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Judi Dench 'infatuated' with India

22-Feb-2012 • Actor News

Prior to starting work on "Skyfall", Judi Dench had the opportunity to travel to India as part of the filming of "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel".

Also starring Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Celia Imrie and Tom Wilkinson, the story revolves around British migrants who pick up and move to India. Dench plays Evelyn, a widow whose late husband left nothing but debt. India provides a new opportunity for her.

"I can't wait to go back." Dame Judi tells This is Leicestershire. "Like my character, I became infatuated by it. Incredibly charming people, the crew couldn't have been more colourful, wonderful, welcoming and funny."

She even attended a royal wedding in the hotel where the cast were staying.

"We weren't invited, but there were rehearsals, with elephants and white horses, so we stood on a balcony to watch. Everybody started to arrive and all the women came up to the balcony with us, and the men were in this great procession.

The cast were invited to join the wedding party for a cup of tea: "We said 'we're not dressed properly' but they said it didn't matter at all."

At 77, and still in demand, is she at all tempted to run away to India and retire like Evelyn?

"No, but I'm very tempted to go back. I hope the film is a very strong advert for India, because it should be."

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