maggie smith toby stephens black sails downton abbey Toby Stephens prefers 'Black Sails' to mom Maggie Smith's 'Downton Abbey'At the 2014 TCA press tour panel for new Starz pirate thriller “Black Sails,” star Toby Stephens was asked about whether he’d rather be doing a drawing room drama like “Downton Abbey,” which stars his mother, Maggie Smith, as fan-favorite Dowager Countess of Grantham.

“Any day of the week, I would prefer to do the show I’m doing right now,” says Stephens. “I appreciate ‘Downton Abbey’ for what it is. I have to say, I don’t regularly tune in. … I appreciate what my mom does, she’s great in it. It’s just not what I enjoy watching.”

He adds that getting to be a part of a show about high-seas adventures and swashbuckling pirates, which films in Cape Town, South Africa, is “like going on a vacation,” because it’s just not something actors get to do every day.

“Black Sails” premieres Saturday, Jan. 25 on Starz.

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."