No-one is immune from a Dame Maggie Smith-style takedown, it seems. Not even Dame Judi Dench.
The Downton Abbey star, famous for delivering her stately alter ego’s wonderfully cutting insults, rounds on her fellow dame in a new clip from Tea with the Dames, a 90-minute documentary opening in theaters this Friday (September 21), accusing her of taking all the best roles for older ladies.
“I’m turning on you now,” she says. “It’s all coming out now.”
The two dames have been friends for years, ever since they first worked together at London’s Old Vic theatre in the 1950s, so it’s safe to assume it was meant in jest. But then another dame intervenes — Joan Plowright, the formidable star of stage and screen, and films such as Enchanted April (1992) — and agrees with Dame Maggie, leading Dame Judi to exclaim, “how rude!”
Watch and see what you think:
It’s a putdown so deliciously dry, it’d make Downton‘s Dowager Countess proud.
It’s not the first time the three dames have sat down to tea. They appeared together in 1999’s Tea with Mussolini, about a circle of British and American women in Italy during the run-up to the Second World War.
This particular tea features a fourth dame, though: Dame Eileen Atkins, the Emmy-winning actress famous for her roles in Cranford (2008) and The Crown (2016 -). Though she’s not part of this sit-down, she can be seen in the film’s official trailer, which sees the gaggle of grande dames cover topics such as ageing, the 1960s, and Dame Joan’s ex-husband Sir Laurence Olivier:
There’s nothing like a dame, indeed. And even less like four of them. You can spend 90 minutes in their company when Tea with the Dames opens in select theaters Friday (September 21).
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