NEW YORK CITY - For yours, Dame Judi Dench has been a piece of ornate detailing on the sports car that is the James Bond franchise.
 
In her first six stints as 007's boss M, Dench typically appeared exactly enough to remind you that the series was employing one of the world's great  actors, but rarely enough to entirely justify the participation of the Oscar-winning icon. She's been decoration with Shakespearean training.
 
That's not the case in "Skyfall."
 
In the newest James Bond adventure, Dench's M is front-and-center, particularly in the film's second half, which almost becomes a Bond & M buddy caper. Because M has ties with Javier Bardem's Silva, "Skyfall" offers perhaps our first real examination of the powerful woman's past and lets her be part of the action in the present.
 
A couple weeks ago, I sat down with Dench in New York City to discuss her enhanced "Skyfall" profile, as well as the opportunity to reunite with Sam Mendes. The Dame also offers a tantalizing tease on her favorite part of playing this version of M. 
 
It's been raking in money overseas for weeks, but "Skyfall" finally opens in domestic theaters on Friday, November 9. [And check out my interview with "Skyfall" star Daniel Craig.]