Dame Judi Dench reveals she has not read any Cats reviews

By Keiran Southern, PA Los Angeles Correspondent

Dame Judi Dench says she has not read any reviews for the much-derided film Cats.

The star-studded big screen adaption of Lord Lloyd-Webber’s classic musical was a critical and commercial flop, with criticism focusing on the CGI effects, plot and acting performances.

Cats was named worst film of the year at the 40th Golden Raspberry Awards, while James Corden and Rebel Wilson were also “honoured” and Dame Judi, 85, was nominated for worst supporting actress.

Despite the critical mauling, Dame Judi admits she has not read any of the reviews.

Dame Judi Dench has revealed she did not read any of the scathing reviews for Cats (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Speaking to John Humphrys on Classic FM, Dame Judi said critics had been “probably very unkind about Cats” but “I don’t read any notices anyway”.

After Humphreys said reviewers were not “unkind” about her portrayal of Old Deuteronomy, Dame Judi replied: “I think they were. I think probably so. You always know when a friend comes to see you and they say, ‘well Derek actually quite liked it’… You always know, oh hello, I’m in trouble now.”

Dame Judi, an Oscar winner for 1998 comedy-drama Shakespeare In Love, is one of the nation’s most revered actors, with a glittering career spanning seven decades on stage and screen.

Despite her lengthy screen career, Dame Judi says she is “not at ease with filming,” adding: “I’m more at ease now than I’ve ever been but it’s just everything, there’s something always thrown up all the time, something you haven’t done before that you’ve got to learn about. Then I rarely see the film. ”

She added: “I can’t bear to watch myself.”

Dame Judi, who played spy supremo M in eight James Bond films, said she prefers to watch her movies years after making them.

She said: “Because well you know, you think you’ve pressed the wrong button there, and you know you get too absorbed in just watching and not taking in the whole thing. Much better to watch it ages and ages afterwards when you’ve forgotten you’ve been in it. That’s best.”

Dame Judi also said she hopes the coronavirus pandemic will bring people together.

She said: “It’s a very good time for looking out for each other and it might remind us all about kindness a bit, would be a good thing, I think.”

To hear the full interview, tune into A Classical Conversation with John Humphrys on Friday at 9pm on Classic FM – available on 100-102 FM, DAB digital radio, ClassicFM.com and on Global Player.