‘I always get frightened’: Dame Judi Dench reveals she feels ‘lucky to be employed’

Feb 21, 2022
Judi Dench reveals she has always thought "one is very lucky to be employed". Source: Getty

British actress Judi Dench, 87, has confessed that she feels lucky to be employed despite her impressively long and successful career.

In an interview with Reader’s Digest magazine, Dench revealed that she still gets nervous at the end of an acting job and when she’s cast in new roles.

“I always get frightened at the end of the job because I think I’m not going to be employed again and then feel very relieved at the beginning of the next one,” she said.

“I get more anxious now. Oh yes, much more anxious. There’s more things to consider and more things to find out and more things to learn about. And you think, Oh God, have I got the energy to do this?”

Dench has starred in many noteworthy films throughout her career and is particularly famous for her Oscar-winning performance as Queen Elizabeth in Shakespeare in Love as well her iconic role as M in the James Bond series, Philomena and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Her most recent role was as ‘Granny’ in 2021’s English drama film, Belfast.

Throughout Dench’s outstanding acting career, she has won an Academy Award, four BAFTA awards, a Tony, six British Academy Film Awards and seven Lawrence Oliver Awards. Despite her undeniable success, the actress still feels grateful to have a job.

“I’ve always thought, one is very lucky to be employed“, she said.

Dench has also received eight separate Academy Award nominations throughout her career, including for her most recent performance in Belfast which made her the oldest nominee ever for Best Supporting Actress.

The actress told Reader’s Digest Magazine of her passion for scouting out new and interesting roles, especially one’s that challenge anything she’s done in the past.

“I just, really, always hope that I will be asked to do something different. And perhaps not expected. Or something that has no reference to anything I’ve done before,” she revealed.

The actress spoke of her particular fondness for collaborating with British actor and director Sir Kenneth Branagh who she’s worked with 12 times, including in her most recent role in Belfast.

“I just love working with him. I just love it. It’s been varied, all the things I’ve done with Ken. And I’ve directed him and been directed by him and been in things with him. It’s always different,” she said.

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