IT was the moment she finally got out from behind her London desk and in amongst the action – and it cost James Bond’s M, played by Dame Judi Dench, her life.
Dame Judi thoroughly enjoyed getting out of M’s office: ‘It’s extremely nice to get a go in the field, as it were, and get a bit of the action. It made me feel very grown-up.’
Dame Judi inherited the role of M from Robert Brown and before him, Bernard Lee. Her character, introduced in 1995’s Golden Eye, was loosely based on real life former MI5 head Dame Stella Rimmington.
Her M was initially sceptical of Pierce Brosnan’s Bond and his womanising ways, branding him a dinosaur relic of the Cold War.The two eventually formed a close relationship, with M playing mentor and mother-figure, a bond that was cemented in their final outing together, in which her character is central to the plot.
The actress, whose meatier M role in Skyfall has seen her nominated for a Bafta, has revealed that, just like her character, she was reluctant to give up the part after 17 years.
Asked if the end had come as a relief, she said: ‘No, certainly not. I could go on for years. Maybe I’ll come back as a ghost. Now that would be Shakespearian.’
At least she enjoyed her action-packed final scenes, in which Bond uses her as bait to lure Bardem’s vengeful former secret agent, Raoul Silva, to his isolated ancestral home – for a fight to the death.
Dench has said her favourite memory of filming was ‘going to the ammunition shed’, adding: ‘It’s extremely nice to get a go in the field, as it were, and get a bit of the action. It made me feel very grown-up. It’s not just the fellas who are spinning about and shooting guns – I get a go.’
Mr Elliott now plans to sell replica versions of the Skyfall cufflinks to Bond fans. He said: ‘You can’t put a value on the originals, because they are so sentimental. ‘The materials themselves were not that precious as the shells were made of brass. But I will make solid gold copies which should sell for around £1,600 and silver versions for about £600.’