Dame Judi Dench, 80, isn't one for slowing down. The daughter of a doctor who didn't really believe in leisure time, she has a slew of projects on the go – including the much anticipated sequel to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – and she’s found love again.
Dench was married to fellow British actor Michael Williams for 30 years until his death from cancer in 2001. Theirs was an unusual marriage in Hollywood, because it was so blissfully happy. It was a happiness that they worked on.
"When Michael was going away, when he was going filming or something like that we used to have a special dinner the night before," she tells The Weekly.
"Don't think for a minute you should ever expect that because you've been together for a while they should come back to you, unless you make a bit of an effort."
After Michael's death Dench threw herself into her work, something that helped with her grieving. A new relationship hadn't been in her plans, but as she tells The Weekly, she bonded with her new partner, conservationist David Mills over their shared love of animals. He makes her laugh, accompanies her to film premieres and while the couple do not live together, they are make excellent company for one another.
"I am not good at being on my own," Dench tells The Weekly.
What she has with David Mills, she says, is a "lovely and lucky thing."
As for what Dench does next, there's certainly no talk of taking it easy. She will continue to act, she says, "for as long as I'm asked to work – touching wood I'm alright for this year."