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Judi Dench Hasn’t Watched Many of Her Films Because She ‘Would Just Be Irritated’

The actress also revealed she was told she'd never make a movie because she had "the wrong face."

Judi Dench

Judi Dench

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Dame Judi Dench received her eighth Oscar nomination this year for her role as Granny in Kenneth Branagh’s “Belfast,” a performance that proved she is still a formidable acting talent. Even at the age of 87, and having won nearly every conceivable accolade for an actress, Dench is not even thinking about retirement.

“I’m slowing down only in that I can’t see to read scripts,” Dench told The Sunday Times in a colorful new interview. “But I will find a way.”

While looking back on her sixty-year career, Dench laughed about how unlikely her rise to movie stardom once seemed. At an audition in the 1960s, she was told that she would never make a film because, in the words of one casting director “you have the wrong face.” But Dench didn’t let his harsh feedback get her down. She replied by saying, “That’s fine, I don’t like film anyway. I want to go back to the theatre.”

Her original preference for theater stemmed from a desire to continuously work on her characters night after night. While she eventually grew to love working in film, Dench said that she wishes she had the opportunity to improve on some of her film performances in the way that she would with a stage role.

“The thing about film is you do not get another go at it,” she said. “There are a lot of films of mine that I have never seen and I don’t want to because I would just be irritated.”

That perfectionism is what drives her to continue to push herself as an actress. She’s set to follow her Oscar-nominated “Belfast” performance by starring in “Allelujah,” Richard Eyre’s adaptation of Alan Bennett’s play of the same name. That film will be released later this year, and Dench is already looking ahead to future roles. No matter how much success she has, the star still worries about becoming complacent.

“You can do something that is a success and then for the next thing you could go arse over tit,” she said. “You can’t ever take it for granted and it’s right that we shouldn’t.”

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