When Judi Dench 'shampooed the dog' for a Bollywood song

Kolkata, April 9 (IANS) Perplexed at a particular Bollywood dance step while filming "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" in India, British cine icon Judi Dench had likened that part of the choreography to "shampooing the dog", recalls co-star Lillete Dubey.

"There was a step she couldn't understand... so she came to me and said 'Are we doing that step now where we are shampooing the dog'... I didn't destroy the illusion. She didn't question why in a wedding song would we be shampooing a dog... I let it be," reminisced Lillete amid peals of laughter at a Friday night session on 'Text to Context' on the forthcoming film "Sonata".

"The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" is a 2015 comedy-drama film directed by John Madden and written by Ol Parker.

It is the sequel to the 2011 sleeper hit film "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" and features an ensemble cast consisting of Dench, Bill Nighy, Penelope Wilton, Tina Desai, Lillete Dubey, Maggie Smith, Celia Imrie, Rajesh Tailang, Ronald Pickup, David Strathairn, Tamsin Greig, Dev Patel and Richard Gere.

A prolific theatre actress herself, Lillete dubbed Dench, the Oscar winner and globally-acclaimed for playing 'M' in the James Bond series (till 2012), as an "institution" and hoped she could emulate the "Shakespeare in Love" actress for her zest for life.

The "Monsoon Wedding" actress brought up anecdotes on Dench while discussing "Sonata", the Aparna Sen-directed adaptation of the eponymous play by playwright Mahesh Elkunchwar. It is slated to hit the screens on April 21.

The English drama is a psychological exploration of three unmarried women facing a mid-life crisis. It stars Lillete, Aparna and Shabana Azmi.

Connecting the forthcoming film's premise to the hope and possibilities for life at any age, showcased in the "Marigold Hotel" series, Lillete said: "We were shooting the end of the film ('Marigold Hotel')...(early 2014)... there's a big Bollywood number where everybody dances, including Judi... it's 2.30 a.m. and she's had knee surgery three months ago and she was standing and waiting to be called, and we felt very bad for her. She said 'I am dying to dance'."

"She kept texting someone... so I asked 'Have you got a boyfriend or something? (She was a widow and was 79 then). She giggled coyly and said 'Yes, actually I have...' I got a shock. I thought she was joking," recounted Lillete, adding Dench also discussed a forthcoming project that she had with actor Dustin Hoffman.

"When I grow old and turn 80... I want to be Judi Dench... I want to have a new boyfriend... I want to have new knees and I want to do a film with Hoffman or his like," added Dubey.