Dame Judi Dench often portrays uptight, serious or conservative characters in films, but off-screen she could not be more different.
The 82-year-old is currently treading the promotional trail for her new film, Victoria and Abdul, and dropping truths about her “sexy” co-stars, her tattoos and her love life.
Speaking to talk show host Ellen Degeneres on Thursday, the Hollywood veteran revealed who had the most sex appeal of her many famous male co-stars throughout her career.
“You’ve had a lot of different leading men, who was your sexiest co-star … There’s a lot of them,” Degeneres said, listing everyone from Pierce Brosnan to Daniel Craig to Ben Affleck.
“Johnny Depp,” Dench responded without hesitation.
Degeneres then asked Dench to take part in a game of ‘Who’d you rather’, but without its usual sordid insinuation.
“This is not who’d you rather do it with, this is who you’d rather act with,” Degeneres explained, much to Dench’s disappointment.
“Oh act? Oh no I think it ought to be different from act,” Dench responded, prompting laughter from the audience.
Confronted with her first choice – between Brad Pitt and Benedict Cumberbatch – Dench decided to backtrack and stick with acting.
“I’ve changed my mind,” she said sheepishly.
The Dame was even more candid in another interview published on Friday in The New York Times, in which she spoke about her relationship with her younger boyfriend.
Her husband of 30 years, actor David Williams, passed away in 2001, and she met conservationist David Mills, who is 74, in 2010.
When it comes to romance, Dench admitted she “likes” lingerie and said she felt it was important to “still feel desire”.
She also opened up about her various tattoos, including the words ‘Carpe Diem’ on her wrist, and the phrase ‘JD loves HW’ on her bum in honour of Harvey Weinstein, who she credits with making her famous.
The feeling is mutual for Weinstein, who told The New York Times, “[Dench] is one of the world’s great actresses but also great personalities.
“She speaks in the Queen’s English so elegantly and then she’s flirting and speaking like British sailors on shore leave. Johnny Depp and I will go to our graves thinking she’s the hottest of them all.”