups - Smith

Salisbury Journal: Dame Maggie Smith stars in Dustin Hoffman's new film Quartet Dame Maggie Smith stars in Dustin Hoffman's new film Quartet

Dame Maggie Smith has criticised Hollywood's "baffling" obsession with making films for younger audiences.

The Downton Abbey actress, 77, recently starred with Dame Judi Dench in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a film about British retirees travelling to India that surpassed expectations to become a global, box-office smash.

Her latest movie, Quartet, directed by Dustin Hoffman, is the story of opera singers in a retirement home.

At a press conference for the film, which also stars Billy Connolly, Sheridan Smith and Pauline Collins, she said that the industry was beginning to change, adding: "I think it's because a lot of grown-ups would like films for grown-ups and about grown-ups.

"It seems to me there's a sort of change into what audiences want to see. I can only hope that that's correct because there are an awful lot of people of my age around now. We kind of outnumber the others."

But she added: "I don't think films about elderly people have been made very much. I think of ... Cocoon and Driving Miss Daisy.

"They always seem to be fairly successful so it's a bit baffling as to why everybody has to be treated as if they were five-years-old."

The British star said that she did not mind that she was cast to play older roles when she was still relatively young, adding: "I'm just glad to get any roles."

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