Dame Judi Dench has starred in over sixty films over the course of her illustrious, six-decade-long career, but she revealed her most challenging role to date just might be performing in her grandson’s TikTok videos.
The actress, her daughter Finty Williams, and her grandson Sam Williams appeared on Tuesday’s episode of This Morning, during which they briefly discussed how Dench became a viral social media star during the pandemic and the rigorous behind-the-scenes process of creating those beloved one-minute clips. Sam explained that after moving in with his grandmother last year, he encouraged her to check out the app, but she “was quite hesitant at first, had no idea about TikTok or anything.” All that changed, however, “after a few videos and some ideas rolled in, she was up for it,” he added. Dench interjected that her real problem wasn’t with this new medium, but rather her grandson’s directing style, which is “Strict! Very strict. I’d say, ‘We’ll do it now,’ and he’d say, ‘No, you can’t do it now you’re not good enough. Do it again, do it again, do it again!’”
And this isn’t the first time the beloved thespian has labeled Sam a TikTok taskmaster. Back in July of last year, after first joining the platform, she told Channel 4 News that all credit for her viral stardom is due to her “strict” grandson who “made me do it. I had to rehearse all those moves. Don’t just think they come naturally!” She joked, “I hope I’m asked to do more, but of course, I can’t ask for the part.” But while the creation process may be rigorous, Dench added, “[TikTok] saved my life” during a time when “every day is so uncharted.” She explained, “You wake up and you wonder what day it is, and you wonder what date it is, and sometimes what month. And then you think, ‘What do I do today?’ And if the prospect is, ‘Well, what is there to do today?’” Thankfully, with a serious cinematographer like Sam behind the cell phone camera, there’s always plenty more TikToks to be made.
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