Dame Judi Dench had an "extraordinary energy" after her husband died
The 77-year-old Hollywood actress - whose late husband Michael Williams died 11 years ago - found it helpful to grieve by doing one job after another in a short space of time, but she admits her busy working schedule nearly gave her agent a fit.
She told Stella magazine: "I had this extraordinary energy after Michael died. I went off to Nova Scotia and did six weeks on `The Shipping News`. Then I came home and two days later I started `Iris`.
Then I did some more work on `The Shipping News`. And two days after I started `The Importance of Being Earnest`.
"My poor agent nearly had a fit because I was cutting things so fine.
But I found working at that pace and doing those kinds of parts helped me. Whereas playing a grief-stricken widow would have been no help at all."
Despite steering clear of playing the role of a widow since Michael died, Judi is set to portray a woman whose husband has just died in her latest film `The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel`, which gave her doubts about starring in the movie.
She added: "It wasn`t just an emotional decision. There were professional reasons, too. I think if I`d played a grief-stricken widow too soon after Michael died I might have over-egged the part. Or at least I don`t think my judgment would have been that good."