Sunday, December 16, 2012

Judi Dench Quotes

1. The more I do, the more frightened I get. But that is essential. Otherwise why would I go on doing it?

2. I think you should take your job seriously, but not yourself - that is the best combination.

3. Actually, what I miss are people corpsing on stage.

4. Because, you know, I can't work a bicycle pump.

5. Anything that we can do to improve the lives of elderly people is welcome so far as I am concerned.

6. And then it was working with Bob Hoskins, who I had never worked with before - except radio. It was like being given a wonderful meal - full of the things you love most.

7. Frankly, I never had any intense desire to go to India. I know that sounds a bit strange, but it just never was someplace I had a burning desire to visit.

8. I can't read scripts any more because of the trouble with my eyes.

9. I am so thrilled to be nominated for something I loved working on every single day.

10. I don't think that care homes are all rotten old places that ought to be shut down.

11. I don't really want to retire. I intend to go on working as long as I can because I still have a huge amount of energy.

12. I don't think anybody can be told how to act. I think you can give advice. But you have to find your own way through it.

13. I love being part of a company, and telling a story.

14. I have no control over a film. I don't know what will be left on the cutting floor.

15. I need to learn every day.

16. I just feel incredibly lucky to be employed when there are so many actors and actresses who are not employed. That's why, you know, I sometimes feel desperate, in case I'm not going to be cast again.

17. I think you've got to have your feet planted firmly on the ground, especially in this business, and you must not believe things that are said or written about you, because everything gets out of proportion one way or the other.

18. I trained as a designer, so I'm always terribly keen about what I'm going to look like.

19. I wanted to be a set designer when I was young.

20. I was in Yorkshire. We were a family of five and I used to be sent sometimes to get the rations for the week and I was easily able to carry them back. It was like one egg and a tiny bit of tea.

21. I would hate people to think bossy is all I can do.

22. I would like to work with Jack Nicholson, before it's too late.

23. I work out the other bits, too, but I need to know what I look like, very early on. And then it's like a template; I'll fill that person out. If I get that out of the way, then I'm all right.

24. I'd rather do a part because I want to, not because great things are expected of me.

25. I'm very conscious that I'm in the minority in that I love what I do. How big is the number of people who are running to work to do a job that they like? And how lucky to be employed at it - how incredibly lucky.

26. I've always loved painting, although I never show anyone what I've done. Mainly because I don't do it well. But it's like a form of visual diary for me. A way of fixing things in my mind.

27. I've figured out what to do so far, but it's always the next thing you come to where the man with the bucket of ice cold water is waiting - whoosh! in your face. That's why you work with directors who know what to tell you to do.

28. I've got what my ma had, macular degeneration, which you get when you get old.

29. In contrast, the control you have in a theatre is very attractive to me.

30. It actually was a complete departure having a woman playing M. I didn't realize at the time that it would be so noticed.

31. It is not good to cross the bridge before you get to it.

32. In the theatre you can change things ever so slightly; it's an organic thing. Whereas in film you only have that chance on the day, and you have no control over it at all.

33. It's incredibly moving to hear some of our greatest actors performing Shakespeare.

34. It is true that there are few plays of Shakespeare that I haven't done.

35. It was good to learn so early. They're not going to be kind to you. You have to do it and get on, and then gulp down and get better.

36. Michael died five years ago this January, and the first thing that really struck me about the script was the part about her peeling off from the funeral and just getting into a rowboat and having a real kind of cry where nobody was.

37. My husband was actually very keen that I would become a Bond girl.

38. People seem to have this idea that I've always been very ambitious. Nothing could be further from the truth.

39. People think you know beforehand when you win an Oscar - I can assure you you don't.

40. Seriously, though, I think I never ceased to be grateful of the fact that I am able to do a job that I really love - I never got over that.

41. Since Michael died I think I've worked constantly. Friends and colleagues are very sustaining. They're the people who get you through it... It's no good to be on your own.

42. Some things you know about, you know what the ingredients are - maybe not all of them. But it's up to you to put in the amount. It's up to the director to nag you until you get it right.

43. The difficulty with any sort of esteem is that more is expected of you.

44. Sometimes nudity is gratuitous. We just live in a society where everything goes.

45. The Lord Chamberlin was censoring scripts when I first came into the theater.

46. The theater is the thing I love doing most.

47. There are very few things that surprise me.

48. Work certainly does help fill a void.

49. I don't like reading scripts very much. I like it better for someone to just explain to me what it is about this story.

50. I hate how people have been attacking Daniel Craig. It's despicable and it disgusts me. I have filmed with him in Prague and the Bahamas and he is a fine actor. He brings something new and edgy to the role. His critics will be proved wrong.

51. (From 1994 interview when asked the reasons for the success of A Room with a View (1985)) "I've never seen it, so I don't know. Florence was lovely of course, and it's a wonderful love story. I did enjoy doing the part, because Maggie Smith and I were old friends from 1958. We both arrived in Florence on the same day and neither of us had any family with us, so we would spend all day together filming and then go out to dinner together, catching up on our Old Vic days. But, I didn't enjoy working with James Ivory. I didn't feel that I was on his wavelength and I didn't feel that he wanted me in the film, I have to say that. I remember doing that scene in the middle of the square where she goes mad and attacks the man selling postcards; James went to see the rushes and told me afterwards that everyone had laughed at it, they'd thought it was very funny. "Well done", he said to me. I thought perhaps we'd turned the corner but, when I came to post-sync the film, that scene was missing. When I asked why, he told me that Helena Bonham Carter hadn't been feeling up to it that day, so he'd cut the whole sequence. I don't know if that was the real reason he cut it - I just don't know.

