Dame Judi Dench has had a lengthy, distinguished career, and she’s definitely iconic. But a national treasure? The 82 year-old British actress is not that, and for a cool reason, too. The actress, who’s played our favorite fictional boss lady, M, in recent James Bond movies, has had a comprehensive career, and she finds the term “national treasure” to be a bit patronizing.
And even though she’s a dame, Dench used some strong language in response to being mis-labeled a national treasure in a recent interview with The Sunday Times.
“F*cking ‘national treasure’!,” Dench said in response to being the subject of the term, adding, “Oh, please don’t say that! Everyone says it, everyone. It’s horrible, it’s awful. I hate it.”
It may seem counter-intuitive to react to such a great compliment in this way, but it seems Dench sees the phrase “national treasure” as a trivializing term.
She is a dynamic, talented actress, and calling her a “national treasure” makes her sound cutesy, which she does NOT want.
In Notes, she plays an older high school teacher who has a love affair with a younger woman, and her role in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is that of a widowed housewife who moves to India along with fellow veteran actors, including Maggie Smith and Bill Nighy. The former is highly serious, and the latter is silly, and cutesy — like the term “national treasure.”
Considering how intimidating Dench is in some of her roles, we highly recommend following her wishes and simply calling her “a talented, successful actress integral to British film history” instead of some cheesy Nicolas Cage movie name.
Also, even though she’s playing Queen Victoria (again) in the upcoming film Victoria and Abdul, Dench doesn’t just want to play royalty, she wants more roles like the one she had in Notes on a Scandal.
We would love to see her play a tightrope-walking dragon, so screenwriters should take note. Dench deserves to play the greatest, most complicated roles available.
Never one to shy away from a strong opinion, Dench also spoke about her greatest pet peeves, telling The Times, “I can’t tolerate the bastardization of the English language.”
Clearly, for Dame Judi Dench, language is important, so we will make sure to honor her wishes and NOT call her a “national treasure.”