Judi Dench talks about ‘good friend’ Kevin Spacey, James Bond at San Sebastian Fest

SAN SEBASTIAN — Judi Dench is in San Sebastian this week where she will be honored with a Donostia Award, the highest prize granted to an individual by the Spanish fest, and to promote her latest feature, “Red Joan.”

In a dimly lit, standing room only conference room the actress answered questions from the assemble press in her hushed and, as described by “Red Joan” director Trevor Nunn, husky voice for a half an hour, ahead of the evening’s ceremony.

Early on the actress was asked if there were any particularly memorable experiences in her career that she looked back on fondly, and a few in the room were caught off guard when she brought up a name that many now prefer to avoid.

“I remember just after my husband died, and I was in a bad way, I went to do ‘The Shipping News’ with Kevin Spacey, and Kevin was an inestimable comfort and never mentioned he knew I was in a bad way,” she remembered. “He cheered me up and kept me going.”

30 PHOTOS
Judi Dench over the years
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Judi Dench over the years
Judi Dench and Bill Nighy appear in a National Theatre production of 'The Seagull' by Chekhov. (Photo by robbie jack/Corbis via Getty Images)
Actress Judi Dench and actor Michael Williams with their newborn baby, 1972. (Photo by � Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
Actresses Judi Dench and Samantha Bond perform in Amy's View, at the Royal National Theatre. (Photo by robbie jack/Corbis via Getty Images)
English actress Judi Dench as Ophelia at a dress rehearsal of Michael Benthall's production of Shakespeare's 'Hamlet' at the Old Vic, London, 15th September 1957. (Photo by Jimmy Sime/Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Ian Richardson (1934 - 2007) as Oberon and Judi Dench as Titania during the filming of Shakespeare's play 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', 1968. The film was directed by Peter Hall. (Photo by David Farrell/Getty Images)
English actress Judi Dench, circa 1995. (Photo by Larry Ellis Collection/Getty Images)
Billy Connolly and Judi Dench (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
NEW YORK CITY - JULY 9: Actress Dame Judi Dench attends the 'Mrs. Brown' New York City Premiere on July 9, 1997 at the Tribeca Film Center in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
The Prince of Wales, patron of the Association for Business Sponsorship of the Arts, speaks with actors Sir Ian McKellen (left) and Dame Judi Dench, and Marks & Spencer chairman Andrew Stone and wife, at the launch of the Creative Forum for Culture and the Economy, at Buckingham Palace tonight (Wednesday). Watch for PA story. WPA Rota Photo by Tony Harris/PA (Photo by Tony Harris - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
English actress Judi Dench as M, the head of MI6, in a scene from the James Bond film 'The World Is Not Enough', 1999. (Photo by Keith Hamshere/Getty Images)
ACADEMY AWARDS: PRESSROOM 03/21/99 LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA THE 1999 ACADEMY AWARDS 'THE OSCARS' PRESSROOM - James Coburn (Best Supporting Actor), Gwyneth Paltrow (Best Actress), Dame Judi Dench (Best Supporting Actress) and Roberto Benigni (Best Actor, B
Judi Dench during 71st Annual Academy Awards - Press Room at Dorothy Chandler Pavillion in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
Judi Dench during Opening of 'Closer' in New York City at Music Box Office in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
NEW YORK CITY - JUNE 6: Actress Dame Judi Dench attends the 53rd Annual Tony Awards on June 6, 1999 at the Gerswhin Theatre in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Judi Dench and Red Buttons during 'Mrs. Henderson Presents' Los Angeles Premiere and After Party in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage for The Weinstein Company)
LONDON - APRIL 20: Dame Judi Dench arrives at the British Academy Television Awards 2008 held at the London Palladium in London on April 20, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 01: Judi Dench attends summer fundraising party for The Old Vic Theatre at Battersea Power station on July 1, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Neil Mockford/Getty Images)
Dame Judi Dench holds roses called 'Drama Queen' at the Hampton Court Palace flower show, London. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 25: The Dorchester Outstanding Achievement Award winner Dame Judi Dench poses with Sir Peter Hall in the press room at the South Bank Sky Arts Awards at The Dorchester on January 25, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 22: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK TABLOID NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME. MANDATORY CREDIT PHOTO BY DAVE M. BENETT/WIREIMAGE REQUIRED) Dame Judi Dench (L) and Daniel Craig attend a photocall for the new James Bond film 'Skyfall' at The Dorchester on October 22, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Dave M. Benett/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Judi Dench attends the Royal world premiere of 'Skyfall' at The Royal Albert Hall on October 23, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 16: Dame Judi Dench and Philomena Lee attend a screening of 'Philomena' during the 57th BFI London Film Festival at the Odeon Leicester Square on October 16, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
Judi Dench attends the London Film Festival premiere of 'Philomena' at Odeon, Leicester Square. (Photo by rune hellestad/Corbis via Getty Images)
(left to right) Jeff Pope, Dame Judi Dench and Steve Coogan attend a photocall for their new film Philomena at the Claridges Hotel in London, as part of the 57th BFI London Film Festival. (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 11: Dame Judi Dench poses following an 'In Conversation' with Sir Richard Eyre at The Hospital Club as part of the Mountview Academy's 70th birthday celebrations on June 11, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Zoe Wanamaker and Dame Judi Dench attend the press night after party for 'The Winter's Tale' by the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company at The National Cafe on November 7, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
VENICE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 03: Judi Dench during the 74th Venice Film Festival on September 3, 2017 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Franco Origlia/GC Images,)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 10: Ali Fazal and Judi Dench attend the 'Victoria & Abdul' premiere during the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival at Princess of Wales Theatre on September 10, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Walter McBride/FilmMagic)
SANTA BARBARA, CA - NOVEMBER 30: Dame Judi Dench attends Santa Barbara International Film Festival Kirk Douglas Award of Excellence Dinner sponsored by Belvedere Vodka honoring Dame Judi Dench at Bacara Resport And Spa on November 30, 2017 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)
SANTA BARBARA, CA - NOVEMBER 30: Dame Judi Dench attends Santa Barbara International Film Festival Kirk Douglas Award of Excellence Dinner sponsored by Belvedere Vodka honoring Dame Judi Dench at Bacara Resport And Spa on November 30, 2017 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)
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In the current industry climate, it was obvious that such a name drop wouldn’t go uncontested, and it wasn’t long before the actress was asked about her current feelings toward Spacey and the fallout the actor has faced in the wake of allegations against him.

