Dame Judi Dench recalls the moment she filmed Mrs Brown with Billy Connolly
Dame Judi Dench has revealed how she was reduced to helpless laughter by Billy Connolly as she tried to play the famous Queen Victoria.
The veteran actress, 86, recalled how, while filming a serious scene for her acclaimed film Mrs Brown, her co-star Connolly, 78, made an irreverent joke that left her unable to stay in character .
Dame Judi has recounted how the comic book incident happened during the filming of the 1997 film at Victoria’s vacation home, Osborne House, on the Isle of Wight. She was riding in the side saddle position alongside Connolly’s character, John Brown.
Oops! Dame Judi Dench has revealed how she was reduced to helpless laughter by Billy Connolly as she tried to play the famous Queen Victoria.
But during what was to be a poignant scene in which Victoria expressed her affection for him, her horse audibly broke the wind.
Recalling how a ‘cheeky chappy’ Connolly was, she said in Dame Esther Rantzen on the That’s After Life podcast: ‘There’s this photo of us in Osborne on the pony walking away, taken from right , of us walking along this path.
“I rode this pony that I had to do from a pair of library stairs because side saddle riding is one thing, but side saddle riding in a corset with an extremely heavy suit …
Hilarious: Dame Judi opened up about how the comic book incident happened while filming the 1997 film (pictured in 2019)
“But the poor pony, for goodness sake, all on one side, and as we walked like that the pony farted with every step we took, and Billy said, ‘Is that you, is- what you? “
The directors repeatedly filmed the scene to mute the horse so it would not appear in the film – which portrays the unlikely close friendship between Victoria and her maid after the death of her husband, Prince Albert.
She was asked if she thought Victoria had “ more than a friendship ” with Mr Brown.
Side saddle: Judi recalled, ‘But poor pony, for god’s sake, all on one side, and as we walked the pony farted with every step we took, and Billy said, “Is it you, is it you? “
Dame Judi, who won the Bafta and the Golden Globe Awards as Best Actress for her role in the film, replied: ‘Well she went to her grave with her portrait in her hand – a painting of him .
“ So maybe she was a little sensitive to, well we know she was, so I think so, I probably think so.
‘There was obviously no doubt that he was a huge comfort and confidante from her and someone who didn’t fit into the same category as everyone else in the yard, and was somewhere she could. escape. ”
Dame Judi also confessed in the podcast to enjoying nude swimming in her pool at home after being prompted by Dame Esther’s confession that she was a fan of nudism and that she had run naked and alone in her garden to celebrate its 80th birthday.
Describing nude swimming as’ very good ‘she said:’ I do it because we are lucky and have a pool so you can do it leisurely sometimes if someone doesn’t come suddenly. . I don’t want to be caught up in it.
She laughed, adding, ‘I know the feeling of taking your clothes off is just heaven, isn’t it. I had to do it in a movie… Langrishe, Go Down… a passionate scene with Jeremy Irons where she puts cream on her nipples and he licks her.
Hit: The directors repeatedly filmed the scene to mute the horse so it wouldn’t appear in the movie – which portrays the unlikely close friendship between Victoria and her maid
“And after we did the scene, we went out and it was tea time, and the caterers had made meringues for everyone… it was very, very enjoyable for us.
Dame Judi was also recalled another hilarious incident in her long career on stage when she collapsed into a laugh while playing Lady Macbeth alongside Ian Mckellan.
She said Mckellan, who played Macbeth, muddied his lines when he should have said: ‘The light is thickening and the crow is making wings towards the beginner wood. ”
Instead, he said, “ The light thickens and the crow makes the wing towards the rookie corner. ”
Dame Judi said in the podcast produced by Captive Minds that she was laughing so hard that she had to pretend to the audience that it was all part of her act.
She said: ‘I really fell apart … I thought this was the moment Lady Macbeth has a terrible fit of hysteria because she is so anxious and breaks up laughing and crying and throwing himself on the ground. I never let Ian forget it.
Speaking of acting, Dame Judi, best known for her role as spy boss M in James Bond, said: ‘I don’t think it’s ever easy. It can be a lot of fun and devilishly difficult.
“And of course on stage, it’s never the same because the audience is an integral part of it. There is no such thing as a terrible audience. You are probably giving a terrible performance.
“When I played Cleopatra at the National I knew there was a laugh she was planning to do late in the play… I tried and tried and in our 100th performance which was our last performance , I had the laugh.
“You think, thank God, so I can now lay down.
When asked why she often described her advice to her young self as “Don’t fall in love so often,” she admitted, “I’m terribly sensitive. But she added: ‘As long as you don’t hurt anyone in the process. ”
On the loose: Dame Judi also confessed in the podcast to enjoying nude swims in her pool at home (pictured in 2017)