After The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel earned nearly $140 million on its release in 2012, the all-star cast and crew were keen to reassemble for a sequel. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel hits UK cinemas this weekend and arrives in America next week, adding Richard Gere and Tamsin Grieg to a cast that includes Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Celia Imrie, Dev Patel and Penelope Wilton.

Richard Gere and Lillette Dubey in 'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel'
Richard Gere is a newcomer in 'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel'

For Nighy, the biggest fear during filming was "killing the national treasure that is Dame Judi" while filming a sequence on a scooter. "This is the second time I've been on a motorcycle - the first was the first movie - and it's probably the last," he laughed. "That's enough for my motorcycling career!"

More: Read our review of 'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel'

For her part, Dench refuses to limit herself just because she's now turned 80. "I don't want to be told I can't do something," she said. "I'll just have a go at it. And I'd sooner make a mess of it than not have a go at all. I don't think age matters; what matters is your determination not to give up and not to stop learning new things. I think the first film gathered momentum because it was about people of a certain age wanting to defy their age and get on with doing something and not sit back and be retired."

Watch the trailer for 'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' here: 

Dench and Maggie Smith have been friends since they shared a dressing room in 1958, appearing together on-stage in As You Like It with the Old Vic Company. And both of them have enjoyed the chance to keep playing complex characters in theatre, film and television. "I know more about things, but I don't think I've got any more sensible or any more grown-up than I was when I was at the Old Vic," Dench said. "I found a card the other day that said, 'Don't grow up, it's against the rules,' and I thought, how wonderful!">

More: See pictures from 'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' premiere