Judi Dench certainly has a reputation that precedes her. With 65 industry awards, an illustrious career across the stage and screen and a damehood under her belt, you’d presume interviewers have plenty to talk about when it comes to sitting down with the star.
But despite the fact that Dench is currently very much a working woman (her IMDb entry currently lists an impressive five projects in post-production, including the hotly-anticipated film adaptation of Cats), there’s one topic which keeps cropping up whenever she makes a public appearance – her retirement.
“I am so bored of the question,” Dench explained as she spoke at the reopening of the Ashcroft Playhouse in Croydon, South London.
Besides the fact that, at age 84, it would be perfectly acceptable for Dench to retire, the actress seems quite happy continuing to do what she’s always done – so why are people still so obsessed with her quitting? And seeing as she’s shown absolutely no signs of retiring anyway, it’s understandable that the actress is well and truly over being asked about it. So she set the record straight.
“You retire in order to walk, paint or travel. All those things,” she continued. “Well, I get to do that. I am doing the job that I would retire to do.”
There we go then: Judi Dench has absolutely zero plans to stop acting, so can we get back to focusing on some of the other amazing things she’s up to now?
Perhaps her most exciting upcoming role is her appearance as Old Deuteronomy in the film adaptation of Cats, which is coming to cinemas on 20 December 2019. We’ve already seen a glimpse of Dench’s performance in the mind-boggling phenomenon that was the trailer – but we’ve still got a couple of months to go before we get to see the real thing.
Dench had originally been set to play the faded glamour cat Grizabella (played by Jennifer Hudson in the upcoming film) in the original 1981 stage production, but snapped her Achilles tendon just weeks away from the opening night and was forced to drop out.
“What’s lovely for me is that is has come full circle doing it again,” the actress told USA Today. “It’s been wonderful.”