Nothing Like a Dame (2018) Movie Script

Hello, Joan.
Hello, darling.
Do you want me to sit here?
Yes, please.
God almighty, leave me alone!
Would you mind taking
a little step to your left...?
To my left?
- To you left.
I'm Mark, pleased to meet you
- Hello.
I think we'd better do it
because we're taking root.
And then we're gonna do some
where you're sort of...
Yes, we look awfully hot.
Oh that's an awful angle, Mark.
It really is.
It's not fair to old ladies
You look wonderful.
No, why are you doing this?
Why are you doing that?
You've got to start somewhere.
Is it your first day?
You've never done it before?
I don't think so, so give him a break.
Look, see how Jude does it?
So beautifully
I do that or that.
You're not my friend, Mark.
I'm never going to a speak to you again
I never want to see you again.
Oh no don't be grumpy
She's not being grumpy, she's being starry.
Are we ready to go?
I think we've been
- We've been.
Scene, mark.
Now, if anybody wants
to lie down, ladies.
I'm here, darling
How far away?
Not far away
Round the corner?
- Just round the corner.
I want to start with when
you first set eyes upon each other.
Judi, can we start with you?
- Oh, God.
Yes but... has anyone got a memory?
Let alone... oh, God.
Well, I think I met you, Mags
in about 1958.
I think so.
And we did The Double-Dealer
and we went to the Edinburgh to the festival
and got pursued by Miles Malleson.
Did we do that in Edinburgh?
Yeah, we did it at the festival
don't you remember?
Yes, you and I had to hide.
It's gone, it's gone.
We had to hide between
the two shows because of Miles Malleson.
I didn't know we were in Edinburgh.
Were we good?
No, I don't think we were.
Too long ago
I remember you saying, Mags,
that you'd been discovered and rediscovered.
Yeah, I'm still hanging in for that
Who saw Share My Lasses
Joan did you see Share My Lasses?
Well yes, you weren't listening
and I've just told you.
I was feeling depressed at the time
and friends said
'Oh we'll take you out to somewhere
that'll cheer you up madly.
It's Kenneth Williams, he's very funny
as you know, and there's this new girl
- And that was the new girl.
Would you say Kenneth
had been quite a big influence on you?
An enormous influence.
I mean, I pinch from him all the time.
Can you give us some examples?
Well, in Black Comedy, I'm doing a
complete Kenneth, I mean it's outrageous.
He hasn't seen it, he'd be livid.
You know, that awful Mrs Punnett who keeps
whistling like that, you know, it's pure Ken.
Settle down.
Eileen, tell us a bit about Baby Eileen?
A gypsy told my mother
I was going to be a dancer
and she kept sending me
to dancing lessons
and I kept screaming and wanting
to come home again from the age of three.
And finally at five, I seemed stuck there.
And that particular dancing school
was called The KY School
and we had it on all our clothes... KY
My brother played the drums there
and his drums had KY on it.
We never knew why people laughed
slightly or looked the other way.
That's sad.
And I danced in working men's clubs
I mean, two or three times a week
until my grammar school said
She falls asleep in school all the tlme '
Cause you were up all night
doing these things?
Well, it was paedophilia land really.
We were little girls up there.
Then what, did you decide just that
you didn't want to do it anymore?
I did my first play when I was ten
and kept telling my mum
from then on, that I didn't want to dance
I was going to do this other thing.
We all just thought we were
going to be stage actresses.
Did you start off with light and make-up?
Yes, five and nine.
Five and nine was the men's make up.
No, I wore Dark Egyptian in one thing.
Peter Pan
Five and nine was really the men's
make-up, wasn't it?
But you added a bit of three
or two and a half to it if you're a girl.
And a big red spot in the corner
of your eyes.
Oh, yes, red spots in the eye
- Big red spot.
Crimson Lake if you were being aged.
Yes, lines of Crimson Lake.
People coming out of drama schools years ago
wanted to go to Bristol Old Vic
or Oxford or somewhere
there's a really good rep.
There was a thing wasn't there
where you went to reps
and you stayed in digs and things
that if the landlady wasn't very nice
or didn't do something
you used to nail a Kipper
under the table before you left.
That's true
Tim West went home one night
to a darkened house
letting himself in the back
into the kitchen
and the landlady
was having sex with a man on the table.
And she was right out lying
and as he opened the door, she saw him
and she said 'Oh, Mr West,
you must think I'm such a flirt
On the table?
- On the table.
Unaware there was a Kipper
attached to it.
The Kipper!
How ghastly
Let's go through here!
I went straight from the Vic
to do The Cherry Orchard
which was with...
Oh, that was an amazing cast
...Michel Saint-Denis and Peggy.
And Sir John.
Who was the director?
Michel Saint-Denis was it?
And he was really, really unkind.
He used to come to the end of Act One
and then he'd give notes
and he'd give a note here and he'd give
a note there and he'd give a note there.
And he'd get to me, he'd go
Oh, horrible.
And Peggy, I remember, said to me
To think I nearly married that man' she said.
And then she said,
Never ever let him see you cry.
Never let him see you cry
And then one day we got
to the end of Act One
and he used to give the notes then
and Sir John said 'Well if you'd been doing
that for me, I'd be delighted,' he said.
And it changed absolutely
everything for me.
It just... entirely changed my life
really as far as, you know
the fear of directors,
because the more you get frightened
you know, and somebody goes like that
the less you can do.
You can't mend it.
Goodnight, Uncle.
God bless you, little Anya
I was at the Old Vic theatre school,
run by Judi's friend Michel Saint-Denis.
And George Devine
And it was George who asked me
to join the company for...
well, it was called
the English Stage Company
but it just became known
as the Royal Court.
Michel Saint-Denis had been told
that they were asking me to join the company
and Michel had said...
'She can't play queens, you know '
And George had said
'I should think the last thing we want
in a theatre for contemporary writers
is girls born to play queens
Stop there.
I thought we were going to sing.
It's very wet.
- Oh, well. Yes.
Shall we sit under the table?
# Timothy's under the table
# Be careful what you say
# Timothy's under the table
so look the other way
# You can tickle and squeeze
as much as you please
# But don't you go too far
# Because Timothy's under the table
# And he's bound to tell his ma #
Why eke II remember mew
What is that?