“I can’t approve, in any way, of the fact that — whatever he has done — that you then start to cut him out of the films,” she said. “Are we to do what happened when he was replaced with Christopher Plummer? Are we to do that throughout history? Are we to go back throughout history and anyone who has misbehaved in any way, or who has broken the law, or who has committed some kind of offense, are they always going to be cut out? Are we going to extrude them from our history? I don’t know.”

“I don’t know about the conditions of it, but nevertheless he is, and was, a most wonderful actor,” she said. “I can’t imagine what he is doing now.”

She then took a few seconds to weigh her words before adding definitively, “And a good friend.”

Predictably, Dench was also asked about her opinion on the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements, and gave a succinct but affirmative answer.

“I think there are many things to be redressed and made right,” she said. “It is an extraordinary moment of change, a sea change at the moment. And there many more parts for women, which is very good indeed, and long may that go on.”

The actress was given ample opportunity to address lighter topics as well.

64 PHOTOS
Kevin Spacey through the years
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Kevin Spacey through the years
Kevin Spacey (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Actor Kevin Spacey holding his black dog while sitting on bench outside restaurant. (Photo by Ian Cook/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY - JUNE 2: Playwright Neil Simon, actor Kevin Spacey and actress Mercedes Ruehl attend the 45th Annual Tony Awards on June 2, 1991 at the Minskoff Theatre in New York City. (photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
NEW YORK CITY - JULY 21: Actor Kevin Spacey attends the 'Afraid of the Dark' New York City Premiere on July 21, 1992 at City Cinemas in New York City. (photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Kevin Spacey and Dianne Dreyer during 'Glengarry Glen Ross' Screening for Actors Fund Benefit at Ziegfield Theater in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES - SEPTEMBER 27: Actor Kevin Spacey arrives from New York City on September 27, 1992 at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California. (photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 88 -- Pictured: (l-r) Actor Kevin Spacey during an interview with host Jay Leno on October 8, 1992 -- (Photo by: Alice Hall/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY - DECEMBER 16: Actor Kevin Spacey attends the 'Suddenly Last Summer' Special Screening on December 16, 1992 at the Walter Reade Theater, Lincoln Center in New York City. (photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Kevin Spacey during 'House of the Spirits' Benefit Screening for American Cinematheque at Cineplex Odeon in Century City, California, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
UNITED STATES - circa 1995: Kevin Spacey (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA,CA - FEBRUARY 24: Actor Kevin Spacey and mother Kathleen Spacey attend the Second Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on February 24, 1996 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in Santa Monica, California. (photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS,CA - MARCH 12: Actor Kevin Spacey and guest attend the 68th Annual Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon on March 12, 1996 at Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. (photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Kevin Spacey during The 68th Annual Academy Awards at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD - OCTOBER 5: Actor Kevin Spacey receives a Hollywood Walk of Fame Star on October 5, 1999 at 6803 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California. (photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Kevin Spacey during Kevin Spacey Party to the Residents of The Motion Picture & Television Fund's Retirement Community at Private House in Beverly Hills, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
Kevin Spacey and Michael J. Fox (Photo by RJ Capak/WireImage)
Bono, Winona Ryder, and Kevin Spacey backstage after U2 concert (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
381683 02: Actor Kevin Spacey attends opening night of the off-Broadway play 'COBB' November 8, 2000 in New York, NY. Spacey produced the off-Broadway show. (Photo by Robin Platzer/Liaison)
Kevin Spacey during 2002 Tribeca Film Festival - 'About A Boy' Premiere at Tribeca Performing Arts Center in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
Hollywood actor Kevin Spacey arrives at the Music Industry Trust's Awards and Dinner 2002 at Le Meridien Grosvenor House, Park Lane in London. (Photo by Ian West - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
Kevin Spacey during Anheuser-Busch, Inc. Hosts the Closing Party for the Tribeca Film Festival at Atrium in the Embassy Suites Hotel in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
Kevin Spacey and Dana Brunetti during 2003 Toronto International Film Festival - Budweiser/TriggerStreet.com Party at Lobby in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by J. Vespa/WireImage)
