Oscar-winning actress confesses that she never watches her own movies, and there's only one she'd consider reviewing.
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What to call your significant other when you are happily unmarried? According to Dame Judi Dench, there is nothing worse than the word ‘partner’. The actress, who was widowed in 2001, is in a relationship with conservationist David Mills. They met in 2010 when he invited her to open a squirrel enclosure at the wildlife centre he runs near her home in Surrey. She ruled out the possibility of marrying again at 82, but said she struggled to find an adequate word to describe him. “I don’t know what the word is because I don’t like the word ‘partner’. Partner is something to do with dancing. Partner - horrible word. Friend? No. Boyfriend? No. Chap? Will chap do?” she asked. Dame Judi met David Mills, a conservationist, in 2010 when he asked her to open a squirrel sanctuary Credit: Andrew Crowley “He is not going to propose. No, no, no, no, no. Let’s just pull ourselves together and be our age!” she said. The couple have a lot of fun together, Dame Judi told Good Housekeeping magazine. “I have a jolly nice friend now,” she said. “One hot night during the summer, we swam and then had a glass of champagne in the garden and I said, ‘This is so fantastic’. But perhaps if I was a romantic I’d have been cool and calm about it. I get a bit over-excited about things. “I love having a good laugh. A sense of humour is the most attractive thing of all. It’s essential.” Dame Judi was married to Michael Williams, the actor, for 30 years. They appeared together in the 1980s sitcom, A Fine Romance. He sent her a red rose every Friday. They had a daughter, Finty, and Dame Judi said her one regret was not having a great brood of children. “I wish I’d had lots more children. I had planned to have six, easily,” she said. “The rewards you get out of it. Finty and I are so close.” Dame Judi Dench and Ali Fazal in the forthcoming film Victoria and Abdul The actress will appear next in Victoria and Abdul, a film about Queen Victoria’s relationship with an Indian servant, Abdul Karim. The cast features Tim Pigott-Smith, the actor who died earlier this year, and Dame Judi said losing him had made her think about her own mortality. He was “a great mate of mine. And then suddenly you hear he is not there any more. That not only frightens me, but it also depresses the hell out of me,” she said. The film marks the second time the actress has played Queen Victoria - 20 years ago she portrayed her in Mrs Brown, dramatising the monarch’s relationship with another servant, and earned an Oscar nomination. With five further Academy Award nominations and one win to her name, Dame Judi is Britain’s most garlanded actress. But she holds out little hope that the gender pay gap will close. She said: “Salary, parts, you name it: it’s better now than it’s ever been, I think, but it will never be on a parity. Never. No matter how much we speak out. We are put in our place.” Credit: Nicky Johnston/Good Housekeeping The full interview is in the October issue of Good Housekeeping, on sale August 30
Sometimes stars prove to be their own biggest fans. Not only do they pose with their likeness (twinning!), they have someone take their photo while they’re doing it, and then share it with their millions of followers. You can’t say they don’t have healthy egos! See the photos…