Judi Dench Recalls Meeting “GoldenEye ”Costar Pierce Brosnan for First Time: ‘Be Still, Beating Heart’ (Exclusive)

In her new book, 'Shakespeare: The Man Who Pays the Rent,' Dench recalls how she felt meeting the famous heartthrob

<p>Moviestore/Shutterstock</p> Pierce Brosnan and Judi Dench in


Pierce Brosnan and Judi Dench in 'Die Another Day'

Dame Judi Dench has been in dozens of plays, films, TV shows and has even voiced her iconic character from the James Bond series in video games. But even she's not always immune to the star power of her fellow actors — and neither is her daughter, fellow actor Finty Williams.

When Dench, 89, first got to set to film the James Bond movie GoldenEye in 1995, she had a little bit of the jitters, she tells PEOPLE in this week's issue.

Dench played the Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service known as "M" in the movie, a role she held in each of the subsequent films in the James Bond franchise, until Spectre in 2015. She still holds the distinction of longest-running cast member after serving in seven Bond films.

<p>Moviestore/Shutterstock</p> Judi Dench in 'Goldeneye'


Judi Dench in 'Goldeneye'

Related: From Connery to Craig, All the Actors Who've Played James Bond 

Filming the Bond films didn't always give Dench a sense of the action going on, since she only came to set to shoot her scenes. Just like everyone else, Dench had to wait until it hit the silver screen to see it all come together.

That's in contrast to her work on the stage. When the Royal Shakespeare Company performed at the legendary Old Vic, she would often stand in the wings and watch the rest of the show just to get a taste of the magic of performing in front of a live audience. That feeling, she says, is one of the reasons she generally prefers live theater to film.

"I would go in, and I would do the day's filming [for Bond], perhaps, but then I wasn't part of [the rest]," Dench, who recently co-authored the new book, Shakespeare: The Man Who Pays the Rent, recalls. "So it's a very, very, very different feeling."  

Related: Pierce Brosnan Says 'There's No Regret' Over Being Replaced as James Bond

When Dench saw her costar Pierce Brosnan on the set of GoldenEye, she couldn't help but notice his signature good looks.

"Be still, beating heart," she said, clasping her hands over her chest when asked about the James Bond icon. "He was just an adorable man. He was absolutely glorious to work with, and as a person."

Both Dench and Brosnan had a case of nerves, at first. "His first day on Bond was my first day," she recounts. "But he was Bond! The both of us, I think, [were] pretty jumpy."

They weren't the only ones. Dench also recalls one day when she brought her daughter, Finty, to set. "She walked out of my dressing room as Pierce was coming in. It was like a cartoon person," she says, miming her eyes popping out of her head. "I've never seen anything like it."

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