Julia Garner got the physical cover of February’s T&C, and while it’s hard to argue with that choice as far as buzzy projects go, our queen Christine Baranski deserves to be on every newsstand. Still, I’m not turning up my nose at seven new pictures of her, so thank you, T&C, for indulging our obsession. She’s a delight to read about — her first quote in the lede is delicious — and you should check out the whole piece. But I thought this was interesting, from Julian Fellowes. People keep wanting Agnes on The Gilded Age to be that show’s Dowager Countess, and he said:
“These rather WASPish, but essentially kindhearted, older women—that seems to be one of my hallmarks. In practically everything I’ve ever written, you’ll find one of them,” says Fellowes, but he hesitates to compare Smith and Baranski outright.
“I don’t know there’s all that much point in comparing Maggie and Christine, except to say they’re both jolly good,” he tells T&C. “But I’ll tell you what they can both do, is they can play high comedy and then one or two scenes later make you cry. They don’t turn into someone else, they’re true to their characters, but they can take you through that range of emotions.”
I just thought that was a very astute observation about both women’s skills. It may speak to a lot of what’s coming from Baranski in The Gilded Age that we haven’t seen yet, but it’s definitely true of Maggie Smith in just about everything — she can absolutely slay you every which way, sometimes all within the same scene, without ever making it feel like emotional whiplash or as if it’s not earned. Now if only they could work together in something.