Kate Bosworth and Kevin Spacey during Beyond the Sea New York City Premiere - Outside Arrivals at Ziegfeld Theater in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK - DECEMBER 8: (U.S. TABS AND HOLLYWOOD REPORTER OUT) Singer Peter Cincotti, actor Kevin Spacey and singer Michael Stipe of R.E.M. attend the 'Beyond The Sea' New York premiere afterparty at the Starlight Room in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel December 8, 2004 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
PALM SPRINGS, CA - JANUARY 8: Actor Kevin Spacey attends the 16th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival at the Palm Springs Convention Center on January 8, 2005 in Palm Springs, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Kevin Spacey during Kevin Spacey Announces The Launch of The New Triggerstreet.com and Their Latest Venture With Budweiser Select at Social Hollywood in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
Kevin Spacey and Eve Best during Opening Night Curtain Call and Press Room for A Moon for the Misbegotten - April 9, 2007 at The Brooks Atkinson Theatre in New York, New York, United States. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
GENEVA - APRIL 17: Actors Kevin Spacey, Elliot Cowan and Cate Blanchett attend the IWC Da Vinci Launch party held at the Geneva Palaexpo on April 17, 2007 in Geneva, Switzerland. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for IWC)
Actor Jim Sturgess and actor Kevin Spacey attend the premiere of '21' at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on March 12, 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage)
Actor Kevin Spacey arrives at the premiere of the film '21' in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Farina/Corbis via Getty Images)
Kevin Spacey attends a photo call for 'Recount' during the 34th Deauville American Film Festival. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale/Corbis via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 21: Actor Kevin Spacey arrives at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre on September 21, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 21: Actor Kevin Spacey (L) and actress Laura Dern attend the HBO EMMY Party at the Plaza at the Pacific Design Center on September 21, 2008 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Media Placement)
LONDON - OCTOBER 15: Kevin Spacey at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Hotel in London, England United Kingdom on October 15, 2009. (Photo by Munawar Hosain/Fotos International/Getty Images) Reproduction by American tabloids is absolutely forbidden.
Stars of the film 'Men Who Stare At Goats' George Clooney (right) and Kevin Spacey during a photocall at Vue West End in Leicester Square, central London. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
DOHA, QATAR - OCTOBER 27: Director of the Doha Tribeca Film Festival Amanda Palmer and actor Kevin Spacey arrive at the 'Casino Jack' Premiere during the 2010 Doha Tribeca Film Festival held at the Katara Opera House on October 27, 2010 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for DTFF)
DOHA, QATAR - OCTOBER 28: Actor Kevin Spacey poses for a portrait during the 2010 Doha Tribeca Film Festival held at the Katara on October 28, 2010 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for DTFF)
CENTURY CITY, CA - NOVEMBER 04: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Actor Kevin Spacey onstage during the BAFTA Los Angeles 2010 Britannia Awards held at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on November 4, 2010 in Century City, California. The BAFTA Los Angeles 2010 Brittania Awards will be aired on the TV Guide Channel on November 7th, 2010. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images For BAFTA Los Angeles)
LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 370 -- Pictured: (l-r) Actor Kevin Spacey during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on January 4, 2011 (Photo by Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
(L-R) Director JC Chandor and actors Zachary Quinto, Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany and Jeremy Irons attend the 'Margin Call' Premiere , during the 61st Berlin Film Festival. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 17: Actor Kevin Spacey attends the 'Margin Call' premiere at the Landmark Sunshine Cinema on October 17, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 18: Actor Kevin Spacey attends the opening night of 'Richard III' at the BAM Harvey Theater on January 18, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 21: Actor Kevin Spacey attends the BAFTA LA TV Tea 2013 presented by BBC America and Audi held at the SLS Hotel on September 21, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Actor Kevin Spacey arrives at the 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on September 22, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Vespa/WireImage)
'JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE: AFTER THE OSCARS(r)' SPECIAL - The 9th annual 'Jimmy Kimmel Live: After the Oscars(r)' Special airs Sunday, March 2 after the late local news ET/CT and at 10:00 p.m., PT on ABC. Broadcasting from Disney's El Capitan Theater located on Hollywood Boulevard in the heart of L.A.'s star-studded Walk of Fame, the studio is just steps away from Dolby Theater, home to the Academy Awards(r). (Photo by Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images) JIMMY KIMMEL, KEVIN SPACEY
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: Actor Kevin Spacey arrives at the 86th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
LA QUINTA, CA - MARCH 04: Kevin Spacey attends 10th Annual Desert Showdown at La Quinta Resort and Club on March 4, 2014 in La Quinta, California. (Photo by Robin Marchant/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 22: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Kevin Spacey visits at SiriusXM Studios on April 22, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)
US actor Kevin Spacey poses on the green carpet at the Raymond James Stadium on the fourth and final day of the 15th International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards in Tampa, Florida, April 26, 2014. AFP PHOTO FREDERIC J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE - Emmy Award-nominated 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' airs every weeknight (11:35 p.m. - 12:41 a.m., ET), packed with hilarious comedy bits and features a diverse lineup of guests including celebrities, athletes, musicians, comedians and humorous human interest subjects; The guests for MONDAY, APRIL 27 included actor Kevin Spacey ('House of Cards'), Ioan Gruffudd (ABC's 'Forever') and musical guest Stromae. (Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 26: Kevin Spacey and Dana Brunetti attend the World Premiere of 'House of Cards' Season 3 at The Empire Cinema on February 26, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
HAMBURG, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 27: Kevin Spacey attends the Goldene Kamera 2015 on February 27, 2015 in Hamburg, Germany. (Photo by Franziska Krug/Getty Images)
HAMBURG, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 27: Kevin Spacey attends the Goldene Kamera 2015 on February 27, 2015 in Hamburg, Germany. (Photo by Franziska Krug/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 25: Honoree Kevin Spacey (L) and actor John Stamos attend the 4th Annual 'Reel Stories, Real Lives', benefiting the Motion Picture & Television Fund at Milk Studios on April 25, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Motion Picture & Television Fund)
US actor Kevin Spacey performs on stage during the amfAR's 23rd Cinema Against AIDS Gala on May 19, 2016 at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Cap d'Antibes, France. / AFP / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)
CAP D'ANTIBES, FRANCE - MAY 19: Kevin Spacey attends the amfAR's 23rd Cinema Against AIDS Gala at the annual 69th Cannes Film Festival at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on May 19, 2016 in Cap d'Antibes, France. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Kevin Spacey seen during the annual 69th Cannes Film Festival on May 20, 2016 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Robino Salvatore/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 22: Actor Kevin Spacey (L) and Singer Andra Day perform at the The Apollo Celebration of Ella at The Apollo Theater on October 22, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0656 -- Pictured: (l-r) Actor Kevin Spacey during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on April 18, 2017 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - MAY 2: Oscar, Golden Globe and Tony Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey will host THE 71st ANNUAL TONY AWARDS, live from the historic Radio City Music Hall in New York City, Sunday, June 11 (8:00-11:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Joe Pugliese/CBS via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MAY 08: Actor and Executive Producer Kevin Spacey (L) and Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos attend Netflix's 'House of Cards' For Your Consideration Event at Netflix FYSee Space on May 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 21: Kevin Spacey attends the European Premiere of 'Baby Driver' at Cineworld Leicester Square on June 21, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by David M Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage )
ROME, ITALY - AUGUST 26: Kevin Spacey looks on prior to the Serie A match between AS Roma and FC Internazionale on August 26, 2017 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Emilio Andreoli - Inter/Inter via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 27: Kevin Spacey speaks onstage at the 2017 AMD British Academy Britannia Awards Presented by American Airlines And Jaguar Land Rover at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 27, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/BAFTA LA/Getty Images for BAFTA LA)
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She told an anecdote, which received a solid laugh from the crowd, from her years as James Bond’s superior M.

