At 78 years old, Judi Dench said she feels more like a "tall willowy blonde 43-year-old with long legs," and the veteran actress acted as such earlier this month when she walked the red carpet just six weeks after knee replacement surgery.
"When I had it done on September 6, I said to my surgeon 'On October 16 I will walk up a red carpet unaided,' and so I did," Dench told The Daily Mirror at the premiere
of her new film "Philomena." "You set your mind to a goal and go for it."
Dench stars as the titular character in "Philomena," a drama about the true story of an Irish mother forced by nuns to give up her child. The movie drew rave reviews at both the Venice and Toronto International Film festivals.
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At the premiere, the Oscar-winning actress also dished on how she keeps herself feeling so young.
"I'm not feeling my age at all. I am about 43, a tall willowy blonde 43-year-old with long legs," she said. "I don't want to slow down at all. We don't say the word retirement in our house. Old and retired are totally banned. Energy keeps me going.
"We are in the minority of people who are doing a job we chose to do and can make a living at. Why aren’t we running to work every day?"
Often called Britain's national treasure, Dench recently ended her longtime run playing James Bond's boss M in the "Bond" movies. Her character died in last year's installment, "Skyfall."
"I still get people coming up to me saying they had no idea that was going to happen. It was thrilling, really thrilling. I spent 17 years as M, I had a good go, hadn’t I?" she said. "I expect I will miss it. I will get a bit peeved when they start filming the next one. I will hang around a lot on set knocking on doors and will try and burst into scenes!"
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