"Marigold Hotel" Star Judi Dench: Companionship Has No Age Limit


Judi Dench YourTango Exclusive
The legendary actress on how her role in "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" hits close to home.

How has playing Evelyn affected you personally?
All the things—the fact that she's a widow, she's missing her husband, she has a child she doesn't want to impose on—all of that I can sympathize with and understand. It's not that you reproduce what you are feeling, because I'm not Evelyn. But I understood the emotion that she had gone through, and that she suddenly found herself trying to do things like pay bills ... I can understand that after you've been married for quite a long time, it's very nice to have company suddenly. It doesn't have to be a great, passionate, sexual affair, but it's very nice to have the company of someone who actually says, "Oh, I'll find your keys for you," or "Let's go to the theater tonight." Single Over 50? Why You Should Try Online Dating

Part of what's fun about this movie is that it plays against assumptions. Did you have any assumptions about what this phase of your life or growing older would be like?
I shout a lot at the radio. I know that's old. My family will say, "Oh for goodness sake ma, shut up!" And, my grandson says things like "Well good," (British slang) and I could just fly across the room and hit him. I know that's a sign of old age, and I'm trying to stop doing it. But I'm really bad at that. (For my assumptions) about getting old, I knew I didn't want to retire. And I thought I'd have six children. But, life isn't like that – life doesn't work out like that. All you have to do is somehow learn how to accept it. We have a family friend who says, "Always look for the pluses." It's a very good piece of advice. Even if it's a very small plus, you get something out of it, instead of an erosion of always thinking your cup is half-empty.


Tell us: what assumptions do you have about growing older? What do you hope to accomplish?

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