As M, Judi Dench has appeared alongside two different James Bonds, first in 1995 in Pierce Brosnan’s debut movie GoldenEye before perishing in Daniel Craig’s third film as 007, 2012’s Skyfall. M is the leader of Britain’s MI6 and James Bond’s shrewd, uncompromising boss. The character was written as male in the novels, but Judi Dench’s gender-bent version of the role dominated the screen for nearly 20 years.
A well-cited fact about Dench is that she’s been in seven different James Bond movies, meaning she’s appeared in more of the James Bond movies in order than any other actor — even Sean Connery, one of the best actors to take on the role of 007. But during an interview on Deadline’s The Actor’s Side, she revealed how one of the best spy movie facts is not necessarily correct.
“I did eight actually,” the actor explained. “Everyone says seven. But I did do a morning on Spectre. I’ve never seen Spectre, yet, but they brought me back and there was a little bitty television thing, and so I did do that on it. So, I think, ‘Well, I actually did eight.'”
So, there we have it. And as one of the best movie actors ever, who are we to argue with Judi Dench? In a 2012 interview with ComingSoon.net, Dench also shared the significance of M being a female character.
“The plus is because then it’s a very different angle on Bond,” she explained. “It’s not a man putting another man to do it. There’s a woman, and add into the fact that she is his senior, it puts another angle on it. It puts a certain strain on it.”
While we’re all waiting with bated breath for a new movie starring James Bond, it might be a while — producers are still looking for their leading man. Idris Elba, Superman actor Henry Cavill, and Aaron Taylor Johnson — who is playing one of the best Spider-Man villains Kraven the Hunter — are all popular fan-casts for the role, but no announcement has been made for a new James Bond just yet.