‘How can she bear it?’ Elieen Atkins, 87, admits she wasn’t envious of Judi Denchs fame

Judi Dench recalls filming James Bond

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Dame Eileen Atkins, 87, admitted she isn’t jealous of her close pal and Cranford co-star Dame Judi Dench, when it comes to being recognised in public. The former James Bond actress has reached worldwide fame during her hugely successful career, but Eileen admitted she prefers her level of notoriety.

I thought, ‘How can she bear it?’

Eileen Atkins

In a new interview, she appeared exasperated as she remembered a trip they took.

“We went on a shopping trip in Bath and everybody was coming up to Judi,” she said.

“I thought, ‘How can she bear it?’

“I mix into the crowd much more easily!”

Eileen added: “Although when I’m stopped it’s nearly always for Doc Martin, which is irritating.”

She admitted she prefers being recognised as a theatre actress rather than a on-screen, explaining sheepishly it’s “rather snobby” of her to do so.

“In America, I’m stopped in the street because I’m a theatre actress,” she said.

“Then I enjoy it enormously!

“I feel they’re a different kind of person, which is very snobby of me.”

While Eileen finds her fame bearable, she found that with Hollywood status comes a different **, after she left Jack Nicholson’s entourage in shock by pointing out his flies were undone.

She recalled the reaction she got from the cast and crew of 1994 film Wolf, after she candidly told her fellow actor he was flying low.

The Doc Martin star admitted she wasn’t embarrassed to let him know, but everyone else around them was shocked with her blatancy.

In a new interview, the actress remembered meeting The Shining legend for the first time.

“When I worked on Wolf, Jack Nicholson came onto the set preceded by five people looking after him,” she told Radio Times.

“It was impossible to get to know him.

“We’d barely been introduced and were about to do a shot when I noticed his flies were undone.

“So, I told him.”

She went on: “Jack couldn’t have cared less, said thank you and zipped himself up.

“But for everyone else, you’d have thought I’d lifted the Pope’s gowns and shown his knickers.

“Ridiculous!” she rolled her eyes.

Eileen’s full interview is available to read now in Radio Times.

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