DAME Maggie Smith is frightened of accepting another theatre role - because her battle with cancer has left her physically weak and emotionally "flattened".
The veteran actress has starred in more than 50 stage shows in the U.K. and U.S. since the 1950s, even winning a Tony award for her role in 1990 play Lettice and Lovage.
But her fight against breast cancer and chemotherapy treatment last year (08) has left Smith, 74, doubting whether she has the strength to return to the stage.
She says, "It leaves you so flattened. I'm not sure I could go back to theatre work, although film work is more tiring. I'm frightened to work in theatre now. I feel very uncertain. I haven't done it for a while.
"It's one of those things you ought to keep on doing and I haven't for a bit. I would love to be able to, because I do love it, but I feel a great lack of confidence.
"I think it's the age I was when it happened. It knocks you sideways. It takes you longer to recover, you are not so resilient. I am fearful of the amount of energy one needs to be in a film or a play."