Kenneth Branagh ‘choked’ while reading Belfast script to Judi Dench – Film News |

Kenneth Branagh “choked” while reading Dame Judi Dench’s script for Belfast.

The semi-autobiographical black and white film tells the story of nine-year-old Buddy, a fictionalized version of Branagh, who lives with his working-class family in Belfast, Northern Ireland during The Troubles conflict.

Branagh, who also directed the film, took his script to his regular collaborator Dench to ask him to play Buddy’s grandmother and he became emotional reading it for her.

“I did a full read for her before she agreed to play the part and halfway through I got very emotional and smothered,” he recalled on The Graham Norton Show. “She held the pause while I composed myself and then said, ‘I’d be happy to do that. “”

The 87-year-old actress can no longer read scripts as she suffers from age-related macular degeneration, which has impaired her vision, so she relies on friends and family to read them to her.

“And so someone comes in and reads them to me, like telling me a story. It’s usually my daughter or my agent or a friend and I actually like it, because I’m sitting there and imagining the story in my mind,” she previously explained. at the Mirror.

Belfast marks the twelfth time Branagh and Dench have worked together on stage or screen. Reflecting on their relationship, the filmmaker joked with Norton: “We’ve done pretty much everything; we’ve been married, I’ve been her son, she’s now my grandmother in this movie – it’s like the theater company of incest!”

Belfast, which also stars Jamie Dornan, Caitriona Balfe and Ciaran Hinds, is now in cinemas. The Graham Norton Show airs Friday night.

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