Judi Dench has been in the business for decades, wowing audiences both on screen and on stage.
On Friday night’s episode of The Graham Norton Show in the United Kingdom, the 84-year-old actress spoke candidly about one of her most hated plays and a rather embarrassing blunder she made on stage in front of a live audience.
“There is one play I’m not very fond of at all and that is The Merchant of Venice,” she explained to the show’s host. “I’ve never been fond of the play. I think they all behave very very badly.”
She explained that against her will, she played Portia – a rich heiress in the Shakespeare’s play – during the first year of her marriage to Michael Williams. Her late husband played Bassanio in the early ‘70s production of the show. The Skyfall actress said she made a “terrible, terrible” mistake with one of her lines.
“Instead of saying, ‘I speak too long, but ’tis to peize the time, to eke it and to draw it out in length, to stay you from election,’…I turned to Michael and said, ‘I speak too long, but ‘tis to peize the time, to eke it and to draw it out in length, to stay you from erection’.”
The studio audience and Graham burst into fits of laughter, while people watching at home shared their thoughts about Judi on Twitter.
One person said: “Just been watching Graham Norton show,what a National Treasure Dame Judi Dench is, Now that’s what makes us proud to be British. Let’s get this lady into the House of Lords.”
Another comment read: “Judi Dench is absolutely my favourite human on earth, what a woman she is.”
A third added: “I wonder if Dame Judi Dench would consider adopting me as a grandson….and Sir David Attenborough as my grandad.”
Later in the interview, Graham also shared one of Judi’s most revealing outfits ever that she wore in her youth for Midsummer Night’s Dream in 1968. The star joked that she picked her outfit fresh every morning before filming.
The full episode and interview is due to air in Australia and the US in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, it’s not the first time Judi has made an error of sorts when it comes to her stage shows.
Actor and director Kenneth Branagh in 2017 revealed that Judi nearly performed a show on London’s West End in the nude once.
Speaking to AAP at the time, the Murder on the Orient Express star explained how chaos nearly unfolded.
“We were in a play in the West End. I’d just asked her about being in the Murder on the Orient Express and she said, ‘That’s so interesting’ and walked all the way from the dressing room to the wings.
“We were about to go on for Shakespeare’s The Winter Tale and we realised she didn’t have the bottom part of her costume on.”
This year is set to be a busy one for Judi. She’s set to appear alongsideKenneth in All Is True and also has three other movies in the works. She’s set to star as Commander Root in Artemis Fowl and as Miss Rocholl in Six Minutes to Midnight.
She is also set to star in the movie adaptation of Cats as Deuteronomy.