Dame Judi Dench Says ‘Perhaps I Was Lucky’ Not To Witness ‘Other Side’ Of Harvey Weinstein


Looking back, Dame Judi Dench never had any bad experiences with Harvey Weinstein.


In a new interview with the Guardian, the legendary actress talked about her past working relationship with the disgraced Hollywood producer.


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Asked if Weinstein’s involvement in her Best Supporting Actress-winning turn as Elizabeth I in “Shakespeare in Love” has tainted the film at all, Dench said it hadn’t, because the film stands up on its own.


“I worked a lot for Harvey, a huge amount,” she added, “and he was always completely charming. Perhaps I was lucky, but that’s all I know. I feel very acutely for the people who weren’t so lucky.”


The 86-year-old was also asked by writer Xan Brooks if she felt she’d misjudged him.


“Misjudged him?” she responded. “I don’t know that, Xan. He was a friend. He was a perfectly polite and funny and friendly person. I never experienced Harvey in any other way than that. I knew nothing untoward about him at all. And nor was I warned. So, of course, I can judge him. But I never experienced that other side of him at all.”


In 2017, Weinstein was accused by dozens of women of sexual assault and harassment. He was arrested in May 2018 on charges, including rape, and found guilty in February 2020. He was later sentenced to 23 years in prison.


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Dench did say she’d experienced being cast aside for roles early in her film career, recalling a director who turned her down for a part because she was too short and plain.


“The film in question, though, went on to be enormously successful. And I’m not going to tell you the name of the film, because then you’d know who it was right away,” she said.