As if playing Ophelia in Hamlet, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Lady MacBeth in MacBeth, Queen Victoria in Mrs. Brown and Queen Elizabeth I in Shakespeare in Love wasn’t enough, Judi Dench has been James Bond’s boss, M, has lent her voice to the animated children’s series, Angelia Ballerina and possesses ten BAFTA’s, seven Laurence Olivier Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, two Golden Globes, an Academy Award and a Tony Award. We don’t have enough room for all the nominations, the mentioning of a a 10+ year commitment to the classic British comedy, As Time Goes By, or Cranford or Return to Cranford for PBS, or her recent memorable performance at the Stephen Sondheim tribute at this years BBC Proms at Royal Albert Hall and so on, and so on.
One can’t help but wonder where she finds time for anything else. After our recent interview for the upcoming PBS special paying tribute to the writers of British comedy, Behind the Britcom: From Script to Screen, it was clear that Ms. Dench has to be not only the most special individual to walk the planet, but the most genuinely warm and grounded person we have had the opportunity to interview.
Case in point
- Returned to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre recently with grandson, Sam, to see daughter, Finty Williams, perform. You may or may not remember that it was Finty’s photograph in the open of As Time Goes By (alongside a photo of Geoffrey Palmer’s son) portraying a young Jean Pargetter and Lionel Hardcastle.
- Offered up what looks to be one of those “I have to have this” recipes for her Rum and Chocolate Fudge as part of a recent World’s Biggest Coffee Morning fundraising event across the UK.
- Showcased her talents as a photographer during a visit to St. Barnabas College, which provides a home for retired Anglican clergymen, where she’s a patron. The photos will be part of an exhibition at the Oxo Gallery in London.
Forgot to mention this is all in the middle of filming of Jane Eyre, to be released in 2011 and her getting ready for her role in My Week with Marilyn with Emma Watson. There isn’t thanks enough for the 90-minutes of very precious time she shared with us recently. I’ll start with a simple Thank You and the hopeful knowledge that she understands just how much it meant to us and how much it will mean to everyone that sees the show on PBS in March 2011.