It's the musical we were in
Hark Hark the Fart.
Listen to the W/no'...
it's called Listen to the Wind.
It's a terrible title.
- It is a terrible title.
That's what Ronnie called it
is Hark Hark the Fart.
Timothy's Under The Table
I forget.
Why did we start on that?
Maggie, talk to us a bit about...
I'm not going to talk about Cleopatra.
Judi, you start.
- Why?
I'm in the clear with this one.
You bang on.
What do you mean, you're in the clear?
- You talk about Cleopatra?
I've turned it down four times because
I thought I wasn't good looking enough.
That's the end of my story of Cleopatra
What are we meant to say about that?
What are we meant to say to that?
You're meant to say...
- 'Oh, Eileen, how stupid of you
What a fool.' No.
Not good looking, that's a silly word
I don't know.
No, I didn't have the courage.
There you are,
I didn't have the courage.
No, neither did I, that's why I did it
in Canada.
At least you did it though
But you did it.
Yes, I didn't have the courage,
I was asked by Jonathan Miller to do it
I just said I couldn't possibly
do it at the National
because in my own mind
I wouldn't be first choice.
Half of them will say, 'Oh my God,
you know, she shouldn't be playing Cleopatra
Cleopatra's supposed to be a great beauty '
So that's the first stumbling block
isn't it?
But you said a marvellous thing, Judi
when you were asked to do Cleopatra...
Do you really want... now you go on with it.
What? I can't remember.
I just remember people laughing openly
I prefer what you said.
When I said I was going to play it
and it was announced,
people laughed openly at me
But you said to Peter Hall,
was it, that was in charge?
'Do you really want...'
Do you want me to say it?
Yes, I do. 'Menopausal dwarf
That's it. It's very funny.
Are you sure you want a menopausal dwarf
to play this part?' It's true.
Absolutely true
That's what she was
- That's what she was, quite.
It's the way I played it
It's true.
Where is the fellow?
- Half are feared to come.
Go to, go to
Come hither, sir.
Good majesty, Herod of Jewry
dare not look upon you
but when you are well pleased.
That Herod's head I'll have.
But how when Anthony is gone,
through whom I might command it?
They assume, well, I'm talking about critics
that we all think we're the king's knees,
the bee's knees
and will take on these parts.
They don't realise
that we're shaking inside, right?
That's absolutely true
because that's two of us
didn't have any courage at all
and not do it.
There's Maggie nervously doing it
in another country
gm mu mmgny M ma.
And Tony Hopkins, on the top
of the monument, he used to say
'I'm going now for a nice lie down
while you do Act Five'
And that is what he said.
But there's a lot of rest
before Act Five.
There's a bit of rest in there with Pompey
and all that lot.
It's long enough to lose the thread.
We used to be up in that Monument,
when you're up there for a long time
and Miranda Foster
and Helen Fitzgerald used to say to me
What would you really like to eat now?'
And I used to say 'What I'd like now
is a glass of champagne and a lobster salad
And on the last, the very last night
we were in the Monument
and they said 'What would you like?'
I said 'Oh, lobster salad and '
And they went, 'dink' with the light
and there it was
And we had it.
I found it very difficult to say
'To the Monument'
cause it's like a tube station, isn't it?
I think I wasn't good at that.
'To the Monument' I thought
no, I'm sorry
I'd rather not say that.
But wasn't it Mags,
darling Mags Tyzack said
she couldn't get her head round
having to say, 'I am for Argos.'
What was she doing?
Am Wm
You can't, can you?
It's ridiculous.
I've never not known
an Antony complain
because I think they find out that
really it's Cleopatra's evening
rather more than Antony's.
I think Cleopatra is a better part
than Antony.
And I think the men never know
until they're in the middle of doing it.
Oh, I see.
I know Alan Bates told me that.
He said, 'Halfway through, I realised '
That's because he wanted
to play Cleopatra.
There is something
of that in it, absolutely.
Can't win.
Talk a bit more about fright, if you will.
On the way to the theatre
I always think...
Would you like to be run over now
or in a massive car accident?'
And I only just about come out
on the side of no.
Or sometimes, I know occasions
where it could have turned to yes.
I remember being in The Importance
and playing Cecily
and I had a little speech which was
It is always painful to part from people
whom one has known
for a very brief space of time
The absence of old friends
one can endure with equanimity
but even a momentary separation
from one to whom
one has just been introduced
is almost unbearable.'
And I could not remember it.
Well, you do now.
- I couldn't remember it at all.
On the first night I just got it out
and Alec McCowen after it went, 'Pop!
So I said to him, 'That's no help Alec '
He said 'There was a passing fly '
That's so mean
And why should I remember that now?
Because you spent a very long time
trying to learn it.
Trying to learn it.
That's all I can remember
are things like that.
Can you talk a bit about naturalism?
When you started out were people
much bigger in their performances?
Well, I thought I'd done a very
naturalistic performance
in The Duchess of A/Ia/f/on television
and then a couple of years ago
I was at the Globe and they were doing
the doing The Duchess of Ma/fi
in one of the other theatres
and one of the cast came up
to me and said
'Yes, we've watched your
old television of Ma/fi.
Well, of course that was alright in your day
but we're going to do it naturally.'
Why should only I,
of all the other princes in the world
be cased up like a holy relic?
I have youth and a little beauty.
So you have some virgins that are witches.
It's a different form of naturalism
each time, isn't it?
I mean, each generation thinks they've found
the natural way to do something.
No, be assured you shall not find me daughter
after the slander of most stepmothers
evil-eyed unto you
You are my prisoner but you're...
ah, yes, you are my prisoner
but your jailer shall deliver you
the keys that lock up your restraint.
Oh, you've done it.
You've done it. That was perfect.
That was absolutely perfect.
That will never happen again.
No, it will, darling, it will.
It's always very difficult for me to hear
being done in a natural way
with pauses anywhere they like
and, 'Uh, uh, uh.'
Because they think it gives
the impression that they're thinking of it
absolutely of the moment.
But I mean, you know, Shakespeare is poetry
and it does have a rhythm and it does...
