Dame Judi Dench knows how hard it is to be an actor. She’s also noting that it’s hard to be a working-class actor when trying to fund your extensive drama school training.
She said, “Anyone who’s in the theatre gets letters countless times a week asking for help to get through drama school. You can do so much, but you can’t do an endless thing. It is very expensive.”
Besides the cost of education, the theatre scene has changed as well. The Oscar winner explained that repertory theatre is seeing a decline which is also affecting the quality of work. Dench believes that repertory theatre is “where you went to learn and make your mistakes and watch people who knew how to do it.”
Unfortunately, that opportunity isn’t readily available to many students. She does offer up another option, but the Philomena star knows it is expensive as well.
Dench said, “I always say to young students, ‘Go and see as much as you possibly can,’ which is what we used to do. But then we paid a pittance for sitting in the gods.”
No matter what, she recommends drama school first. If a young actor forgoes that part of their educations, she warned, “It’s a hard and rocky road.”
The Observer divulged that the British actress does “discreetly” support students at the Royal Center of Speech and Drama where she studied. The school’s principal, Gavin Henderson, praised, “She’s been enormously supportive. She was for a period president of the school. She was deemed to be generous. She came back recently and did a session with the students. She’s been back several times. When we need support on certain issues, she’s always very quick to come forward.”
The dame is always a class act.