Belfast Telegraph

Judi Dench: I mourned M

Dame Judi Dench took the role of M as her husband wanted to live with a Bond girl.

The legendary British actress has embodied many roles during her 55 years in front of the camera, but her turn as MI6 agent M in the James Bond movies is one of her most famous.

However, after 2012's Skyfall, Judi's M was to be no more.

"They told me gently and I laughed through my tears," Judi confessed to British magazine Radio Times.

"Seven [Bond] films is a long time. But MI6 would have given her the push by now, don’t you think."

Judi has starred alongside both Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig's James Bond, but it wasn't the suave spy that initially made her say yes to the part.

It was in fact her late husband Michael Williams who convinced her it was the right move.

"He wanted to live with a Bond woman. 'Oh God, oh crikey,' he said, 'you've got to do it. I'm living with a Bond woman!'" she laughed.

For next instalment, Spectre, which will hit screens in 2015, Ralph Fiennes takes over as M.

Judi also opened up about how she's personally helping the new generation of wannabe stars.

Throughout her years in film she's won an Oscar, two Golden Globes and 11 BAFTAs, so is the perfect person to mentor raw talent. One problem the 80-year-old highlights is the lack of funding and encouragement on offer for those trying to make it as an actor.

"There was a wonderful boy who wrote to me, who has a glorious singing voice, and I sent him some money. I got this wonderful letter back, and I just want to watch him - carefully - to see how he develops.

"I can't send money to everyone. You have to go instinctively. A lot of them say, 'I'm working to raise funds,' and I always think that's a very good sign, if they're working and not just sitting back and waiting for work to fall in their laps," she explained.

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