Dame Judi Dench discusses her painting from James Bond set
Dame Judi Dench, who is sadly battling macular degeneration and has been in no less than eight James Bond movies, has revealed her artwork at home including a mammoth painting of herself as M.
The 88-year-old shared her collection during the filming of Sky Arts’ Portrait Artist of the Decade, which airs tonight and will see every annual winner from the past 10 years get together to paint her likeness in celebration of the show’s 10th anniversary.
She mischievously revealed: “I do have a bit of art on my walls, actually.
“On the last day of the last Bond, I was given a huge painting of me as M.”
Judi proudly added: “I put it on the wall – very, very, very ostentatious, so that nobody can miss it, of course!”
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Now the BAFTA-winning actress will be at the centre of attention again, as a 90-minute TV special will see her pose for painters who are ambitious about capturing a perfect likeness of her.
Meanwhile, Judi’s Bond fame stretches over a period of not one but two decades, seeing her perform as M in GoldenEye (1995), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), The World Is Not Enough (1999), Die Another Day (2002), Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008) and Skyfall (2012).
Finally, she performed a cameo role in Spectre in 2015.
Ralph Fiennes initially replaced her as M, but this year it was announced that the role could now be given to a woman for the second time ever.
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Daisy May Cooper spoke up about the speculation to NME, joking: “Yeah, give me a f*****g part. Move over, Dench!”
However, she confirmed that she has not received an offer from the franchise so far, despite some reports that she had.
Meanwhile, Judi, who is widely regarded as a national treasure, recently opened up about the harrowing health woes she’s suffered.
She was diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration back in 2012, the same year that her last movie as M was released.
This summer, she heartbreakingly admitted: “I can’t see on a film set any more.”
Revealing all in an interview with Notebook magazine, she explained that she has friends who are willing to teach her the script, but that her poor eyesight means she can no longer use her photographic memory – her method of learning before.
“I can’t see to read… it’s difficult for me if I have any length of a part. I haven’t yet found a way,” she stated.
According to the NHS, age-related macular degeneration doesn’t usually cause total blindness, but it can make simple tasks, such as recognising faces, extremely difficult – and since her diagnosis, Judi even mistook a stranger for her impressionist pal Alistair McGowan.
Judi appears on Portrait Artist of the Decade tonight, Wednesday October 4, at 8pm via Sky Arts and Freeview.
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