52. My only regret is that I didn't have more children.

53. The thing about not reading scripts and my wanting a director to tell me a story is a risk I need to take. I need that real fear.

54. (On her long marriage to Michael Williams) We were just happy to be in the same room together.

55. The best moment of playing (Shakespeare's) Juliet is the nanosecond when they offer you the part.

56. (On plastic surgery) I've considered it, but I'm too old now. Every time I go to America I wonder if there is some process where it could all be sucked out and I could be out of there in time for dinner, but I'm frightened it would all drop off under the anaesthetic.

57. Of course I have a temper. Who hasn't? And the older I get the more angry I get about things. It's not sudden anger, it smoulders and then if I really let it go on for a bit the shit hits the fan. I get very angry about general injustice. I get angry about the way people say "Tomorrow X will make a speech about X". Just let them say it. I get furious about the whole business of not allowing conkers in school, and banning things because they are supposedly dangerous. I am riveted by the current Iraq inquiry, though angry already because I feel it will end with a report and nobody's actually going to be arraigned for what happened.

58. (Celebrity culture has led to a "quick fix" mentality on the part of younger actors.) They think a big part will change their life, without any back-up. Young actors go into a run and don't do all the performances. That would have been unheard of at one time. I know I can sustain a run because of my training.

59. I mourn that there are so many repertory companies that aren't around any more. I don't want the arts to take the form of a reality program. I heard somebody say the other day that it is good if people can bring drink and food into a theatre and get up and go if they don't like the play. Well, yes, go out if you don't like it, but where do you draw the line? They tell people not to take pictures of us on stage but when you look up you see 100 red lights twinkling at you.

60. When you go abroad people always talk with such love about British theatre, but the irony is it's not appreciated by the Government as it should be. The state of the arts has always been, and will always be, precarious. But there is something so alarming about the huge cuts made to companies, particularly when you read of the astronomical amounts some people are earning.

61. (Does she feel fulfilled?) No, no, no, no, I hope not. Being fulfilled is closing the drawer again and I don't want to do that just yet. I'd bore myself silly. I wouldn't learn anything new. I'd just sit around and I hate wasting time. I hate waste of any kind. I love quiz programs. I am riveted by "The Weakest Link" (2000) but I'd be too terrified to appear on it.

62. (Could she find love with anyone else?) It's not something that's ever happened. I've loved living in the same house, in the same grounds with my family. Sammy (grandson) was 4 when Michael died and he does look extraordinarily like him sometimes.

63. (Does she miss Michael Williams?) You bet. I don't expect you ever get over that. Time changes something, I suppose, but you miss the basic things. Michael was a realist, down to earth, a Lancashire man. I'm a Yorkshire woman and so that was pretty volatile, I suppose. He was Cancerian, I'm Sagittarian. He would say: "I'm always rushing for the dark, you're always rushing for the light. If we hold in the middle, there's a kind of balance".

64. Once, a long time ago, I read some bad reviews and I made the decision not to read the reviews. You get some critics who don't like you, or the play. But they don't have to do it every night. I don't want to be affected like that. I loved doing "Madame de Sade. A friend told me not to apologize for myself or the play, and I won't. Then I cast it all off and go and put my feet up under the chimney with my family.

65. (on ageing.) I don't like it at all. Suddenly I get up out of a chair and can't rush across the room. But there's nothing I can do about that, alas. My energy levels are OK, but I can't see very well. People have to come up and wave at me. If a restaurant is too dark I can end up talking to the backs of chairs.

66. The passion doesn't lessen over time but you get more anxious. You always worry about getting employed. But I love what I do…You're only as good as the last thing you did. But that anxiety feeds what you're doing. It gives you energy. It's very much part of me. You know that right behind you, stretching back as far as you can see, are other people wanting to play the same part and probably better than you.

67. I'd never met (Sophia Loren) and she arrived on set just as I was about to perform my number. She sat and watched. I said to Rob Marshall: "I can't have ever been more frightened than at this moment." It was like someone had given me an enormous injection. I suddenly had to be on the ball.

68. I am very un-divaish. Very rarely in 52 years in the business have I met anyone who has behaved in a selfish way.

69. I had no film career until Mrs Brown (1997), which Harvey Weinstein oversaw. He gave a lunch for me at the time and I told him I had his name tattooed on my bum. I hadn't, I had my make-up lady design something that I showed him. He's never forgotten it.

70. I'm more comfortable on stage, where there is an audience to tell a story to, as opposed to a film set where you are not in charge at all. On stage you can hear an audience's reactions. Within two minutes of a play starting you know how the evening will go. On film you're more reliant on the director. The moment he leaves you, you're like a child learning to walk.

71. National treasure? I hate that. Too dusty, too in a cupboard, too behind glass, too staid. I don't want to be thought of as recognizable - I always want to do the most different thing I can think of next. I don't want to be known for one thing, or as having done huge amounts of Shakespeare and the classics. I hate speaking as myself. I could never do a one-woman show. But I love being part of a company. On stage I am not trying to be myself, I'm trying to be someone else, the more unlike me the better. I remember someone who saw me in Juno and the Paycock said I was completely unrecognizable. How marvellous. I've done two sitcoms, lots of films. Look at my character (an obsessive, damaged stalker) in Notes on a Scandal. You wouldn't want to ask her around.

What do you think of Judi Dench quotes?

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