Entertainment

Mom stole my roles! Dame Judi Dench’s daughter Finty Williams struggles to land RSC coins


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With acting royalty for the parents, outsiders might assume the only child of Dame Judi Dench and her late husband Michael Williams would have the world at her feet.

It’s not, says Finty Williams – and she knows who’s to blame. Miss Williams, 49, joked that she had spent three decades struggling to get roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company because her mother had already played them.

“I never worked there,” she told the My Time Capsule podcast. “Not for lack of trying but, you know, it’s the big dream, I’m still going to hang on to it.

Mum’s daughter: Finty Williams (right), 49, joked that she had spent three decades struggling to get a role with the Royal Shakespeare Company because her mother had already played them

“I’ve been working for 32 years now and they still don’t want me, which is fine.”

When asked if she was owed a role in the Stratford company, she replied, “Well, I’m not sure.” I also think a certain member of my family got in there and played all the roles that I could now play. And surprisingly quite well.

Dame Judi, 87, made her RSC debut as Anya in The Cherry Orchard in 1961 before starring in Twelfth Night and Macbeth. She then carved out an equally brilliant film career.

Old school: Dame Judi, 87, made her RSC debut as Anya in The Cherry Orchard in 1961 before starring in Twelfth Night and Macbeth

Old school: Dame Judi, 87, made her RSC debut as Anya in The Cherry Orchard in 1961 before starring in Twelfth Night and Macbeth

Miss Williams grew up in Charlecote, outside Stratford-upon-Avon, where her mother got her RSC debut.

“Stratford is an amazing place and my best friend still lives there and two of my great friends live in Stratford and it’s very strange every time I go back,” she said.

“Honestly, it feels like coming home. I haven’t lived there since I was 12, but it’s so familiar and there’s just a feeling about it that’s like a little bubble of wonder which is above this city which is simply extraordinary.

“And my father and three of my grandparents are now buried in the cemetery next to Charlecote Park.”

Sad: Dame Judi had her daughter admitted to rehab in 2001, two weeks after her father's death saw her turn to alcohol to cope

Sad: Dame Judi had her daughter admitted to rehab in 2001, two weeks after her father’s death saw her turn to alcohol to cope

Miss Williams has had a handful of television roles and starred opposite her mother in films such as The Importance of Being Earnest, Mrs. Brown and Ladies in Lavender.

Dame Judi had her daughter admitted to rehab in 2001, two weeks after her father’s death saw her turn to alcohol to cope.

Speaking of which, Miss Williams said: ‘I’ve been sober for 16 years. I got to a point where I had to go to rehab. I had to do something about it.

“I was told about this place in Arizona called Cottonwood du Tucson.

The unit is a holistic health center that treats mental health and substance use disorders.



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