Dame Judi Dench has revealed how she takes memory supplements every morning to help her ability to recall her lines.
The 78-year-old actress admitted that it had become “more difficult to remember”.
It emerged last year that she was suffering from a progressive loss of eyesight that meant she now relied on friends to read scripts to her.
Dame Judi’s latest role is in the West End play Peter and Alice, opening next week, which re-imagines a real-life meeting between the two people who inspired the fictional characters Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland.
She stars opposite Ben Whishaw, who appeared with her in the latest James Bond film Skyfall.
In a Channel 4 News interview, she was asked how she remembered her scripts.
She said: “I don’t know how I retain it. I take that wonderful thing called IQ every morning because the Master of Magdalen told me about it ages ago and he said ‘oh you should take that for your memory, it’s wonderful'.
“It is of course more difficult to remember, to retain something, but it’s really a question of retaining the story.”
Dame Judi also spoke about her personal religious faith – she is a Quaker – saying: “I think it informs everything I do.”
She said she did not flaunt her religious belief, but added: “I couldn’t be without it,”
However, she admitted she hadn’t been to a meeting “shamefully, for some time”.
In February last year, Dame Judi revealed that she could no longer read scripts since she was suffering from macular degeneration, a disease of the retina that causes an eventual loss of eyesight.
She said she could no longer see faces in front of her but that she hoped treatment had halted the progressive decline.
In the interview, Dame Judi also spoke of her ambitions to keep on acting.
“I’d just like to go on doing it,” she said.
Asked about the kind of work she had ambitions for, she said: “The most different thing is what I like to do best.”
-John-Paul Ford Rojas, Telegraph.co.uk