Judi Dench as M would probably be remembered forever for not only being the longest-serving actor in the James Bond franchise but also being a female M. First appearing in the Pierce Brosnan starter Golden Eye in 1995, she has essayed the role till the 2015 released Spectre. The reimagined authoritative figure helped change the character dynamics as well as marked the shift in the narrative to a more modern direction.
Her contribution to the franchise has been remarkable and even the actress agrees that her being cast as a female M has been nothing short of a game-changer for the franchise.
Judi Dench On Playing A Female M In The James Bond Franchise
Judi Dench was the first actress to take the role of M, marking a shift to a female authority figure instead of the traditional male one, just as it was in the Bond books. She brought forth a modern transition of the franchise while adding depth to the dynamics between M and James Bond, especially Daniel Craig‘s James Bond.
Her portrayal provided a fresh perspective and a sense of gravitas that helped break barriers and reshape traditional gender roles within the spy genre. In an interview with ComingSoon.net, back in 2012, the actress herself revealed what she thought about playing a female M.
“Well, I think the plus is because then it’s a very different angle on Bond. It’s not a man putting another man to do it. There’s a woman, and add into the fact that she is his senior, it puts another angle on it. It puts a certain strain on it.”
Dench’s M not only introduced a new dynamic but also marked a pivotal moment in the history of the Bond franchise, marking a step closer towards inclusivity and diversity in one of cinema’s most male-driven franchises.
Judi Dench Reveals Her True Feelings Towards Her Iconic James Bond Character
Judi Dench has often claimed to be grateful to have played such a vital character for so long and share screen space with two of the most iconic James Bonds ever, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig. While she is happy to have the opportunity, Dench revealed that she doesn’t ‘like or dislike’ her iconic character.
In the interview with ComingSoon.net, she stated,
“I don’t like or dislike. I don’t ever do that with a character, like or dislike, because I think there are many things to dislike about the character you play and many things to quite admire, but I don’t ever decide which is which. I like the challenge. I love the challenge of playing it, love it. What I like is the effect it has on my grandson and his friends. They don’t mess in my house. Thanks very much.”
While the Bond franchise is still in search of a new leading man, Judi Dench’s legacy as M endures, continuing to inspire and amaze future filmmakers, audiences, and actors.
The James Bond franchise can be streamed on Amazon Prime.