“I did eight Bond films, and after about four or five I asked ‘How is it that I never get to go anywhere?’” she remembered. “So the very next time we filmed was in a public school in Britain, and they put me in a trailer that said Innsbruck on the side, and they said ‘There, now you can never complain again.’”

Another take-away from the press conference is that Dench is an exceedingly and honestly humble superstar.

“I don’t consider myself powerful at all,” she replied quickly when asked about her sway in the industry. “I wait for someone to ask me to do a job and I do it. I have no power to instigate that job, or a film. I have always called myself a jobbing actor and I think 61 years after beginning I still am. I can’t bear to turn a part down because I think I might not be asked again.”

That was a message she impressed more than once, that she, or any actor for that matter, should never turn down a job. The sentiment was reiterated on her behalf by Nunn when he joined her on stage about halfway through.

“The advice I always give is never, never turn anything down,” he said to an aspiring young actress in the crowd. “If it’s tiny, if it’s in a small theater, an attic or cellar if that job is offered, do it. One thing can lead to another. Nothing leads to nothing.”

“At the Edinburgh festival people were performing everywhere,” Dench added, explaining, “Two people went and did a play in the car. They sat in the front and the audience, all two or three of them, in the back seat. It was exciting and innovative.”

As the press conference ended the sounds of shutters and cries for photos filled the hall, to which Dench obliged, before heading off to prepare for the evening’s festivities.

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