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Friday 22 September 2017

Dench: Frears uses eye contact

Dame Judi Dench was reunited with filmmaker Stephen Frears for the fourth time in Philomena
Dame Judi Dench was reunited with filmmaker Stephen Frears for the fourth time in Philomena

Dame Judi Dench has revealed that she has a "shorthand" with Stephen Frear, following their fourth collaboration.

The Golden Globe-nominated actress joked that the director barely spoke on the set of their latest film Philomena, preferring to communicate via eye contact and body language instead.

"H e gets more and more monosyllabic and now he hardly speaks at all really," she said after a private screening of the film in London.

"He just looks and you see him standing and then at the end when he says 'Cut', there is a sort of shorthand I have learnt with him now. There is a pause and he says, 'Do you want to go again?'

"And then you know that he wants to go again. There is no question about it. That's when he wants you to do another," she added.

Dame Judi has received a number of best actress nominations for her portrayal of Philomena Lee - an Irish-Catholic mother who embarks on a search to find the son she was forced to give up for adoption - in the big-screen adaptation of Martin Sixsmith's book, opposite Steve Coogan.

But the 79-year-old, who also has Irish relatives like Philomena, said she might have passed up the role if she had little in common with the real-life counterpart.

"Oh yes, had she come from Cape Town I wouldn't have played the part," she said.

"Having an Irish mother and all my relations in Ireland and my father brought up there and everything, that was good. That was grease on the mill, thank goodness. I also understood very much her sense of humour and her sense of humour was the first thing that struck me about her when I met her."

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