Judi Dench spoke fondly of Kevin Spacey during a press conference at the San Sebastian International Film Festival (via Variety). The actress remembered performing with Spacey in Lasse Hallström’s 2001 drama “The Shipping News.” Dench had just lost her husband prior to production and she remembered Spacey being an “inestimable comfort” on set. Dench then spoke out against some of the fallout that Spacey faced after being accused by several men of sexual harassment and abuse.
“I can’t approve, in any way, of the fact that — whatever he has done — that you then start to cut him out of the films,” Dench said. “Are we to do what happened when he was replaced with Christopher Plummer? Are we to do that throughout history? Are we to go back throughout history and anyone who has misbehaved in any way, or who has broken the law, or who has committed some kind of offense, are they always going to be cut out? Are we going to extrude them from our history? I don’t know.”
Ridley Scott famously replaced Spacey with Christopher Plummer in his kidnapping drama “All the Money in the World.” Scott had finished production at the time the allegations against Spacey started being made public, so he got the cast and crew together to reshoot all of Spacey’s scenes from scratch with Plummer in Spacey’s role. Plummer ended up landing an Oscar nomination.
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“I don’t know about the conditions of it, but nevertheless he is, and was, a most wonderful actor,” Dench said, also referring to the actor as a “good friend.” “I can’t imagine what he is doing.”
Dench was at San Sebastian to receive the festival’s highest honor, the Donostia Award. Her new film, “Red Joan,” is also screening at the festival. Head over to Variety to read more highlights from Dench’s press conference.