Judi Dench on the Humor in Mrs Henderson Presents: A lot of the humor is derived from the fact Mrs Henderson says and does things you dont expect a woman of her class to ever say or do. Dench says thats because Laura Henderson wasnt a conventional woman. She had a lot of money, she could live a very respectable and wealthy and cushy kind of life if she wanted, but she chooses not to do that. Thats not her bag. But I think shes cheeky when she walked into the Lord Chamberlains office. I think, you know, from the minute that she walks into the office that hes not got a chance. I looked at the script and I thought, Theres not a chance for him, not a single chance. The moment, we had such a funny and lovely time doing it.
Judi Dench Talks About Signing on to Mrs Henderson Presents: Rumor had it Dench heard the story and immediately said yes. Thats exactly right. I didnt see a script. They came, Bob [Hoskins] and Norma [Heyman, producer], we had lunch and they explained the story and I said yes before the end of lunch. But then thats been my entire career, 48 years Ive done that. When Tony Hopkins and I did Anthony and Cleopatra at the National, we didnt know at the first reading that either of them died at the end. I dont like reading. I was told the story of Mother Courage. What they emitted to say there to me was that she never came off the stage for four hours, or whatever. I was furious when I found out. I know its risky, its a risky way, but thats the risk I like. I like that fear. I love just finding out about it as I go along, said Dench.
Judi Dench Describes the Research Process: Martin [Sherman, screenwriter], of course, had done a huge research about her. Then I found out quite a lot of things about her because she was very, very tied up in the ballet too, and her clinic and everything, so she didnt spread herself thinly about. Laura Henderson, she got on with a whole lot of stuff.
I talked with the girls, girls we say, in their 90s, many of them still left, about her and they said she used to sit in the box and behave really badly, nearly always when they were on. She had a dog under one arm; she had a teddy bear that she used to dance on the top of the (box). She must have been a nightmare. No wonder she was banned from the theatre. And she did get the best make up man in the whole of London to disguise her, to take her in past them, so that she could go and check up on them all. She went in as a man.
She made a family. I love it that she was so unconventional. I love it and [its] difficult to pin down really, that kind of person.
Judi Denchs Reaction to Bob Hoskins "If we can get Judi, we can finalize the film" Statement: I didnt know that hed said that until quite a long time later. He thinks that Im anarchic and that I would enjoy getting dress up and things. Ive been asked, Is that you in the panda skin? Well, of course thats me in the panda skin. Why wouldnt I do that? And the thought of going up in the Gypsy Moth [plane] I like to learn something, I love to learn something. I never did archery, and then the very first shot in The Importance of Being Earnest I had a wonderful go at doing that. And I thought, Well, Ive done that.
Ive been up in a Gypsy Moth, so I suppose when he says Im fearless - I know he says that - Im not fearless at all. Im fearful, but as far as being given a challenge is concerned, I really love that. I love it.