Rogues & Vagabonds

theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013…

Thought for the Day • Minnie versus Major • 2002


Driver at the première of Barney’s Version in January 2011

Minnie Driver has been criticising Judi Dench in an interview with a Los Angeles newspaper, reports the Daily Mail. ‘..with all due respect,’ she says, ‘we have some of the plainest actresses in the entire world as our greatest… Maybe it is because theatre is the great love of England, but you can have Judi Dench, a very small, round, middle-aged, lovely, mothering type, playing Cleopatra.’

Dench at the BAFTAs, February 2007

Dench at the BAFTAs, February 2007

Miss Driver should think carefully before making such sweeping statements. Dame Judi is very far from plain and has that ‘little something extra’ that Ellen Terry talked about. Also, since recent research has led to the possible conclusion that Cleopatra was not the beautiful siren of popular repute, why on earth should a ‘menopausal dwarf’ – as Miss Dench described herself – not play the part? Beauty comes in many shapes and sizes. Does Miss Driver think she could do better? Show us. ‘You know,’ she adds, ‘here she would melt into the crowd in a second.’ Yes – the best actors do and that’s what makes them so gifted and versatile.

Sarah Vernon © 2002

Originally published on R&V 23-01-02

7 comments on “Thought for the Day • Minnie versus Major • 2002

  1. hitandrun1964

    OMG I can’t believe she said that about the amazing Judi Dench. Minnie just destroyed herself. If Minnie was good enough to walk 10 paces behind Ms Dench, she’d be lucky. Judi Dench is a fantastic actor and a true treasure. As for Minnie…uh, Minnie, who?

  2. First Night Design

    Exactly! You’ve no idea how incandescent with rage I was when I saw that. 🙂

  3. katmcdaniel

    How disappointing! That was very trashy of Minnie. As an American, I’m afraid she has subscribed to the prevailing attitude in Hollywood. But even in Hollywood they know where to get someone with real acting chops for roles that require brains and depth. When beauty fades real actors continue on their acting talent, unless they don’t have any.

  4. First Night Design

    Very trashy indeed.

  5. beetleypete

    I have always found Judi Dench very attractive myself. Minnie Driver isn’t bad looking herself, but other than her good performance in ‘Circle Of Friends’, her acting career has been somewhat lacking in style or talent.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  6. beetleypete

    And I wonder what Minnie would have to say about Helen Mirren? She just kept getting better with age…x

  7. First Night Design

    I agree. I’ve been disappointed with her Hollywood offerings.

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