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Judi Dench Says Eyesight Loss Makes Learning Lines ‘Impossible’

Dame Judi Dench. Photo: John Phillips/Getty Images for BFI

Dame Judi Dench’s degenerative eye condition is getting in the way of her acting. The actor, whose career spans nearly seven decades, appeared on The Graham Norton Show on February 17 and discussed how her eyesight loss has hampered her ability to see her lines — let alone learn them. “It has become impossible, and because I have a photographic memory, I need to find a machine that not only teaches me my lines but also tells me where they appear on the page,” Dench said, per People. “I used to find it very easy to learn lines and remember them. I could do the whole of Twelfth Night right now.” The Oscar winner first shared her macular-degeneration diagnosis in 2012, admitting that she struggled to read scripts and see people’s faces. Despite her worsening vision, Dench has continued to grace the stage and screen. In December, she popped up at a New Year’s Eve celebration in Scotland and did an impromptu performance of ABBA’s “Waterloo.” And now, she’s promoting her new movie, Allelujah. Attention, people with STEM experience: Make Dench’s life easier and get her that machine she’s dreaming of!

Judi Dench Says Eyesight Loss Makes Learning Lines Difficult