Acting legend Judi Dench is the oldest cover star in the 104-year history of British Vogue.
In the June issue, the 85-year-old thespian is opening up about life in quarantine, her thoughts on retirement, and, yes, even “Cats”.
Though the musical adaptation was widely panned, the vision-impaired Dench – who still hasn’t watched the film – says she loved her fur costume as Old Deuteronomy.
“The cloak I was made to wear! Like five foxes f**king on my back,” she exclaims, though the final big screen look of her character left much to be desired. Shown images of herself in the film, she says she was left looking like “a battered, mangy old cat. A great big orange bruiser. What’s that about?”
While critics may not have enjoyed “Cats”, Dench is well-aware of younger viewers loving the film on a so-bad-it’s-good ironic level.
Dench received “a text, from Ben Whishaw, who just doted on it. So sweet. So lovely.”
As for retirement, it’s still far from her mind.
“‘Rage, rage against the dying of the light,'” she says, quoting Dylan Thomas. “Never was a truer word spoken.”
Now quarantined amid the coronavirus pandemic, Dench doesn’t have her family with her but is “keeping in touch lots by phone calls and FaceTime” and is keeping busy. She’s even recorded TikTok dances with her grandson.
“I am disciplining myself to learn all the sonnets. I try to learn something new every day, anything,” she shares, adding that she’s not alone in the way she feels right now.
“I am sure I feel like everyone else, such unprecedented times are quite hard to comprehend,” Dench adds, while still looking for some positivity.
“What is a good thing is that it has made people aware of the predicament of others who are completely alone,” she says. “If a great deal of kindness comes out of this, then that will be a plus.”
Read the full feature in the June issue of Vogue, available via digital download and on newsstands Thursday, May, 7.
Dench can next be seen in the family movie “Artemis Fowl” which heads to Disney+ next month.