Marcia Gay Harden Apologizes to Judi Dench for "Misinterpreted" Oscars Remark

Marcia Gay Harden posted an apology to Instagram after her comments about winning a 2001 Oscar over Dame Judi Dench stirred controversy. Read on for the details.

By Ryan Gajewski Apr 16, 2021 6:21 AMTags
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Marcia Gay Harden is clearing the air about her recent comments regarding her Oscars win.

The 61-year-old Fifty Shades of Grey actress took to Instagram this week to offer an apology. This follows remarks she made in a Vulture interview earlier this month that were interpreted as suggesting Dame Judi Dench wasn't happy to lose to Harden for the 2001 Best Supporting Actress trophy.

"In a recent interview, one of my answers that related to Dame Judi Dench was misinterpreted," Harden wrote. "I have never met Ms. Dench - though if I had, I am certain I would have found her to be as generous and supportive as she is respected. I am deeply sorry for anything that would have led anyone to think otherwise." 

During the Vulture interview that published April 7 and focused on Harden's Oscar-winning portrayal of artist Lee Krasner in the 2000 film Pollock, the Morning Show star remarked that one of her fellow nominees "seemingly wasn't so happy" to see her prevail. At the time, many awards pundits had expected Kate Hudson (Almost Famous) to win in the category that also included Dench (Chocolat), Frances McDormand (Almost Famous) and Julie Walters (Billy Elliot).

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"It just felt great," Harden told Vulture about the victory. "And by the way, I felt the girls were really happy for me as well. There was one I will not mention—but it wasn't Kate—who seemingly wasn't so happy."

The interviewer followed up by asking if the unhappy person was Walters, but Marcia specified that this wasn't the nominee in question. The reporter then commented that, out of McDormand or Dench, McDormand doesn't appear to give "a s--t about what awards she wins," and Harden agreed.

"Frances doesn't give a s--t," she replied. "But I don't want to say anything negative about anybody, honestly. It was my perception that somebody wasn't so happy, but you never know what people have going on. Whatever. However, I'm a big one for effusive congratulations. That's who I am. I'm just so happy for other people in their wins and their glories. For me, there's plenty of room at the top. Sometimes you just accept that life rolls along, and things come to you when they should."

Jason Merritt/Getty Images

For her part, Dench, who won Best Supporting Actress for 1998's Shakespeare in Love, has not commented publicly on the interview. However, a number of celebrities responded to the mea culpa. 

"Interviews are so weird and really tricky," Andie MacDowell commented in part. "some questions are not worth answering but we don't know that until it's too late."

Emmy winner Camryn Manheim wrote, "I know your interview was misinterpreted and that you have a huge amount of respect for Dame Judy Dench. Knowing what an elegant and gracious woman she is, I'm sure she understands your true heart."

Harden's post can be seen above.