Dame Judi Dench Made Honorary Fellow Of Central School of Speech and Drama

Dame Judi Dench Made Honorary Fellow Of Central School of Speech and Drama

Dame Judi Dench was presented with Honorary Fellowship of The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama on Monday 18 February 2013.

During the ceremony Central's current President Michael Grandage made the presentation and citation in the School's Embassy Theatre.

"The way Judi builds a character and adds layers to the process is extraordinary. We are here to honour her, to show our respect, admiration and thanks," he said.

Following the presentation, Judi answered questions 'In Conversation' with Central's Head of Acting, Geoff Colman.

Reflecting on her time at Central, Judi recalled: "I had a gloriously happy three years at Central. My brother attended Central and it was his excitement that inspired me to want to come to here. The training I received was absolutely phenomenal, I loved it all."

To a packed theatre, Judi gave advice and answered questions from students on starting their career: "Don't give up. You will have many hard days and many good days. See as much as you can to create reference in your own mind to refer to. You make the character as real as you can - that's what our job is. If you have an audition at a theatre, go and see what is on there as you get a measure of what is required.

"I get more nervous now than I ever have - yet nerves create an incredible surge of energy, which is integral to use."

Dame Judi Dench CH DBE graduated from Central in 1957 with a first class degree in Acting and four acting prizes. Her contemporaries at Central include Vanessa Redgrave CBE and William Fox. Her brother Jeffrey Dench graduated from Central in 1952, and her daughter Finty Williams graduated in 1994. Judi served as President of Central between 1992 and 1997.

A multiple award-winner, Judi received the 1999 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Queen Elizabeth I inShakespeare in Love. Recently, she collaborated with fellow Central alumna Zoë Wanamaker in the 2012 film My Week with Marilyn, receiving a BAFTA Film nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Since Golden Eye (1995), Judi has played the part of M in James Bond films - most recently Skyfall (2012).

Judi's awards include: eleven BAFTAs, seven Laurence Olivier Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, two Golden Globes, an Academy Award and a Tony Award. Judi is currently working with Michael Grandage and Ben Whishaw, on John Logan's new play Peter and Alice, opening March 9 at the Noël Coward Theatre.

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