And there is a way of using the poetry
and being naturalistic.
And that's seems to me,
if it's done and things are changed
and it's broken up, it seems to me to be
losing entirely out on the other side of it.
Y. MW-
The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
upon the place beneath.
It is twice blessed.
It blesseth him that gives
and him that takes.
It's like you bring it down to you
and your size
instead of reaching up
to something that's a bit...
Well, I think it would look pretty rum
if we all did it as they did it way back.
Pre Laurence I talk about.
I mean, it would look a bit quaint
wouldn't it?
You have to move with the times
That would seem
to us like hollow booming.
Yes, I think it does frequently sound
like that now.
But there's a... middle ground
There is a middle ground.
Why art thou here
come from the farthest steppe of India
but that forsooth, the bouncing Amazon
your buskined mistress and your warrior love
to Theseus must be wedded
and you come to give their bed
joy and prosperity.
It had been announced that Larry
was to be director of the National Theatre.
That had been approved.
I can remember
I had the feeling of going almost every week.
So it was very exciting for other actors
in the profession
as well as those of you in the company.
Yes, and Maggie, I mean, you moved in there
despite your nervousness about critics.
V, H M.
Well, I think I was more nervous
of Laurence than the critics.
I was more nervous of your husband
than the critics.
I must admit.
Well, I don't think...
As indeed everybody was, Joan.
I don't think you ever showed it
- No, everybody was.
We were terrified.
And your name, my dear?
Wilful, Jack Wilful, at your service.
What, the Kentish Wilfuls
or those of Staffordshire?
Eh Mm. fir, mm.
I'm related to all the Wilfuls in Europe
and I'm head of the family at present.
Do you live in this country, sir?
- I live where I stand.
I have no house and I have no habitation
beyond this spot of ground.
What are you, sir?
- A rake.
In the army, I presume?
No, no but I intend to list
No, he didn't scare me all the time.
No, you scared him.
I think I scared the wits out of him
from time to time.
A merry war, let us say
A merry war, because I know,
I remember you telling me
that he'd come in and said
you were too slow and you.
Bored him off the stage.
Ah, no money and no luggage either.
Not a thing in the world.
What is more, I don't care.
I'm here and I don't care.
I like you for that.
Only for that?
- No.
Not only for that
You went on the next night
and you went so fast
that he was befuddled.
I know.
I went so fast, he didn't know whether
it was Wednesday or Christmas.
He could have gone into F,'/'chard ///
without any trouble.
I'd got him really really rattled
Didn't he tell you
that your vowels weren't right?
Yes, he did but...
- And what did you say to him?
I used to put his eyelashes on
No, he did tell me my vowels
which they're still dodgy.
Twill away again
Let me but bind it hard,
within an hour it will be well.
So I went in to help him
with the eyelashes
and he was sitting there in all that gunge
and I said 'How now, brown cow?'
And all he said was...
That's better', he said.
Anyway, he got very cross with me
because I wouldn't do Skin of our Teeth.
'Out devil,' he says
But he did knock me out.
Well, not quite
He did.
- Why, sweet Othello.
He hit me.
Out devil
And I was left with some black marks
on my face.
Oh, dear
But I did say it was the only time
I saw stars at the National Theatre.
Those were the days, eh'?
They also had the lights put up
a bit higher when he came on.
When he came on, yes
You could...
If you went like that, you got into it.
But you had to...
You had to make sure you could
get your head in.
Darling Frank Finlay.
He came off one night and he flew
to the prompt corner
and he started tearing at his eyes.
And I was so alarmed and I thought
'What's happened?'
And he was wearing...
he'd never worn them before
he had contact lenses.
Oh, yes
And he said 'I have just seen Sir Laurence
and I never want to see him again!'
He couldn't get them out
Can you imagine?
Because he couldn't see his hand
in front of him, could he, Frank?
Poor man.
We're done, I think we're done, yeah.
The tunnel.
- The tunnel
We got the cottage
as a halfway house
between Brighton and Chichester
when Larry was running Chichester Theatre
because getting out of Brighton
took such a long time in the summer
with all the crowds of visitors.
And also, we needed some
country air and space.
When we first came, there was just
the central part, little cottage
still with a few Elizabethan stones
in the wall
and the cottage was surrounded
by nettles
just nettles all around this, and the field.
Some of them shoulder high.
Shall we take one on the ends?
I like the way you consider
what was written on the cushion
Well, yeah, because you
I'm sure we look natural
Oh, dear
When have we ever sat like this?
When have we ever sat like this?
Not even in a play.
Is it too horrible?
No, of course it's not. It's fine
- Well, it's a funny sort of...
It's a prop
- It's fine, it is. It's a prop.
I think it was pinched
from The Three Sisters.
It is from The Three Sisters
From The Three Sisters, isn't it?
- Yeah.
# Roll the keel, roll the keel #
# Roll the keel, roll the...#
Look at them all looking bored over there.
Are first days still scary?
First days on film sets, or first days?
All days, all days are scary.
- No, that's true
It is absolutely true.
I don't know why people assume
that it is any other way.
It's just...
It is scary and it is every day
on a film, isn't it?
Quiet. Let's shoot, please.
Turn over.
OK, action, everybody!
Certainly every day on a film set
because you haven't done it before.
I know.
Filming is very scary because
there are so many people involved.
But it's the... everybody kind of
waiting with bated breath.
How horrid.
And who turns out to have done it?
Oh, I couldn't tell you that.
It would spoil it for you.
Oh, but none of us will see it
And if you get it wrong
there's a lot of silent...
Looking at each other and the eyes roll
and there's a bit of...
Heavy breathing.
Are we really going again?'
I wasn't actually allowed to go to films.
They didn't approve
I used to get claustrophobia.
With that horrible smell and those carpets
that sank down.
I think I saw Hamlet
when I was at school.
v. And Hwy M
Well, we were allowed to do that.
We were made to, weren't we?
That's true
We were made to because
you all had to fight for our country.
I had a great aunt, great aunt Sarah,
I think she was called, I only met her once.
She lived in Dublin and she was
like a bird, a tiny little bird.
And... she once said... 'I'm not going...
