Dame Judi Dench relies on friends to learn lines as eyesight deteriorates

Julia Hunt
·Contributor
·2-min read

Watch: Dame Judi Dench determined to keep acting despite deteriorating eyesight

Dame Judi Dench has revealed she’s had to come up with new ways of learning her lines as her eyesight deteriorates.

The 86-year-old's vision is worsening as she gets older but she is determined to keep acting.

She said one of the things she does to get round it when she’s preparing for a role is to have friends repeat her lines to her.

Explaining her line-learning tricks at an online event for sight loss charity the Vision Foundation, Dame Judi said: “You find a way of just getting about and getting over the things that you find very very difficult."

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Judi Dench was speaking at an online event for sight loss charity the Vision Foundation. (PA)
Judi Dench was speaking at an online event for sight loss charity the Vision Foundation. (PA)

She went on: “I have had to find another way of learning lines and things, which is having great friends of mine repeat them to me over and over and over again, and that's the way I can learn.

"So I have to learn through repetition, and I just hope that people won’t notice too much if all the lines are completely hopeless!”

The James Bond star also recounted one funny incident when her eyesight failed her in a production of The Winter’s Tale.

Judi Dench has been losing her eyesight for years. (EMPICS Entertainment)
Judi Dench has been losing her eyesight for years. (EMPICS Entertainment)

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The actor said her co-star Kenneth Branagh had to point out that she was looking in the wrong direction during one of their scenes together.

She said: “After we had been running for three weeks or so at the Garrick he said to me – I have a long speech at the end – he said, ‘Judi, if you were to say that speech about eight feet to your right, you’d be saying it to me and not to the pros’ arch'."

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