Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Here Is Why Dame Judi Dench Loathes Being Called a National Treasure

Busayo Ogunjimi
Sep 03, 2020
04:30 P.M.
Share this pen
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmail

English actress Dame Judi Dench was a guest on David Tennant's podcast and spoke to him about topics bordering on her life and career, including why she detests being called a national treasure.

Advertisement

At 85, Dame Judi Dench has enjoyed a successful career as an actress since making her professional debut in 1957. Despite her remarkable achievements, she does not want to be regarded as a national treasure.

The octogenarian was live on David Tennant's podcast, "David Tennant Does a Podcast with…" on Tuesday, where she shared her thoughts on being described by the term. 

Dame Judy Dench attends the RHS Chelsea Flower Show on May 20, 2019. | Photo: Getty Images

Advertisement

"National Treasure" is a phrase used to describe Dench due to the enormous accomplishments she has made in her career, which has spanned 60 years.

The praise coming her way is well-deserved given her famous portrayals in theatre plays such as "Shakespeare in Love," and the movie franchise, "James Bond. "However, she told David Tennant that the tag made her feel like a relic, saying:

"I loathe those words, I loathe them. It's something very, very dusty behind a glass and in a corner. It's a relic and I don't want to be a relic."

Dame Judi Dench at Burlington Arcade on November 12, 2019. | Photo: Getty Images

Advertisement

The actress also said that she did not like playing roles expected from someone her age, such as an older person dying in a chair.

Instead, she enjoys exciting roles like portraying the character of evil villains. Dench noted that she is always on the lookout for such roles because she has not played enough of them.

Dench added another feather to her well-decorated cap when she became the oldest woman to appear on the cover page of British Vogue.

Dame Judi Dench at the 21st British Independent Film Awards on December 2, 2018. | Photo: Getty Images

Advertisement

During the interview, the legendary actress also spoke about her late husband, Micheal Williams, who was also an actor and died in 2001. She said she would never forget about him, despite being in a relationship with David Mills, a conservationist.

Talking about her sorrow, Dench opined that grief changes people completely, describing it as an enormous chasm in front of a person walking. The actress also said:

"I don't expect you ever get used to it. Sometimes the door in this house just opens and I think he's [Williams] just wandered in." 

Dame Judy Dench attends the RHS Chelsea Flower Show on May 20, 2019. | Photo: Getty Images

Advertisement

Williams died at the age of 65 due to complications from lung cancer. Dench, speaking fondly about her late husband, described him as a selfless man. She also recalled how he made her laugh and howl.

Williams and Dench were married for thirty years before his death. The couple shares a daughter, Finty Williams, who, like her parents, is also an actress.

Dench added another feather to her well-decorated cap when she became the oldest woman to appear on the cover page of British Vogue in its 104-years history.

At 85, it marked another honor only someone of Dench's ilk could have. The actress made her appearance one to remember, looking radiant in the cover shoot, and vowing never to retire. 

Advertisement