Actor Josh Gad was so in awe of his Murder on the Orient Express co-star Dame Judi Dench, he accidentally cursed at her the first time they met.
Kenneth Branagh’s film adaptation of Agatha Christie’s famous novel, about detective Hercule Poirot – played by the actor/director himself – features an all-star cast, including Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Daisy Ridley, but Dench was the one person everyone was excited to share the screen with.
Frozen star Gad was so tongue-tied during their initial encounter, he messed up her honorary title, which she received in 1988.
“No one was approaching her so the idiot that I am, I thought I would break the ice,” he recalled during a pre-taped cast appearance on Britain’s The Graham Norton Show, “so I went up to her to introduce myself and rather than saying, ‘Dame Judi Dench,’ I said, ‘Damn Judi Dench’!”
Gad wasn’t the only one to make a fool of himself.
Pfeiffer added, “I was so overwhelmed to be working with her I just cried. I got quite puddly (sic) and wanted to curl up in her lap.”
Once the castmembers got over their nerves at meeting Dench, they were able to just hang out together and bond throughout the shoot.
Branagh explained, “It was quite difficult at times (to get everyone together), but everyone was a very competitive games player so we played charades, did crosswords and ran quizzes of movie and theatre trivia.”
However, Gad wasn’t a fan of the trivia, because he wasn’t as well versed on theatre culture as stage veteran Branagh.
“They were all about Shakespeare!” he exclaimed. “Where were the Back to the Future and Batman Returns questions? I was like, ‘Stop it with the Hamlet!'”
Murder on the Orient Express also features Willem Dafoe, Olivia Colman, Leslie Odom, Jr., and Lucy Boynton.