Dame Judi Dench fondly remembered her late husband Michael Williams and his great sense of humor in an intimate interview with Louis Theroux.
The theater and screen veteran discussed her husband’s death in 2001 as she looked back on her life and long career with the documentary maker.
The couple met at Dame Judi’s home in Surrey during the second episode of the new BBC Two series, Louis Theroux Interviews.
Speaking of her marriage to fellow actor Williams, whom she married in 1971, she said it was “impossible to say” what the basis of their successful marriage had been.
“(His) sense of humor mainly,” he said.
“Michael laughed and when he laughed he cried. I think mostly, interest in the same things of course, but I mean what is it? It is impossible to tell.
The couple had bought their home after a profitable series of commercials for Clover Butter, in which they had starred together.
Dame Judi was thrilled when she discussed her husband’s death from lung cancer, admitting “I’m not good”.
“I was in New York and they said he wasn’t fine, so my agent flew out and we went back to the Concorde the next day,” he said.
“And he broke off the take off and we got off and we went back and they said ‘Oh, it’s going to be okay’ and we got on another plane and the same thing happened.
“So it took a long, long time to get back, but we came back, and we came back here, so we were all in the house together and it was really very, very good.”
The actress added that she immersed herself in the work after Williams’ death to “use some energy instead of thinking about it.”
In addition to her long career on stage playing numerous Shakespearean roles, Dame Judi is well known for multiple film roles including the famous character of the James Bond master M.
He played the role in eight Bond films starting with 1995’s GoldenEye to one last cameo appearance in Specter in 2015.
She revealed that it was Williams who encouraged her to take the part, telling her “you have to do it, I have to live with a Bond woman”.
Speaking of his first appearance as M, alongside Pierce Brosnan, he said: “I hope Pierce doesn’t mind me saying that, but we were both very scared, suddenly taking on those two roles, it was very challenging and one was nervous about it. .. “
Dame Judi also admitted that the shoot was “agony” and that she hadn’t seen many of his films “because I will be irritated”.
The interview also briefly addressed issues relating to disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein, with the actress claiming she never experienced his dark side.
“I don’t know any other side, although I don’t feel immense compassion in any way for anyone who has been introduced to another side,” he said.
As the series continues, Theroux is also set to have up close and personal contact with other big names in the entertainment industry, including Rita Ora and Bear Grylls.
The first episode of Louis Theroux Interviews featured British rapper Stormzy.