Dame Judi Dench has said her upcoming film Allelujah tells NHS staff “the debt we owe”.
he is an 87-year-old veteran actress who stars in the story of surviving old age alongside Fantastic stars Jennifer Saunders and David Bradley of Harry Potter.
Based on the stage play by Alan Bennett and written by screenwriter Heidi Thomas of Call The Midwife, the film is directed by Sir Richard Eyre.
Dame Judi and Sir Richard came together for the film’s European premiere at the BFI London Film Festival on Sunday.
Sir Richard told the PA news agency: “It’s really important because the film is about old age, how we all take care of the elderly, whether they are parents or grandparents, and how the country takes care of the elderly. health care of the National Health Service.”
Dame Judi, who plays Mary Moss in the film, added: “And we owe them (NHS staff) for doing it.”
Talking about her reasons for being on the project, Dame Judi told PA: “Richard is my reason. And Alan (Bennett)… having a lot of friends in there is always nice, which is great when you’re filming to have a few friends around.
“Being friends, being with someone you admire, someone you work with, having the luxury of being together, you don’t have to go through the process of getting to know someone, we already know that. so that’s easy. . “
Sir Richard said he hopes people “have a desire to take care of the people you love” after seeing the film.
He added: “In a sense, every day is a highlight because every day we have actors who are really friends and who I think are absolutely amazing.
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“So I look forward to it every day because I get to work with friends who, in Judi’s case, happen to be geniuses.”
The film, set in the geriatric ward of a small Yorkshire hospital, is about how people fight back when the hospital is threatened with closure.
Saunders, who plays Sister Gilpin in the film, told PA: “Richard Eyre also asked me and I just did a play with him and he’s a great director so I have complete confidence that he’s know what it’s doing.
“It has great names and Judi Dench is in it, I mean not to fall in love.
“Especially after the years we’ve just been through and it’s always up to date, what about social care and the NHS and I don’t think it’s irrelevant.”
Saunders added that social care “needs to think about”.
“It’s not resolved and you can’t just throw money at it,” she said. “It needs each of us to think about it, because it’s going to happen to all of us.”
Bradley, best known for playing caretaker Argus Filch in the Harry Potter films, said working with Dame Judi was something he had always hoped to achieve.
“Judi is someone, I know her family, we’re both from York… I’ve always dreamed of working with her and although we didn’t have any live scenes together, but it’s a treat to be on the same screen,” he said.
“For me working with the likes of Richard Eyre, Alan Bennett and Heidi Thomas, it’s a great article and I think it’s going to spark a lot of debate on these issues.
“Anything put in an NHS facility is bound to generate some sort of conversation but I just think it’s a great story.
“I just hope people will like the characters who live in NHS hospitals and the people who work there in the very difficult conditions we know, and I hope it opens up a lot of debate about a very topical issue.”
Famous faces walked the red carpet in support of their family members starring in the film – including Lord Of The Rings actor Andy Serkis, who is supporting son Louis Serkis-Ashbourne and wife Lorraine Ashbourne, and Poldark star Eleanor Tomlinson supported his brother Ross.
Allelujah was released on February 17, 2023.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/movies/dame-judi-dench-says-latest-film-about-old-age-pays-tribute-to-nhs-staff-42052816.html Dame Judi Dench says latest film about aging to pay tribute to NHS staff