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We heard her gravelly voice in the Artemis Fowl trailer released last month, but now we’ve got a close-up look at Dame Judi Dench as Commander Root.

The photo came courtesy of Entertainment Weekly and was shared by Eoin Colfer, the author of the original children’s book series:

Dame Judi didn’t just don a pair of pointy ears and a green leather coat to become the curmudgeonly elf leader of the fairy police, however. She also took on a whole new persona, one that director Sir Kenneth Branagh likens in an interview with Entertainment Weekly to another gruff-voiced leader:

“When we started to rehearse,” he explains, “she leant forward, and her shoulders stooped and her voice dropped, and then suddenly this gravelly, Churchillian, curmudgeonly figure started to emerge.”

And that’s not all. Readers of the book will know Commander Root was originally male, something Dame Judi has overcome in previous roles like M in the James Bond films, or her upcoming role as Old Deuteronomy in the Cats movie.

Sir Ken puts her ability to transcend gender down to her natural “swagger” and “cool,” and an almost effortless authority.

Describing a scene that required 400 or 500 extras, he said: “I saw all of those actors suddenly, naturally go to attention when they saw Judi.”

As they very well should, in our opinion.

Artemis Fowl opens in theaters on August 9, 2019.

Is Dame Judi’s interpretation how you imagined Commander Root?

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By Kat Sommers
Kat is a freelance writer for Anglophenia.