I'm not going to films anymore
because the seats are too narrow
And she never knew that you
actually put the seat down.
She just sat on that little narrow bit
- I don't believe you, Judi.
She sat on that!
- It's a fact.
Mind you, we all did as children.
The next door neighbours took me to see
now this is really frightening
The Jazz Singer.
Al Jolson?
No, it wasn't Al Jolson.
Close, but no, it was
it was Larry, not Olivier
Larry Parks.
It was so long and so boring
I didn't enjoy it at all.
But I got home and my father
was very, very, very cross.
Was it not suitable?
Well, no because it was
a Sunday and it was, you know...
Oh, yes.
So you weren't allowed
to do anything like that.
So it kind of put me off a bit.
So after that, the first thing I saw
was Hamlet.
And that was just as scary.
Just as scary.
I've never known my father
as cross as he was that day.
What did your parents
make of you going into this job?
What did they make of me
going into this job?
Well, I think they were a bit puzzled.
How did you begin in the theatre?
Did you act at school?
The very first definite step
was when I was still at school.
They had a frightfully good thing
that when you'd finished
you know, general school certificate
you usually had about two weeks at the end
of term which was kind of dead time.
And I immediately went to
the Oxford Playhouse.
In The Letter, I think it's The Letter,
I played Uh, Chinese boy.
Uh, a Chinese boy in an opium den.
Of course you did.
- Yes, 'course I did.
And... right at the beginning of The Letter
I was the Malayan woman.
And you were Uh, Chinese...
And Uh, Chinese boy.
God, can you imagine
my make-up?
You don't have to make no effort
for them, they come easy.
But we know where the money //es
They say, 'He// we do,
the workers have got it.
A/night then let's give 'em
what they want.
If they want words of one syllable
we 'll give 'em that then.
If they want the third rate blast
we '// give 'em that then.
Anything's good enough for them
'cause they don't ask for no more
The who/e stinking commercial world
insults us and we don't give a damn.
Well, it does serve us r/jg/7t.
It is our own fault.
We want the third rate
and we've got it!
We've got it! We've got it!
You know, such a leading part
that hardly exists anywhere.
You know, Beatie is the centre of attention
is the centre of the story
instead of being, you know, on the side
the decoration bit
the support
The female is absolutely
at the centre of it.
And it's that feeling of elation
when you know you're in charge.
Oh, yes
Do anything you thought wrong, no no
I have too much honour to desire it.
Don't you think we may as well leave
honour out of the argument?
We are not in the first rank
of world beauties.
That was my mother who sent me off
to the Old Vic Theatre school
and saying, you know,
OK, you're on your way out there.
You're no oil painting my girl
but you have the spark.
You've lovely expressive eyes and thank God
you've got my legs and not your father's.'
Madam, I'll see you.
I was very lucky in the way that
your mother said that to you.
It was the school teacher who was
encouraging me to go into the theatre
and he invited an actor to come
and see me to ask his opinion
and, accidentally, I heard him say,
I don't know what to do about her.
I think she's probably
a very good actress, or could be
but I'm worried about her looks,
because she's not what you would call pretty
I was listening to this,
quite happily actually
and then he answered happily for me
which has kept me going throughout
the whole of my career
'No, no, she's not conventionally
pretty in any way
but do you know what, she's sexy '
: Ah.
I spent two days the other day
trying to remember Andre Previn.
I could not think of his name.
Isn't it so easy?
I spend all my time thinking,
What did I do last weekend?
'Lucy used to borrow from
a woman who wore gators and galoshes
and those plastic mackintoshes
and a rather grubby husband
that she only wore on Sundays
Why do I remember things...
Where's that from?
One of those Oxford review.
'And a rather pallid husband
that she only wore on Sundays.
When she sat behind the teapot
handing fancies to the vicar.'
I don't know.
Where does it all come from?
Kind of jammed full of rubbish
my head.
Very difficult.
Has anybody said go?
- Yes.
Oh, go
- Yeah.
What's the play, what's the part?
Can you remember
the first time you came to this house?
I was with very small people
small children.
And I've got a picture of Joan
just vanishing into the room downstairs
and that wonderful lime walk out there
was this high
where it's all overgrown now.
So it was when Richard was tiny
and Chris was tiny.
Lots of babies.
I can tell you a story about
Richard when he was a very small person.
In the hall there was a dumbwaiter
and Richard, as a small person
used to just nonchalantly post any mail
that there might be down there.
And one Christmas, I remember
Larry standing over him
because he'd...
Larry was beseeching this child
and he's...
because he couldn't find
the keys to the bar
that was at the end of, erm
and he saw Richard looking a bit furtive
and he was leaning over him saying
'Where are the keys to Daddy's num nums?'
And we thought it was wonderful
that this quite fantastic actor was reduced
T@ @@yn "mum mum.
'Where are keys to Daddy's
num nums?'
I think he'd posted them down
the wretched thing.
I suppose that's what it was
all about in those days.
The children.
Very small people running around
Why are you so tanned, is that all Cornwall?
Doesn't happen to me.
Mama thinks I'm living in a convent.
A secluded little convent
in the southern part of France.
Mama doesn't even have an inkling
that I'm working in a nightclub
in a pair of lacy pants.
6%. fir
# If you run into my mama
# Don't reveal my indiscretion
# Give a working girl a chance #
I'm trying to think how old I was
in the sixties.
34, 44...
26 at the beginning.
I think that I thought it was much more
to do with being in the theatre
and, like, and it was fun
and things were loose.
I don't know.
- Perhaps we swung a bit early.
I think we did.
- Do you think?
I'm sure you and I did.
I'm pretty sure we did.
I guess I was swinging
at the end of the fifties.
We behaved pretty badly actually, Judi.
I don't think you and I needed the sixties.
My courage, try by combat
if thou darest.
And thou shall find that I exceed my sex.
Resolve on this.
Thou shall be fortunate if thou
received me for thy warlike mate.
"Not Fade Away"
by The Rolling Stones
# I'm gonna tell you
how it's gonna be
# You're gonna give your love to me
# I'm gonna love you night and day
# Well love is love and not fade away
# Well love is love and not fade away
# My love bigger than a Cadillac
# I try to show it
and you're drivin' me back
# Your love for me
has got to be real... #
Come on, love, let's be having ya
You stinking copper!
