Bad news for Judi Dench’s fans as she isn’t coming to India

Bad news for Judi Dench’s fans as she isn’t coming to India

The trailer launch of Ali Fazal’s colonial drama Victoria & Abdul would have been released this week if it wasn’t for the Manchester terror bombings. Says Ali, “The producers decided to set aside the trailer launch after what happened in Manchester. It didn’t seem proper to do anything even remotely celebratory after the tragedy.”

Even more tragedy awaited Ali’s octogenarian co-star the legendary Judi Dench, who lost two colleagues in a row. First, it was Tim Piggot-Smith and now Roger Moore. Ms Dench had been part of many James Bond films, playing the mysterious ‘M’. Though she never worked with Roger Moore they were friends.

With Tim, it was even more heart breaking for Ms Dench. Recalls Ali, “We were working together in Abdul & Karim. We suddenly lost Tim. It was a big blow to Judi. She took it very personally. At her age losing loved ones becomes a sign of one’s own mortality. And Tim was more than ten years younger to Judi. How could he go just like that?!”

Ali dismisses recent reports in the Indian press that Judi Dench planned to travel to India for the premiere of Victoria & Abdul. A report in a fantasy-happy tabloid jubilantly announced a flower-and-music Rajasthan welcome for the phenomenal British actress.

Discernibly embarrassed Ali says, “This is a flamboyant fabrication, not true at all. Such baseless reports should not come out. Judi is not travelling to India. At her age, it is not easy for her to travel so far. Rather I am travelling to the UK for the premiere in September. The venue has not been decided yet. But we’re most certainly having a big premiere. And I’ll be next to my most favourite co-star.”

Ali feels Victoria & Abdul is an important film in his career. “I feel blessed that this role fell into my lap. It’s a character with so many shades. And I got to work with some of the finest talent of British cinema.”

Ali now turns director with a short film that he is currently working on.

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