LONDON, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- Judi Dench thinks Benedict Cumberbatch is a gentleman and a fine actor.
The 79-year-old actress said as much in an interview with The Telegraph. Dench and Cumberbatch have known each other for years, and will co-star in an upcoming BBC adaption of William Shakespeare's Richard III.
"I knew him when he was a little boy at prep school before he went on to Harrow," the actress revealed. "His mother, Wanda Ventham, was at the Royal Central School of Drama a year ahead of me."
"He is a true gentleman and a thoroughly good actor," she lauded. "We start on Monday and it's a huge project, six months in filming."
Dench will portray Cecily, Duchess of York alongside Cumberbatch as Richard, Duke of Gloucester. The Shakespearean tragedy follows Richard's murderous rise to power, and subsequent short reign as King Richard III of England. The BBC is producing the play and a two-part adaptation of Henry VI under the title The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses.
Dench will appear in The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in 2015, while Cumberbatch is scheduled for The Imitation Game and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies later this year.