Judi Dench Was Once Told By a Director She Had ‘Wrong Face’ for Movies

Judi Dench is looking back at some harsh comments she once got from a director.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, the 87-year-old actress recalled an audition she had in the 1960s, after which an unnamed director told he she wouldn’t make it in the movie business because of her face.

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By that point, Judi had already established herself in the theater world and would go on to star in a number of movies, earning eight Oscar nominations and one win.

“He was perfectly nice. But at the end he said, ‘You’ll never make a film. You have the wrong face,’” she said. “And I said that is fine, I don’t like film anyway. I want to go back to the theatre.”

Even after the success she’s found over the years, Judi says she doesn’t take anything for granted.

“You can do something that is a success and then for the next thing you could go arse over tit. You can’t ever take it for granted and it’s right that we shouldn’t,” she said.

She added that there are certain performances she still can’t watch, as she finds herself thinking about all the things she could have done different. One example was a line she wanted to redo from her 2001 movie Iris, in which she played a novelist struggling with Alzheimer’s disease. She earned a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her work on the movie.

“The thing about film is you do not get another go at it. There are a lot of films of mine that I have never seen and I don’t want to because I would just be irritated,” Judi said. “But you can’t make it better! It’s that line, ‘I … wrote?’ [from Iris]. I could do that line much better now. But you see? Too late. Hopeless.”

She added, “… There are a lot of my films I haven’t seen. Maybe I will one day, when I’ve forgotten a bit more about them.”

Earlier this year, one actor recalled a time when he and Judi got thrown off a set over potatoes. Find out more.

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