M’s got TikTok chops.
Since the UK shuttered theaters over coronavirus concerns, that nation’s finest thespians have struggled to stay entertained. Fortunately, Shakespearean actress Dame Judi Dench has found an unlikely way to occupy herself during lockdown: filming viral videos on TikTok with her 22-year-old grandson, Sam Williams.
“It [Tik Tok] saved my life,” the 85-year-old Oscar winner said in an interview with Channel 4 News about the various skits and dance numbers, which each regularly rack up more than 100,000 likes. Dench even choreographed many of the dance routines herself, while Williams took charge of the editing and other technical aspects.
In one of the scintillating clips, swivel-hipped Dench and Williams can be seen grooving — quite impressively, we might add — to “Laxed (Siren Beat)” by Jawsh 685, while another depicts the sharp-tongued senior ruining her grandson’s jokes by providing her own punch lines.
It might seem ridiculous that a video platform rife with scatological clips and potentially deadly pranks is an Academy Award winner’s salvation. However, Dench claims that TikTok helps her cope in a climate where “every day is so uncharted.”
“You wake up and you wonder what day it is, and then you wonder what date it is and sometimes what month,” lamented the James Bond actress. “And then you think, ‘Well, what do I do today?’ And if the prospect is, ‘Well, what is there to do today?’ ”
Fortunately, Williams keeps his grandma busy. “He made me do it,” said the octogenarian of her “strict” grandson. “I had to rehearse all those moves; don’t just think that comes naturally.”
She cheekily joked, “I hope I’m asked to do more, but of course, I can’t ask for the part.”
Despite Dench’s enjoyment of her newfound pursuit, here’s hoping TikTok doesn’t become the stage legend’s permanent home in lieu of actual theaters.
“Will they ever open again? I don’t know,” wondered the acclaimed actress, who formerly worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre in the UK. “Certainly, I’m sure not in my lifetime.”
Dench isn’t the only older British thespian turning to TikTok to stave off the COVID-19 doldrums. In May, Sir Anthony Hopkins, 82, made his entrance onto the video platform in dramatic fashion by performing Drake’s “Toosie Slide.”
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