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Judi Dench: ‘I live in fear as an actor’

'I have a fear of that unbelievable silence you get in a theatre when you dry.' 'I have a fear of that unbelievable silence you get in a theatre when you dry.'
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Judi Dench has spoken about the constant “fear” she lives with as an actor, claiming that being a performer gets more frightening with every job.

Speaking about her career with director Richard Eyre at an event to celebrate Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts’ 70th birthday at the Hospital Club, Dench revealed she is “very critical” of her own performances, and said that she has a “fear of everything”.

She said this fear related to her concerns that she may not be good enough for a role she had been asked to do, and admitted she worried about forgetting her lines on stage.

“I have a fear of that unbelievable silence you get in a theatre when you dry. The fear that an audience sees that thing in your eyes and thinks, ‘Oh, she’s gone’. It’s a shattering silence,” she said, adding: “I have a fear of everything – of not fitting into that slot, of not fulfilling that piece you are asked to do. I get more frightened [the more I do]. The more you do, the more frightening it is anyway as you are much more aware.”

Dench also said she worried about what her next job would be and whether she was “going to be asked again”.

She claimed there were always other actors who could do a role instead of her.

“Don’t let’s fool ourselves – don’t let’s stop for a minute to not remember that right here at my shoulder is someone standing, and behind her is someone else and someone else.”

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