Vin Diesel Wooed Judi Dench For 'Riddick'

Vin Diesel, star of the upcoming The Chronicles of Riddick, says he personally had to woo Judi Dench to join the cast for the movie. "I flew out to London and I saw a stage performance that she did with another lovely actress named Maggie Smith," Diesel told Sci-Fi Wire. "And I started courting her. Just begged and pleaded and said, 'You know, this character was written for you, and you are this character. This is how we want to play.' And she was so into it."

"In Vancouver [where Riddick was shot], we would have dinner together and, like two kids playing in this whole universe, [we'd] talk about different [things]," Diesel said. "I mean, she's just remarkable. No one would ever expect that [she] and I would have a conversation that is so fantasy-based. A conversation you might have had with a friend after watching Ralph Bakshi's Lord of the Rings, you know what I mean? ... Really, really, really cool."

Diesel said he made sure casting Dench as Aeron was made first priority. "I mean, ... I couldn't imagine anyone [else] being [cast] until Judi Dench was," he said. "I kind of made that a point. It was very, very important to me to have Judi Dench play the role of Aereon." He added, "She is a fan of [SF&F]. ... I mean, she hasn't spent her life playing Dungeons & Dragons, but you know, theater is, at the core, mythology-based. We can go through the numerous Shakespeare [plays]. ... It just goes on forever, the mythological references thematically in many of the plays and stuff that she's been doing forever." The Chronicles of Riddick opens June 11.

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