VICTORIA AND ABDUL
Inspired by entries found in her personal diary, the movie tells the story of the widowed Queen Victoria’s unlikely friendship with an Indian servant named Abdul Karim.
He’s sent to Britain from India to serve at the monarch’s Golden Jubilee and the queen becomes besotted with him – taking lessons in his native language, Hindi, and commissioning several portraits of him. Inspired by his culinary tastes, curry even becomes a staple on the royal menu. Describing her instant chemistry with her costar, 30-year-old Bollywood actor ALI FAZAL, Dame Judi says there was no acting at all required. “He’s very, very tall. He’s extremely beautiful and he’s an utterly delightful, charming man – and a good actor,” she gushed.
On the topic of lust and desire in octogenarians, she says, “Well, of course, you still feel desire. Does that ever go? To the older reader I’d say, ‘Don’t give up!’ ” S Victoria and Abdul is in cinemas now