Filthy, stinking copper!
I sat down in Trafalgar Square
with Vanessa.
So did I.
And then Vanessa got arrested
and remembered she had a matinee.
I sat down.
It was probably the same thing.
Julian said...
I was married to Julian Glover then
and we all sat down.
And first of all, John Osbourne
was taken away
and then Vanessa was taken away
and you were probably...
Were you taken away?
Oh, no, I hid.
Well, you hid.
Well, Julian went away and I thought
'I've had enough of this.'
And I got up and went home
and I remember buying some
crumpets on the way home.
And Julian was furious with me
cause he spent a night in the cells
and came back the next day
and said, 'What happened to you?'
Where were you?'
And I said, 'I suddenly thought
I wanted to go home.'
We weren't allowed sometimes at home
to talk about politics or religion.
When you were young?
- Yeah.
No, nobody spoke about it
in my house at all.
Not much.
No, I don't remember debates
at school or anything.
You went away to school, didn't you?
Well, I was at boarding school in York,
which is my hometown.
But I still had to stay there, you know...
The Quaker's. I loved it.
I remember asking you
about it, rather nosily
and you said 'I just think
it's a very good idea each week
to just collect yourself
and have a bit of silence
Be calm.
Well, it's very soothing.
It's like, you know, like having
a massage in a way.
I told you about Maggie and I
on The Marigold Hotel.
We were in Udaipur
and we went for a head massage.
An Indian head massage.
Well, of course,
it's legendary isn't it?
Yes. That I would like.
We thought this will be absolutely wonderful.
She massaged our heads like that
and we were in the same room
very quiet, very, very quiet
and just smelling lovely, you know.
And as soon as she's finished
she went whack!
I just...
Are you alright?
I just want a glass of water.
That was a gin and tonic.
I know that now.
Oh, good grief
This is from York Film Archive
and it's of the mystery plays.
It hasn't got any sound
but we think...
What year?
'51 or '52
Well, if it's '51... Oh, wait a minute.
Is that you? No.
Now wait a minute.
Can I have it very close?
- Yes.
Oh. Er...
Who is that?
Oh, I wish I could see.
I'll try and freeze frame.
Yeah, that would be good.
We were wondering
whether that was you there.
That's what I wondered
Can I just look closely?
I can't see
May I ask,
did you have tits even then?
Well, that person has.
Because you have
very pretty tits there.
I don't think I had them like that.
How old were you then? You're tiny there.
In '52...
- EILEEN You were 18.
Yes, yes, yes, that's Judi
OK, just play it a tiny bit more.
- You have an awful wig on, it's...
We all had them, those gold wigs.
And there's everybody going in
to see it with their rugs, look.
So this is in '52, yes?
St Mary's Abbey.
My father played Annas
the High Priest.
My mum made the costumes
- Look at them all.
And then there's lots
of behind the scene shots.
God, I remember that,
climbing up there
and we were all in these great big arches.
Do you know what
colour dress you had?
White, all white with
a gold collar and gold wigs.
And is that you there then?
I don't know, there's a bit
of horsing about going on there.
Sort of costume change
Oh, costume change.
Oh. Oh, these are all devils.
These are all devils.
Is that thunder?
Oh, that's the thunder there, yes.
Thank you, darling
- Oh, gosh!
Oh, now that's
where we were, that was me.
That was just because
a May bug flew up my sleeve.
A May bug?
That's lovely, thank you.
David Charles used to say
With all wit that we wield
we worship thy will
thou glorious God that is ground
of all grace
with steadfast song let us ever stand still
to be fed with the food
of beholding thy face'
A wonderful man called Alfred Bristow.
He'd say 'When hast thou Lord
who ownest all
hunger or thirst since God art thou.
Bits of it I can remember really clearly.
Oh, my word!
What wonderful footage.
What a lovely thing to have.
OK, so you're going to head
towards the step.
And here's the door.
Shall I put your hand on the frame?
I've got you
I did not sleep last night.
You know that awful thing when you don't
- Oh, God I do.
Everything was going round in my head
what we talked about.
Who was the first dame?
Joan, were you the first dame?
No, I wasn't.
Jude was the first.
I was putting down the red carpet
for all my friends.
You phoned me when it happened to me.
And you said it doesn't make any
difference, you can still swear.
Do you remember?
- You can swear more, actually
You can swear more, yeah
Just try and do it privately
I won't do it now.
In America though they call you
Dame Plowright don't they
and Dame Smith and Dame Atkins?
Mrs Dame.
With John Standing,
when he went through an airport
and they do all that thing
with your passport.
And my gm an mm.
Haw me my "
cause he is a Baron
'Have a nice day, Baron.'
I said what is that about?
What are you supposed
to say to a Baron? I don't...
'Have a nice day,' I guess
Did any of you
consider not being a Dame
when you were offered?
The letter had got lost in the post.
So I suddenly got a phone call saying
'Are you or are you not?
What is your answer?
We haven't received it.
And so she told me over the phone
and I said 'Oh, oh, I don't
I don't know what to do.
I don't know what to say '
And she said,
I just remember her saying
Oh, do say yes
Do say yes
But then I asked for some time
to think about it.
I don't know.
And then I was as pleased as punch
that I did it.
The most excellent Order
of the British Empire
to be a Dame Commander
Civil Division.
Dame Eileen Atkins,
for services to drama.
I was just so thrilled
that my father was alive.
But that's mostly the point, isn't it?
It's for other people who've
helped and got you where you are.
It's not really you
The order of the Companions
of Honour
to be a member
Dame Maggie Smith,
for services to drama.
I think it's much nicer being a Lady
which you were before
being a Dame.
Well, darling it's quite difficult
when you've got two titles
People don't know which to use.
You'll have to grapple with it, Joan.
It's so much nicer to be
Lady somebody than Dame.
Oh, darling, is it?
Now I'm not sure about titles
at all, really.
I have a feeling that Russia's way
of calling you a People's Artist.
But you accepted it.
I did, because everybody else had.
Did you feel left out?
Well, it's a kind of an acceptance
isn't it, of work achieved.
Dame Joan Plowright
for services to drama.
I remember Joan saying
on Tea with Mussolini
they said something like Dames
and Joanie said 'No, one Lady, two Dames'
I remember that very well.
Walking the streets of Rome
trying to find a hotel.
I'll never forget it.
Oh, that was wonderful.
And we got into the hotel,
and you were shown to your room.
And somebody was showing me
to my room.
This can't be right.
And as I got to my room
you appeared around the corner.
You said 'We're not stopping here
it's a knocking shop.'
It's a knocking shop' yes.
And it was 12.30 in the morning
I'll never forget it.
And nor did we stay there.
And we all landed up together,
didn't we.
Yeah, well, we went... you and I went
along to the Grand, and I said...
You went round the whole of Rome.
No, but Joan asked...
you asked at the Grand...
Do you have any rooms?'
And he said
Madam, we have 150 rooms
We did.
We went to the Eden
and do you remember
in the bar at the top
you weren't allowed to eat there?
We used to go and have drinks
and drink a whole bottle of Prosecco.
Mm W mm"
Yes, and then try and guess
where our rooms were.
Oh, well, we're not supposed
to be talking about that.
No, we're not supposed to be talking
about things like that.
You don't read them.
You certainly don't read them.
Somebody will always tell you
won't they?
Oh, yeah. Particularly if it's dreadful.
Caryl Brahms
years and years ago
I was just going to say
Caryl Brahms.
...came up to me at
a party when I was about early 20s
and said 'I'm so sorry I had
to be so cruel to you.'
And I hadn't known, and I didn't know
what she was talking about.
Of course, that was the nicest way
I could have answered her.
I mean,
it was a good thrust back.
I said 'I'm sorry, I don't know
what you're talking about.'
Yes, quite right
But it was genuine, I didn't know
what she was talking about.
And after that I thought
Oh, you must check up on
what's said about you.'
Well, I think that's not wise.
Madam, I'm here.
What is your will?
She said about me as Juliet
she said, 'A good try
but Rosalind lden should
have been playing the part
Oh, well, off the mark!
Who said that?
- Caryl Brahms.
It's funny isn't it how, that is 1960
It's funny now isn't it that you
should remember it then.
You remember the bad ones if...
Yes. Best just not read it.
You kind of know.
Talk more about
getting old, if you will.
You all seem terribly young.
- I thought we were acting it quite well.
Fuck off, Roger
Let's say it's a good job
I've got hearing aids in
and I can hear what you say
And me.
Hands up who hasn't got
hearing aids here?
You need to get them.
- I do need to get them.
You need to get them, Jude!
And then there is
the question of sight loss.
Well done.
Have we got three eyes
between us all?
But I'm saying something
oh, well we could give these
things round to read.
Or no, Roger said that, and I said,
'ls there nobody who can read?
Who can read
Judi said she's got to have
a huge print.
I've got huge print
Do you find though that...
do you know what I really
don't like?
That people, after a certain age go
can't... I want to say...
if I can't do it,
I'll tell you that I can't do it.
I mean, warn me about steps
and things but, you know...
There's a very, very delicate line
because you need help,
you need help.
But it's like when I was stung
on the bum by a hornet, last year
Oh, yes, and that awful... yes, say.
And somebody, a paramedic
walked into the room
who was about 17
and he said 'What's our name?'
So I said...
SHE CLEARS THROA 'Judi, my name's Judi '
And he said,
And have we got a carer'?
And I blew my top
I blew my top
I'm afraid, I completely blew it.
I mean, I would tell you what I said.
You can't probably say it
I said 'You fuck off'.
I said 'I've just done eight weeks
in The Winter's Tale
at the Garrick Theatre!' I said.
I was so angry.
That's the kind of thing.
Have we got a carer?'
What's our name?'
I know.
That doesn't change, does it?
That doesn't change somebody
'What's your name?'
If you want somebody to say that,
you say, you know
you don't put in a
kind of person that's...
an invisible person
who's standing next to you.
I don't like it when people
ask if you've sorted your funeral out.
Oh, Lord.
Do you remember,
Miriam asked you that?
Miriam Margolyes?
She'd got a lot to sort out.
Because she said she'd
sorted it all out
and knows exactly what she's going to do.
And then she'd said to you
'Have you, Jude?'
And you said 'No I have not '
And she said 'Why?'
And you said, 'Because I'm not going to die '
Which I know is true.
- Pathetic talk, isn't it?
It was a very chilling moment.
But she's got it all organised
and lots of people do.
And we don't.
- Shall we talk about something cheerier?
Yes, talk about
I think so.
OK, here's something cheerier.
Can you talk about working
with your husbands?
Well, there's a dead silence there.
I'm just trying to think which one?
Which one?
Well, obviously mine was
the most difficult.
We all found him tricky
- Yeah.
It wasn't just you, Joan
You weren't in the same position.
George Bean came and said
Look, we would like you
to play Jean Rice.'
Of course the lure of his name too.
Except you knew you couldn't
make much of a show on your own
and of course, the part wasn't
anything that was to shout about
but you'd be on stage
with somebody
who everybody will be looking at
not looking at you.
But, the lure of just being on
the same page
of a programme was great
Hey, tell me something, will you?
I want you to tell me something
- Mm.
Well, what would you say
to a man of my age
marrying a girl of about your age?
Oh, Dad.
You're not serious
It was momentous...
Earth shattering for me.
A very, very strange experience.
Although it was a great privilege
to share in his life
as well as it being, you know,
a bit of a nightmare sometimes.
You married Sir Laurence Olivier
just before he started
the National Theatre
and your career since then has
been very tied up
with the National Theatre
- Yes.
Do you feel because of that,
and because of the marriage
that you have lost opportunities
that you might have had otherwise
in other forms of theatre?
That's a
That's a very difficult question
to answer, Sheridan
You know
The actual burden of going on,
knowing that, you know
those who don't really go for you
are going to say,
Well, of course, you know
it's her husband
who put her up in it.
That was my sort of burden.
This is good news.
The best you have given me yet
I wish you joy of it, if you find it so.
I don't remember working... Oh, yes,
It was perfectly alright working
with my first husband
and my second one wasn't
an actor so...
What about
working with Robert, Maggie?
Well, that, yeah,
well, that was tricky.
A lot of times it was fine,
but then it really got very tricky
because he was not a well man
and that was hard
because you didn't know if
somebody was coming on stage
or if they were indeed,
what state they'd be in.
Do you want a cocktail?
There are two here
There are two over here as well
We'll have my two first.
Shall we get roaring, screaming drunk?
I don't think that would help.
We tried it once before
and it was dismal failure.
It was lovely at the beginning.
You have an immoral memory,
Here's to you
A lot of it was
very, very merry and lovely.
So I shall remember those bits.
Yes, because
you were a golden couple.
We were a golden couple
You were.
Come back Jean, I need you.
Judi, will you talk
a little bit about working with Michael?
Y, nnn
How long did The Fine Romance
and things like that,
how long did all those go on?
Oh, ages and ages and ages
This is a fine romance
I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry.
Ow, that was my head!
Working with Mike
oh, we had the most wonderful time,
but he used to laugh.
Mikey was a terror.
I mean, I'm bad at corpsing
Mikey was very bad at it.
We did a play called A Pack Of Lies
There was a long scene,
where Richard Vernon had to say...
Have you noticed a Vauxhall car
@@ lmMlmE=@lf AW ?
And he said one day to us...
Have you noticed a Vauxhall car?
Registration number...
We had to almost stop the play
Are you all going to work forever?
Well, I don't suppose one can
but I'd like to.
Well, I would work forever if I'm asked.
If we're asked.
If we're asked
- What?
If we're asked. We're going to
work forever if we're asked.
But you're always
asked first, if I may say so.
No, don't turn.
- I'm turning on you now.
It's all coming out now.
One of my hearing aids has gone.
What were we just talking about?
Do you want one of mine?
- What?
Do you want one of mine?
No, it won't fit.
It's just what was
the last thing said?
Are we going to go on
working forever Joan?
Oh, was that it?
And I said Jude gets all
the parts first, but we know that.
Oh, yeah, I tell you.
My agent in America said to me,
when he knew I couldn't do very much
because of the eyesight going.
And he said 'Well, if you do want
to come over again
we'll look around for a nice
little cameo that Judi Dench
hasn't got her paws on '
How rude.
It's not rude at all.
- It's very, very rude.
Well, that's America
that's how they talk.
Why does every day involve
a fight with an American?
I used to find the most
exhausting thing wearing those hats.
They're the heaviest things
in the world.
I had a hat,
it was like the Albert Hall.
It was this huge and so heavy.
I said please take it off
please take it off.
How many episodes were there?
I mean how many series?
I don't know. I don't know.
No, I think there was more.
I don't know, I haven't seen it.
I haven't seen it yet.
But they gave me a box set.
- They gave me a box set.
But I haven't got time.
I shall have to hasten,
because I won't last long enough
to see the wretched thing, will I'?
So, was Mrs Brown
your first queen on film?
Mrs Brown must have been
the first time, yes I played a queen.
I leave for Deeside
- The Queen forbids it.
And that really changed my career.
Mrs Brown?
Yeah, because I wasn't asked
to do anything in films.
I'd done a few films before that,
but very, very little.
Now they never stop
Without you I cannot find the strength
to be who I must be.
Can you talk about
being on really big film sets?
Like huge film sets?
Like the Bond film set or Harry Potter'?
As for you two gentlemen
I just hope you realise
how fortunate you are.
Not many first year students
could take on
a fully grown mountain troll
and live to tell the tale.
Actually Alan Hickman and I
we just ran out of reaction shots.
Because they would always
shoot on the children first
not surprisingly
And then they turn round
and we'd be going...
Or listening, you know,
and it's absolutely extraordinary.
Who's this one here?
I was just surprised
I thought that was part of Harry Potter.
He did it really, really well
Are you a camera?
You've met before
- I know.
We met yesterday
But you're always in the scene.
Would you like to come
and sit here?
I'm suddenly sort of aware
that you're there
more than anybody else.
Would you like me to move?
I would love it if you moved.
I honestly think you've taken
an awful lot of photographs.
It is his job to do that.
I know it is, darling, but
He's not going to be upset now?
Of course not, no.
Look at him,
he's been there forever.
He's going to go
and bang about a lot.
We've got quite enough here.
For God's sake.
Just get out of the way
Don't you recognise the car?
- Madam.
Oh, talk about Bond.
I want to know how you do
covered in jewels.
I was never covered in jewels.
After it you were.
Afterwards, did you say?
It was Michael really who said...
because when I was asked to do it
I was kind of really taken aback
and Michael said 'I long to live
with a Bond woman,' he said.
'I long to, you have to do it '
My sons went to a little
preparatory school
not that far from here
where Kim Philby
was the main pupil.
Michael's hero.
Kim Philby?
Have you ever seen
that bit of film with him
when he was suspected
of being a traitor
and he calls the press into his house?
Well, if there was a third man
were you in fact the third man?
No, I was not.
Do you think there was one?
No comment.
Every actor should look at that
I know.
Because, I mean, you cannot begin
to think for a minute
that he's lying
- I know.
And it was in his mother's flat
wasn't it?
I think it was
- Mum was there
listening to all the lies.
And you think, of course
don't be so stupid
of course he's not duplicitous
in any way whatsoever.
Good, good acting
Good spying.
Fear is a common
threat over the last two days.
Fear is petrol.
It's the payoff.
Fear is petrol
- Yes.
Talk about that. That's amazing
- Fear.
Fear is what?
Fear is the petrol, isn't it?
Fear, you know, it generates
such an energy, fear
being frightened
- Yes.
That if you can somehow channel it
it can be a help.
Really good.
OK, end board
I'm so sorry we are
very, very tired.
You know, so you have...
they've told you how old we are
haven't they?
I've been informed.
Nobody's told how old.
I'm not telling anybody.
Do you think we ought to have
a glass of Champagne
round this one?
God, I could kill it
- Yes.
I think it's far too late.
Why didn't anybody think
of that a few hours ago?
