- Title: Judi Dench back playing Queen Victoria in new film screening in Venice
- Date: 3rd September 2017
- Summary: VENICE, ITALY (SEPTEMBER 3, 2017) (REUTERS) ***WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** BOAT ARRIVING WITH ACTRESS JUDI DENCH DENCH ON BOAT CAMERAMAN VARIOUS OF DENCH AND DIRECTOR STEPHEN FREARS POSING FOR PICTURES DENCH WALKING FROM BOAT AND SIGNING AUTOGRAPHS DENCH SIGNING AUTOGRAPHS - AND BEING ASKED ABOUT COMING BACK TO VENICE, SAYING (English) 'I am not going, I am not going to leave now' VARIOUS OF FREARS SIGNING AUTOGRAPHS FREARS WALKING ACROSS TO SIGN MORE AUTOGRAPHS AS CROWD CLAPS FREARS SIGNING AUTOGRAPHS AND TALKING TO CROWD, SAYING (English) 'Some days things go right' PICTURE OF FREARS /FREARS SIGNING AUTOGRAPH AND WAVING AND WALKING IN
- Embargoed: 17th September 2017 16:32
- Keywords: Venice film festival Judi Dench arrives in Venice Ali Fazal Stephen Frears at news conference Victoria & Abdul premiere
- Location: VENICE, ITALY AND VARIOUS FILM LOCATIONS
- City: VENICE, ITALY AND VARIOUS FILM LOCATIONS
- Country: Italy
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Film
- Reuters ID: LVA0016X1KEOD
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: British actress Judi Dench on Sunday (September 3) said she never expected to be back to playing Queen Victoria as she arrived in Venice to premiere "Victoria & Abdul", directed by Stephen Frears.
Dench stars as the late British monarch in the film which is screening out of competition at this year's Venice Film Festival.
Speaking to journalists at a news conference ahead of the film's world premiere, Dench, who played Queen Victoria twenty years ago in "Mrs Brown", said she "never expected to re-play her later on".
''I must say that this story this particular story of Queen Victoria, four years in fact after John Brown had died seemed to me to be a kind of continuance and because I had done the homework on Queen Victoria the first bit of it - and the screenplay I think is wonderful it tells a great, great story," she said.
While "Mrs Brown" explored Queen Victoria's relationship with her servant John Brown, Frears' new comedy drama is based on her subsequent unlikely friendship with Indian clerk Abdul Kazim who was sent to England to present her with gold coin.
Kazim was only due to visit Britain briefly but Victoria took a shine to him and asked him to stay on and be her teacher. In the end Kazim served Victoria for a further 15 years.
The film explores the start of their friendship and working relationship, which Dench described as complicated.
"Queen Victoria's attitude towards Abdul is very complicated, not just a feeling of love but the delight of being able to be relaxed with somebody without anybody around without anyone giving her any ultimatum or standing on ceremony in anyway, so that she was completely able to relax talk to him and learn from him and be taught by him," she said.
Indian actor Ali Fazal takes on the role of Kazim. Joining Dench in Venice he explained that despite their characters' different backgrounds and social status Victoria and Abdul "intellectually stimulated each other" and "spoke about things about life and of course learnt an entire language".
Director Stephen Frears was also at the press event, along with Eddie Izzard who plays Queen Victoria's son - Bertie, Prince of Wales.
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