Judi Dench Suffered The Same Fate As Matt Damon On Set While Working With Clint Eastwood


Actress Judi Dench’s career has spanned decades and during this time she has worked with some of the most talented filmmakers. However, the veteran actress had one of her most surprising experiences while working with director Clint Eastwood, who is known for his quick and efficient filmmaking style.

Interestingly, actor Matt Damon, who also collaborated with Eastwood on one of his projects as a director had a similar experience to that of Dench. Damon and Dench’s anecdotes about working with Eastwood not only shed light on his attitude and approach to directing but also showcase his clarity and finesse when helming projects that have earned critical and commercial success. Here is what Judi Dench and Matt Damon said about working with Clint Eastwood.

Judi Dench Talks Clint Eastwood’s No Non-Sense Directing Style

Judi Dench worked with director Clint Eastwood on the 2011 biographical drama film J. Edgar, starring Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role. Dench plays the role of Annie Hoover, the mother of DiCaprio’s character. In 2022, Dench appeared on an episode of BBC Two’s Louis Theroux Interviews, where she discussed working with Eastwood.

During the interview, Dench revealed that she was surprised by Eastwood’s style of direction. She stated that, unlike other directors, Eastwood did not say “Cut” at the end of scenes. Instead, the director allowed actors to “Stop” acting in their own time.

Eastwood is known for his fast and efficient filmmaking style, which involves completing most scenes in the first take. However, Dench was unaware of this and asked Eastwood to do a retake of a scene.

“Mr. Eastwood, could we possibly do that again? Why? Sorry? Why? Well, because we’ve just done it once. Could we have another go? No.”

Dench narrated the above anecdote about Eastwood with a sense of amusement, implying she was surprised by the director’s method of working. However, the Skyfall actress was not the only one to be surprised by Eastwood’s emphasis on completing scenes on the first take.


Clint Eastwood Similarly Turned Down Matt Damon’s Request on Set

Actor Matt Damon worked with Clint Eastwood on the director’s 2009 biographical sports film Invictus. While filming the movie, Damon had a similar experience to that of Dench when Eastwood refused the actor’s request for a retake in favor of his single-take directing style.

Damon appeared on First We Feast’s Hot Ones YouTube series where he discussed working with Eastwood. During the interview, Damon stated that he was terrified before filming as he had to perform a South African accent. As a result, he asked Eastwood for a second take to perfect his accent, which the director turned down.

“I say, Boss, do you think maybe we can get one more? He just turns and he goes, Why? Do you want to waste everybody’s time? I was like, Ok, we’re done! Alright, let’s move on.”

Damon made the above statement highlighting how Eastwood did not like wasting time on set. At the same time, Damon echoed Dench’s sentiments about being surprised by Eastwood’s quick filming style. Nonetheless, with four Academy Awards to his name, including two in the Best Director category, it is hard to fault Eastwood’s judgment when it comes to his style which involves completing scenes in a single take.

Invictus and J. Edgar can be rented on Amazon Prime Video and VOD platforms.