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Judi Dench checks into ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’

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There is no such thing as a weak performance from Dame Judi  Dench. Nor, it seems, is any character out of her range. Look at what she  did with the Alzheimer’s-plagued Iris Murdoch in “Iris,” or the stern and powerful M in a half-dozen James Bond films, or the kind and  patient Sybil Thorndike in “My Week  with Marilyn,” or her brief but riveting portrayal of Queen Elizabeth in “Shakespeare in  Love,” for which she won an Oscar.

In “The  Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” – opening Friday – Dench plays Evelyn Greenslade  who, recently widowed, finds out that her husband spent all of their money,  forcing her to sell their home and start over. Her decision is to begin living  life to the fullest, an idea that brings her, along with six other British  seniors, to the rundown hotel of the title, in Jaipur, India.

“Evelyn is an independent soul who feels that she still has a bit of life in  her,” said Dench, 77, last week in a New York hotel. “So she’s prepared to take  a chance.” The role in the dramatic comedy attracted Dench because it actually  provided her, not just her character, a chance.

“If you play one kind of a part, what happens is you get scripts rather  similar to that part,” she said. “What you long for, of course, is a script  which isn’t remotely like the last thing you’ve done. That’s what I would like  to do next. Something that isn’t in my ken.”

In “Marigold,” she not only gets to play a quietly independent yet charming  woman, but she also manages to fit in some adventure. There’s a wonderful scene  of her and Bill Nighy tearing through  the bustling streets of Jaipur on a small motorbike.

“That was most nerve-racking,” she said with a laugh. “On the back of that  motorbike, sitting sidesaddle, without a helmet on, being driven by Bill, who  was holding on with three fingers and waving with the other hand.”

There was also the adventure of just being in India, a place she had never  visited.

“My character says it’s an assault on the senses,” she recalled. “I’d never  even had a desire to go to India. But within 24 hours I was completely  fascinated and bewitched by the country. The beauty of the people was  outstanding. The color, the noise, the smell – everything about it is completely  staggering. And I can’t wait to go back there. I could retire in India. I’d be  off there tomorrow and put my feet up the chimney.”

Read more: Judi Dench checks into ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ – Quincy, MA – Wicked Local Quincy http://www.patriotledger.com/topstories/x1942598807/Judi-Dench-takes-a-chance#ixzz1teOeULr2