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Judi Dench was told she would never star in films

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Feb 01, 2014 | 7:14am EST

Veteran actress Dame Judi Dench never considered the possibility of winning an Oscar, because she was advised early on in her career to stick to theatre. The British icon is nominated for the Best Actress honour at the 2014 Academy Awards for her role in Philomena after previously scooping a Best Supporting Actress prize in 1999 for her role as Queen Elizabeth I in Shakespeare In Love. But Dench admits the possibility of landing an Oscar nomination, let alone winning, never crossed her mind as a young actress because an industry boss once advised her against making the transition from the stage to the big screen. She tells Britain's The Times, "I was told very early on that I would never make films and I settled for that. I was a theatre actor and films didn't come into my thinking or anything. It has all changed very much since Mrs Brown (for which she was nominated for an Oscar in 1998). So now I do more films than I do work in the theatre. So an Oscar is something I never considered." However, the actress has declined to name and shame the person who had given her the bad advice, adding, "I've never said that, out of respect for the man who said it, who was a very great and respected person." Dench will learn if she is another Oscar winner on 2 March, when the 86th Academy Awards ceremony takes place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

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