Tom Hughes praises Dame Judi Dench

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 22 April 2019
Tom Hughes

Tom Hughes

Tom Hughes found it a "real pleasure" getting to spend time with Dame Judi Dench on 'Red Joan', even though they didn't have any scenes together

Tom Hughes found it a "real pleasure" getting to spend time with Dame Judi Dench on 'Red Joan'.

The legendary actress portrays Joan Stanley, who was arrested by the British Secret Service for being a traitor who served as a spy for the KGB, while the 'Victoria' actor plays Communist Leo, who the young Joan (Sophie Cookson) fell in love with, and though the format of the film meant they didn't share scenes, he was just happy to be on a set with the screen icon.

He said: "Someone asked me, 'What's it like to be in a film with Judi Dench, and not be in a film with her?', but for me, it was just a real pleasure to meet her and be able to talk to her.

"Sophie is the one creating the character with Judi, so that pressure fell on her.

"From the small amount of time that I spent with Judi, she was the most incredibly gracious and kind human being. She gave Sophie that strength.

"It was exciting actually to know that we were sharing that story with someone like Judi."

And the 33-year-old actor also heaped praise on "astounding" Sophie, admitting she really helped with his own performance.

He told Collider: "I think Sophie is quite an astounding actor. She was great to work with.

"(Director) Trevor Nunn has worked with Judi Dench, many, many times, and he found it quite astonishing to direct Sophie. He'd be like, 'God, it's just like directing a young Judi.'

"Even in their personalities, Sophie has a wicked playfulness, as a human, and she brought a real excitement to the scenes. It was rarely linear and it was rarely obvious, and that was exciting for me.

" When you're playing a character like Leo, although he's definitely had a very dark past, in terms of the pain that he's gone through, and his anguish and all of that, that velocity has a firecracker element. You need to be with an actor that you can really bounce off, and it was great to have Sophie to work with."

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