Dame Judi Dench channelled the spirit of her late mother to perfect an Irish accent for her role in upcoming movie Philomena.

The Oscar winner takes the title role in the true story of how a woman named Philomena Lee desperately tried to track down the son she was forced to give up for adoption by the Catholic Church shortly after his birth.

Dench was required to adopt a thick Irish accent for the role but she found it easy as her mum Olava and most of her family were from the Emerald Isle.

She tells Britain's Daily Telegraph, "My mother was from Dublin and all my relatives are from there or the west of Ireland. The accent wasn't a problem. When I read the script, I heard my mother saying quite a lot of it very clearly."