Judi Dench’s (M)oonlighting over the years

Playing M in seven James Bond movies has given Judi Dench the opportunity to get additional jobs portraying the character.

The newest example was the Weinstein Co. having Dench appear in a video dubbed “A Special M.essage” to protest an R rating for the film Philomena. The beginning plays off how her M was killed off in Skyfall by saying, “Just when you thought I was dead.”

The video was part of a broader effort by Weinstein Co. to try to get the movie a PG-13 rating, according to A STORY on the Deadline: Hollywood website. Dench plays the title character OF THE MOVIE.

However, this is hardly Dame Judi’s first case of (M)oonlighting. In 2011, she played M, making Daniel Craig’s 007 see things from a woman’s perspective. The public service spot was produced by Barbara Broccoli, the co-boss of Eon Productions.

In the 1990s, Dench was again in character as M in a video that was part of a LIcense to Thrill ride at an amusement park near Cincinnati.

February 2013 post: The M of two worlds


007 cross dresses for equality for women

In the U.K., there’s a new video where Daniel Craig, playing James Bond, is told about gender equality by an unseen M (Judi Dench). As part of the spot, Bond dresses like a woman.

Here it is:

The reaction? Our guess is supporters will say that Bond has been enlisted in a worthy cause. This was one reaction to the video posted on YouTube: “I expected to get a laugh seeing Daniel Craig ‘in drag.’ Instead, I was mesmerized and sobered. I had no idea the gap between the sexes still loomed so large. ‘Equals’ is an excellent piece of work.”

The cons, we suspect, will be along the lines that the character has been emasculated in the spot.

Here’s an excerpt from GQ.com that has some details about the origins of the spot, including the participation of co-Eon Procutions boss Barbara Broccoli:

It’s Daniel Craig as you’ve never seen him before. The James Bond star and former GQ Man Of The Year faces arguably his toughest mission yet – fighting gender inequality in support of International Women’s Day. Shot by artist turned director Sam Taylor-Wood, scripted by Kick-Ass scribe Jane Goldman and overseen by 007 producer Barbara Broccoli, the stunning short was commissioned by the Annie Lennox-led charitable coalition Equals and boasts a creative team which frankly wouldn’t disgrace the 23rd instalment of the film franchise.

To view the Web site of We Are Equals, the group that put together the video, JUST CLICK HERE.

On some fan message boards some people have questioned whether Craig and Dench are actually playing Bond and M. They are. You can view a press release on the topic BY CLICKING HERE. An excerpt:

In the film ‘M’ interrogates Bond with a series of searching questions on gender issues, from pay inequality to domestic violence.

It’s not the first time a popular character has been enlisted in the cause for gender equality. Here’s a 1974 public service announcement featuring some of the cast of the 1960s Batman show. Burt Ward (Robin),Yvonne Craig (Batgirl) and William Dozier (narrator) reprise their roles while Dick Gautier, aka Get Smart’s Hymie the Robot, subs for Adam West: