Chattanooga Times Free Press - Parade - - PERSONALITY -

The Academy Award–win­ning and Emmy-nom­i­nated ac­tress plays Queen Victoria near the end of her life in Victoria & Ab­dul, in the­aters Sept. 22. The film, about the monarch’s friend­ship with a young In­dian clerk (Ali Fazal) whom she meets at her Golden Ju­bilee cel­e­bra­tion, marks the se­cond time that Dench, 82, has played Queen Victoria—and she has also played Queen El­iz­a­beth I. Was the story of Victoria and Ab­dul new to you? No. It’s been about for quite a time. So much was de­stroyed about this re­la­tion­ship be­cause no­body was very pleased about it, ex­cept Queen Victoria. Victoria was quite portly at this point in her life. How un­com­fort­able was all the pad­ding? Well, you just get used to it. Af­ter [her hus­band] Al­bert died, she just didn’t care and she went on eat­ing all the time; couldn’t re­sist it. I’m 5 feet 1¾ inches, but she was smaller than that. I think she was al­most as round as she was tall. Do you have fond mem­o­ries of your role as “M” in the James Bond movies? Yes, it was sim­ply won­der­ful. I got to go to Nas­sau and the Ba­hamas and, oh, I had a lovely, lovely time. You’re never go­ing to re­tire, are you? I’m go­ing to do an­other film in Oc­to­ber, hope­fully. I’m film­ing some­thing for the BBC. I don’t plan it. But if I stay qui­etly, very watch­fully, and wait, if I’m very lucky, some­thing comes along.

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