Judi Dench is losing her eyesight and can no longer read the scripts that she is sent, she has told The Mirror. In a moving interview, she told the British newspaper that she has been diagnosed with macular degeneration, which may lead to blindness. "I can't read scripts any more because of the trouble with my eyes," the 77 year-old actress explained, "and so somebody comes in and reads them to me, like telling me a story. It's usually my daughter or my agent or a friend and actually I like that, because I sit there and imagine the story in my mind."
Dame Judi went to describe the problems that the condition presents her with, saying that she struggles to identify people's faces, saying that the most distressing effect of the problem is that "in a restaurant in the evening I can't see the person I'm having dinner with." She added that one of things she misses most is seeing an actor 'corpse' - or fall out of character - onstage. "I know there might be something going on but sometimes I can't see it and that infuriates me as I think I'm really missing out on something."
Dench will shortly be appearing in the forthcoming Bond movie, Skyfall, scheduled for release later this year (2012). The movie, directed by Sam Mendes, will feature Daniel Craig as James Bond, with Javier Bardem and Ralph Fiennes also on the cast list. Dench plays the role of M, the head of the Foreign Intelligence wing of Her Majesty's Secret Service.