Kenneth Branagh appeared on a recent edition of “Late Night with Seth Meyers” to promote his Oscar-nominated film Belfast.
As Branagh discussed, he and one of the film’s stars, Dame Judi Dench, have a long history of working together, and he recalled the time when they became so rambunctious while shooting a scene for a television production of Henrik Ibsen’s dark drama “Ghosts” that they had to be removed from the set.
When playing such “dark roles” for a play in which “everything’s pretty gloomy,” explained Branagh, “I think it makes you very, sort of giddy.”
As Branagh recalled, “We had a scene where all we had to do was eat dinner. The late, great Natasha Richardson delivers some potatoes to myself, to the great Michael Gambon and then to Judi.”
When Richardson asked Gambon how many potatoes he would like, Gambon asked for 17 — which made Dench completely lose it.
“Judi Dench then literally fell forward, her head, the dame of the British empire’s face is now in the potatoes, and all she’s doing is laughing,” Branagh continued.
As Branagh and the rest of the actors joined Dench in laughing hysterically, a voice suddenly blared from the PA system in the studio, “saying, ‘Stop! Stop! You know who you are! Get out of the studio now, Ms. Dench and Mr. Branagh, and do not return!’ So it was her fault.”
Check out Dame Judi telling the same story.