She may be 83 years of age, but Judi Dench is as feisty as ever.
That’s the takeaway from a new film “Tea with the Dames”, which gathers together Dame Judi with three other formidable octagenarian actresses — Dame Maggie Smith (“Downton Abbsey”), Dame Eileen Atkins (“Gosford Park”), and Dame Joan Plowright (“Enchanted April”) — for a freewheeling conversation about their lives and acting careers.
As The Independent reports, one segment of the documentary finds the 007 star discussing the time she was stung by a hornet and sought medical attention.
“A paramedic walked into the room who was about 17 and said, ‘What’s our name?’ So I said, ‘Judi,’ and he said, ‘Have we got a carer?’”
The insinuation that she needed a caregiver, she admitted, caused her to flip out on the EMT. “I’m afraid I completely blew my top,” she recounted. “I said, ‘You f**k off! I’ve just done eight weeks of [Shakespeare’s] ‘The Winter’s Tale’ at the Garrick Theatre.’ I was so angry.”
In another conversation, Smith (also 83) points out her pet peeve. “I don’t like it when people ask if you’ve sorted your funeral.”
Turning to Dame Judi, she recalled when actress Miriam Margolyes (“The Age of Innocence”) asked her that exact question. “Do you remember Miriam Margolyes asked you that? Cause she’d sorted it out,” said Smith. “Then she said, ‘Have you, Jude?’ and you said ‘No I have not.’ And she said ‘Why?’”
Dench’s response: “Cause I’m not going to die.”
“Tea with the Dames” debuts on BBC2 in the U.K. on Saturday, June 2; check out a sneak peek below: