January 19, 2006

‘M’ thoroughly approves of her new 007, says Dench

LONDON (Reuters) - Spymaster "M" thoroughly approves of her
new James Bond.

Judi Dench, who has reached a whole new international
audience playing the boss of the world's most famous spy, first
took on the role opposite Pierce Brosnan.

Now she is to face Daniel Craig in "Casino Royale."

Asked whether she would treat the first blond Bond like an
errant schoolboy in their first screen encounter, she told
Reuters: "You will have to wait and see."

"The chemistry happens the moment you meet them or it
doesn't happen when you meet them. And I have met him and I
liked him enormously. We had a laugh and that always bodes
well," she said.

Dench, who established a reputation as one of Britain's
foremost stage actresses before carving out a film career,
said: "The stage has always been my first love but I have
enjoyed doing a lot of films."

Her big breakthrough came playing Queen Victoria in "Mrs

"Suddenly, I had a choice of film scripts. When I went over
to New York for the first time for the (press) junket for Mrs
Brown I was asked many times 'Apart from Mrs Brown and M, what
other parts have you played?'

"That is the whole of the Shakespeare canon out of the
window, a bit of Chekhov, a bit of Ibsen, David Hare, Hugh
Whitemore and a lot of other people."

Dench won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1998 for her
cameo role in "Shakespeare in Love."

On Thursday, she won her 11th BAFTA nomination from the
British film industry for her part in "Mrs Henderson Presents"
as a feisty widow who buys an abandoned theater and stages
Britain's most famous nude review.