‘I wasn’t prepared for it!’ Dame Judi Dench opens up about finding happiness again
Dame Judi Dench with her partner David Mills
The 79-year-old actress, who lost her husband Michael Williams to lung cancer in 2001, has admitted that the thought of finding someone else had never really crossed her mind.
Speaking in an interview with The Times magazine, Dench admitted that she has been attracted to “quite a lot of men over the years”, but said a new relationship after losing Williams “never even for a second occurred to me, not for a single second”.
However, in 2010 she struck up a friendship with Mills – an ex-Jersey farmer who built a wildlife centre dedicated to British animals on his family land “just a few fields away” from Dench’s own home.
A couple of years after Williams’ death, Mills asked the Skyfall star if she would open the new badger enclosure.
Dame Judi described David as 'so lovely' with 'a great sense of humour'
He is soooo lovely, with a great sense of humour. Now it’s absolutely wonderful because there’s somebody who makes me laugh. Isn’t it lovely?
Dench declined, recalling: “Although I was filming, I just wasn’t in good enough shape to do something like that,” but went on to say that she thinks Mills “stalked” her.
Seven years later she agreed to open the red squirrel enclosure and their relationship blossomed from there.
Dismissing rumours of marriage, Dench revealed that she and Mills don’t even live together.
“We are much too independent. And he is very busy. He has a business to run,” she explained.
“But he is soooo lovely, with a great sense of humour. Now it’s absolutely wonderful because there’s somebody who makes me laugh. Isn’t it lovely?”
The couple do not live together and Dame Judi has not used the L word
However, she certainly wasn’t looking for a relataionship – despite admitting that she is “terrible” on her own.
“I wasn’t even prepared to be ready for it,” she said. “It was very, very gradual and grown up. We got together, in a way, through the animals. It’s just wonderful.”
And although she has found happiness again, when it comes to the subject of “love”, the Oscar winner revealed: “I’ve never said those words.”
Dench will be turning 80 next week, but shows no signs of slowing down when it comes to her career.
Most recently she starred alongside Dustin Hoffman in the film adaptation of the Roald Dahl book Esio Trot.
Dame Judi with her late husband Michael Williams