Dame Judi Dench glad she was 'naive' about playing Bond's M

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 11 May 2019
Dench at Victoria and Abdul premiere

Dame Judi Dench

Dame Judi Dench has admitted she was "naive" about how big the Bond franchise was when she took on the role of MI6 chief M

Dame Judi Dench is glad she was "naive" about playing M in the James Bond franchise.

The 84-year-old actress – who played the MI6 chief in seven films before her character met her end in 2012's 'Skyfall' – "did not understand" why she was approached for the role and doesn't think she'd have given a great performance if she'd realised just how big a role the secret service boss would be.

She said: "I thought it was a great idea to cast M as a woman after so many men had played that role but, nevertheless, I did not understand why they asked me.

"I'm glad I was a bit naive about taking on the role because, if I had known what I was getting into, I wouldn't have been able to put one foot in front of the other on camera.

Dench "hesitated" when she was first offered the role, but her husband, the late actor Michael Williams, urged her to accept.

She told Closer magazine: "I remember that I hesitated when they first offered me it, but my husband told me, 'Judi, you have to do it. I want to be able to say I'm married to a Bond woman.'"

Despite her years of success, the 'Red Joan' actress still worries work will dry up for her.

She said: "I've been very fortunate. I still worry that, every time I make a film, it's going to be my last one, because I have this terrible feeling that no one will hire me again. That's still my greatest fear.

"A few years ago, I started crying on the set of one film because I suddenly had this thought that this might be my last job."

No Time to Die

  • 4 stars
  • 2021
  • UK
  • 2h 43min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Cary Joji Fukunaga
  • Cast: Daniel Craig, Rami Malek, Lea Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw, Rory Kinnear, Jeffrey Wright, Ana de Armas, Dali Benssalah, David Dencik, Lashana Lynch, Billy Magnussen
  • UK release: 30 September 2021

The 25th James Bond film is directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga and sees Daniel Craig in the lead for one last time.