Dame Ede had speaking teeth
and eating teeth.
And she used to go home
with her speaking teeth in
am when ph@1m@ am my
'You'll have to go and get my teeth
because I'm very hungry.'
She'd left them in
the dressing room?
Yes. So Diggy had to go and get them
from the dressing room...
Teeth? Did you say teeth?
She used to have speaking teeth
and eating teeth.
And we think we're in trouble.
I mean, two lots of teeth
I know!
A handing?
She was always saying
'I am so lonely.'
Well, I know the feeling.
Don't you?
- Yeah.
- But I...
But now, this is what I'm saying
the awful thing is...
I used to think awful things
about Dame Ede.
- And I don't now.
Oh, my goodness.
Are we doing anything?
We're drinking Champagne.
It's always worrying when you see
these guys, so look at them
sneaking up on you
- Look, look, look.
We have to have a sip.
Listen, listen.
- Are we talking?
What would you like to talk about?
No, I meant are we on yet?
We're waiting for Roger to shout
- Are we on yet?
Yeah, they never stop
- They never stop.
Oh, they never stop?
- Cheers to everybody.
To us
- Thank you.
To you, everyone
- You're not having any.
- We're drinking our Champagne, Joan.
What would your
advice be to your young selves?
Oh... Christ.
II mum my...
Get in touch with yoga or mindfulness
at quite an early age.
And learn about the brain
and what influence it has
on the body.
All those things that I've come
to be interested in later on in life
and could have done with doing earlier.
And I think Joan kind of leads...
ls a version of mine,
which I would say not to be
so very bad tempered
and confrontational.
And listen more.
WM, me?
Honest to God I don't know
because most likely I wouldn't
be listening.
But I would say, when in doubt
That's good
I think I would.
It should be a motto, that.
I wish I knew the Latin of it.
What, 'When in doubt'?
- When in doubt, don't.
I would say, try not to be so
susceptible to falling in love.
Quite so pathetic.
No, be more susceptible.
Less susceptible.
Well, whatever it is
it's too late.
What else? What else?
Somebody said it's too late.
I said it's too late.
Oh, it's never too late.
Oh, do stop, Joan.
You know it is.
- It's never too late to fall in love.
What is that out of'?
The Boyfriend?
- The Salad Days, isn't it?
Oh, is it The Boyfriend?
- No, I don't know.
I think The Boyfr/endit is, is it?
"Cello Suite No. 1"
by JS Bach
Oh, I'm so sorry.
You wrote criticisms of Laurence...
When you were at school,
you didn't think much of his...
Oh, I'd wrote to my parents, yes
He was Hamlet and...
yes, I had seen
Michael Redgrave first.
I wrote and said Laurence Olivier
was a bit ham.
- Hammy.
Did you ever tell him?
No, I didn't actually, no.
No, because, you know,
when you're in the throes of love
and swept off your feet, you don't
- No, I meant later, Joan.
I don't think I did later.
No, I'm sure I didn't.
Did you see him as Henry V?
I can remember being taken
in Plymouth to see it.
I just loved it.
I remember it so clearly.
I wrote to him apparently
and Tamsin found a school girl
diary of mine
which said,
Got a letter back from LO
You see, that's what I was saying
That's what you was saying
not writing to my parents.
That was saying how much
I'd loved it, of course.
Have you got the letter?
So it was a fan letter?
Yes, it was a fan letter
and I got this letter back
which I know now was
from Dorothy Welford.
With a stamped
Which thousands of school girls got.
I know Maggie had a tough time
with him on occasions.
Well, we do know that
- Oh, no, come on.
No tougher than with a lot of actors.
No, you were also, you know...
my kids called on you when I was away
when he was suddenly taken ill again.
You came round and held his hand.
- You did, in my absence
This hand held the hand.
I remember him saying to me,
I had a bit in Semi-Detached
where I had to go off stage,
run upstairs, run down again
and come on stage.
And he said to me,
'You're always a fraction late
And I said,
'Well, that's how long it takes me.
I do it as quickly as I can
to run up the stairs
outside the door and down again
And he said, 'My dear, it's an illusion.
You don't have to run up the stairs'.
I remember going to see a play
in New York with an English actor
when the notices had paid a lot of
attention to a great cry
he did at the end of the second act
or something
and the night we were there
it didn't happen
and we went round to see
him and said
you know, 'Where was it?'
He said 'I felt I couldn't reach it
and I didn't want to
give the audience a lie.
Oh my.
But then I said well, you know
'The whole thing from
beginning to end is a lie
After all, Hamlet does get up
and take a curtail call.
So there was a whole argument
going on then.
Oh, well, maybe you should just
try the cry
whether you're in the mood or not.
You should be in the mood
is the answer.
It's acting
You find the way
To make it happen
and appear spontaneous.
And that's the difference between
actual truth and illusion.
I'm lost for words.
I have nothing left to say.
"Honky Tonk Women"
by The Rolling Stones
# I met a gin-soaked,
bar-room queen in Memphis
# She tried to take me upstairs
for a ride
# She had to heave me
right across shoulder
# Cause I just can't seem
to drink you off my mind
# It's the honky tonk women
# Gimme, gimme, gimme
the honky tonk blues #
Our revels now are ended.
These our actors as I foretold you
were all spirits and are melted
into air?
Into thin air?
And like the baseless fabric
of this vision
the cloud-capped towers
the gorgeous palaces,
the solemn temples
the great globe itself
yea all which it inherit
shall dissolve.
And like this insubstantial
pageant faded
leave not a rack behind.
We are such stuff as dreams
are made on
and our little life
is rounded with a sleep
I hope you're getting
the others to do this.
Yes, we are
- Roger.
For you, I promise
You swear?
I swear.
- You swear?
I swear
Dame Judi Dench, Dame Judi Dench
Dame Judi Dench, Dame Judi Dench
Dame Judi Dench.
Dame Judi Dench, Dame Judi Dench
Dame Judi Dench.
Dame Judi Dench, Dame Judi Dench
Dame Judi Dench.
Dame Judi Dench, Dame Judi Dench
Dame Judi Dench, Dame Judi Dench
Jane Doobie Dench.
I like Jane Doobie Jench.