Judi Dench Reveals How Making Tik Tok Videos ‘Saved’ Her Life

Known for her critically acclaimed and award-winning performances in films like Shakespeare In Love and Philomena, Judi Dench is a certified Hollywood legend. But amidst COVID-19 lockdown orders, the 85-year-old has become a viral Tik Tok star, she recently revealed how the social media platform saved her life. 

Judi Dench
Judi Dench | Samir Hussein/Getty Images

Judi Dench’s career is filled with accomplishment

For nearly 70 years, Dench has been wowing audiences with her immense talent. The English actor started her career in theater, and then went on to join the Royal Shakespeare Company.  After working on stage for nearly 20 years, she turned to TV and film and started securing roles in major projects. 

After winning BAFTAs for her performances in A Room With A View and A Handful Of Dust, Dench starting taking on bigger commercial films. In 1995, she stepped into the role of M in the Pierce Brosnan’s James Bond film, GoldenEye. She went on to reprise the role for seven more Bond movies, including Daniel Craig’s iterations, Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, and Skyfall.

Throughout her impressive career, Dench has picked up seven Academy Awards nominations and one win for Shakespeare in Love. She’s won 10 BAFTA Awards, two Golden Globes, two SAG Awards, and one Tony Award for her performance in Amy’s View. In 1998, Dench was given the honor of Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire, and is subsequently referred to as Dame Judi Dench. 

Dench is becoming a viral Tik Tok star

Earlier this year, Dench and her grandson, Sam Williams, started making videos together for Tik Tok. Their content quickly went viral, turning the movie star into a Tik Tok star overnight. In some of the videos, Williams asks his grandmother snarky questions, to which she gives surprising responses.

“So, Ma, why do you tell an actor to break a leg,” he asks, expecting her not to know the answer. “Because every play has to have a cast,” Dench savagely replies.

In other videos, the two are seen performing viral Tik Tok dances together. Some of their videos have already earned over 1 million views. 

The actor says Tik Tok saved her life

In a recent chat with Channel 4 News, Dench addressed the COVID-19 lockdown situation and talked about how it is affecting those who work in theater. She also revealed, that in this time of isolation, Tik Tok became a great creative outlet for her, and she credits it for keeping her well. 

“It saved my life,” she said. “I know nothing about TikTok. Sam is the person who is technically-minded and who has all the ideas, so he got very strict.” 


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Dench explained that in isolation, she started feeling out of sorts. She said the making the Tik Tok videos, and keeping herself busy with art has kept her routined. 

“You wake up and wonder what day it is, then you wonder what date it is, and sometimes what month,” said Dench. “Then you think, ‘What do I do today?’ and the prospect is, ‘Well, what is there to do today?'”

“I planned to learn every Shakespeare sonnet,” she added. “I’ve got to about nine, and there are 154, so I’ve got a bit of a way to go there. I’ve done a bit of painting and I’ve talked to friends and rehearse my TikTok and done it with Sam.”