Pesky knee surgery wasn’t keeping Dame Judi Dench away from the red carpet in mid-October, and she planned it that way.
Dench, who has had trouble with her right knee for years, finally had surgery on September 6, getting a knee replacement. She told her doctor, “On October 16 I will walk up a red carpet unaided,” and that’s exactly what she did for her most recent film, Philomena.
The iconic actress is more than happy to show the scar that couldn’t keep her down. She showed it to The Daily Mirror, saying, “The scar’s from here to here, there to there. I have a completely new knee now. It’s brilliant.”
Walking without a cane, just six weeks (SIX WEEKS!) after knee surgery is no small feat for anyone, but the 78-year-old Dench did what many wouldn’t dare to do. “You set your mind to a goal and go for it,” said Dench.
Nothing is slowing this Dame down – be it surgery, or the milestone birthday coming up next year. Age is obviously only a number to Dench, who looks much younger than her almost 80 years of life. Still, don’t mention she’ll be turning 80 next year, it’s quite a “filthy” thing to say. “Don’t say ‘old’, don’t say ‘retired’, don’t say ‘80’. I’m not even considering retiring,” said Dench.
Dench is defying the odds of Hollywood by continuing to have such an amazing career at her age. Dench said, “We are in the minority of people who are doing a job we chose to do and can make a living at. Why aren’t we running to work every day?”
“I’m not feeling my age at all. I am about 43, a tall willowy blonde 43-year-old with long legs.” She continues, “I don’t want to slow down at all. We don’t say the word retirement in our house. Old and retired are totally banned. Energy keeps me going.”
Dench’s only hindrance may be her eyesight, but she’s found a way to get around that. In February of this year, Dench let the world know she had been diagnosed with macular degeneration, which could lead to blindness. But in true Dench fashion, she didn’t let that get her down. She’s hopeful that new treatments will slow down the progressive decline. And while it’s difficult to see faces or read, she has friends or family read scripts to her. “Somebody reads the script to me and that’s the way I like it, regardless whether I can see or not. It is much better having the story told to you, because ultimately that’s what the job is, telling an audience the story,” said Dench.
Something else that will continue for Dench is her cheeky behavior. Just recently, Dench admitted that the tattoo of Harvey Weinstein’s name on her derriere was a fake. Dench said, “He still thinks it’s tattooed. My make-up lady painted it on, and when I met him in New York I told him. He dismissed it, so I showed him and said, ‘Here you are!'”
You can watch the trailer for Dench’s new film, Philomena, with Steve Coogan in the video below.