Judi Dench opens up about her fight with macular degeneration


British actress Judi Dench
British actress Judi Dench smiles as she arrives at the 14th Zurich Film Festival in Zurich, Switzerland October 3, 2018. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann - RC17B0CC3020
‘There’s nothing you can do’ Dame Judi Dench says as she opens up about her health struggles with macular degeneration.

In an interview with the Radio Times, Dame Judi Dench, 84, has discussed her battle with macular degeneration – as well as her friendships with controversial figures Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein.

The seven-time Oscar nominee revealed she has had eight injections in one eye to slow the rate of deterioration, but nothing has worked.

“I can’t read the paper now, I can’t do the crossword, I can’t read a book,” she said in an interview with Michael Buerk in Radio Times.

She dismissed the discomfort, putting it down to being part of her job: “On a film set you learn where everything is. It’s OK if you can get away with it. It’s all acting, after all. Fooling people. It’s what I do.”

She described the realisation that she would have to stop driving as traumatising.

“A couple of years ago I stopped driving, which was one of the most traumatic moments of my life’, she told the publication.

“It was absolutely appalling. But I just know I’ll kill somebody if I get behind the wheel of a car now,” she told Radio Times.

Dench does not know what will happen to her eyesight but said she feels more comfortable not knowing the prognosis.

“I don’t want to know,” she said. “There’s nothing you can do. You adapt to it. So I ignore it altogether.”

In the wide-ranging interview, the actor also discussed her close friendship with two controversial entertainment figures, disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein and actor Kevin Spacey.

She said that said viewers should not boycott Harvey Weinstein’s films despite “horrifying” allegations against him.

She credits the shamed movie mogul with helping her crack America, while Spacey supported her following the loss of husband Michael Williams in 2011.


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