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“I remember saying to him, `Could I possibly try something one way?’” And he said, `You can but it won’t work,’” says Dench. “When my opportunity came in this film, he suggested something to me and I said, `Well I can do that but it won’t work.’”

There is, though, another reason why “Skyfall” is a significant Bond film for Dench, though it’s one that needs to be forewarned by frantically waving one’s arms and screaming “spoiler alert!” _ so proceed reading with caution.

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“Skyfall” is Dench’s final Bond film. In it, she bequeaths the role to Ralph Fiennes. It has been a hard secret to keep, Dench says, especially to her 15-year-old grandson. Talking too much about it, she warns, and “we’ll all be shot at dawn.”

“It’s 17 years of working with one of the most extraordinary actresses ever,” says Bond producer Barbara Broccoli. “She’s brought so much dimension to this character. It’s very difficult to end that chapter. But it ends with enormous dignity and I think it’s one of her finest performances. It’s very bittersweet. She will be well-remembered for playing this role.”

That this is the end of her run with Bond comes as no relief to Dench.

“Certainly not,” she says. “No, certainly not. I could go on for years. Maybe I’ll come back as a ghost. Now that would be Shakespearian.”

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Follow Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jake_coyle