Acting? It’s just animal intuition
Amid rumours of her impending blindness, Judi Dench talks to Chitra Ramaswamy about fear, grief, growing old and why she refuses to rest on her laurels…
Written by Chitra Ramaswamy
A few things we all know about Judi Dench: she is one of the best things about Britain, up there with fish and chips, The Beatles and the NHS; she has a wicked sense of humour; she has a voice as cracked and powerful as an earthquake; she is a national treasure; she is a Dame. Oh, and she has the most twinkly eyes in the business. I could go on, but she wouldn’t like it. In fact, she really doesn’t like to talk about herself.
When I ask her if she can watch herself on screen – ‘No, no, I can’t do that,’ she says, appalled. Is she able to judge her own performance? ’Look at it dispassionately, you mean? No, I can’t.’
So she never thinks she has nailed a part? What about Queen Victoria in Mrs Brown, that led to her first Oscar nomination at the age of 62? What about her pinched, poisonous turn as Barbara Covett in Notes On A Scandal, a performance that forced us to rethink our image of her?