Speaking at the Cheltenham Literary Festival, Dame Judi Dench revealed a phobia of hers: “I have always had a terrible fear of a lot of schoolchildren together… I don’t know why, but I just have,” she said. Her phobia was put to the test while filming Notes on a Scandal with Cate Blanchett. On the first day of shooting she was “confronted by a whole school of children. I was absolutely petrified,” said Dench who eventually got over her fear after getting to know some of the children.
Dench will challenge her phobia once again as she’s starring in Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot, a TV movie for the BBC based on Dahl’s children’s novel of the same name. Dustin Hoffman plays a retired bachelor who develops a thing for his neighbor (Dench) who only shows affection to her pet tortoise. Good luck to child actress Pixie Davis, 7, who plays neighboring Roberta.