Dame Judi Dench doesn't like being called a national treasure: 'I don’t want to be a relic'

Amy Johnson
·2 mins read
Dame Judi Dench attends the reopening of the Ashcroft Playhouse at the Fairfield Halls, Croydon. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday September 16, 2019. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)
Dame Judi Dench attends the reopening of the Ashcroft Playhouse at the Fairfield Halls, Croydon. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday September 16, 2019. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)

Dame Judi Dench definitely doesn't enjoy being dubbed a 'national treasure'.

The title typically reserved for stars who have made a notable cultural impact on a nation doesn't sit well with the actor who doesn't want to be considered a "relic".

While appearing on David Tennant's podcast, David Tennant Does A Podcast With…, he asked whether she felt pressure to be a national treasure.

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The 85-year-old retorted: “No, no, no. I loathe that word. It’s something very, very dusty, behind a glass, in a corner.

“I don’t want to be a relic.”

Judi Dench during the filming for the Graham Norton Show at BBC Studioworks 6 Television Centre, Wood Lane, London. (Photo by Isabel Infantes/PA Images via Getty Images)
Judi Dench during the filming for the Graham Norton Show at BBC Studioworks 6 Television Centre, Wood Lane, London. (Photo by Isabel Infantes/PA Images via Getty Images)

The James Bond star added that she reckons she hasn't played enough villainous roles in her career.

“I hate to play parts that are expected… I want to play somebody who you think is a benign old lady sitting in a chair, and in actual fact is bumping people off. I’m looking for a lot of villains to play," she told the host.

Dench explained her favourite villain to play was Barbara Covett in 2006 film Notes on a Scandal.

The actor experienced a new type of fame over lockdown as she became something of a TikTok star thanks to her grandson Sam Williams.

She made regular appearances in his videos as she featured in videos calls and practised dances with Williams.

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In July, Dench told Channel 4 News the platform had given her a new lease of life as she said: "Well, it saved my life.

“I know nothing about TikTok. Sam is the person who is technically minded and who has all the ideas, so he got very strict. He made me do it. I had to rehearse, I had to rehearse all those moves. Don’t just think that comes naturally.”