Branagh was still basking in the glow of seven Oscar nominations for “Belfast” ― a film he wrote and directed. So he was in good humor to tell the “Ghosts” anecdote on “Late Night With Seth Meyers.”
Branagh said Ibsen’s grim play about infidelity and incest prompted pent-up silliness among the cast for the televised 1987 production. When it came time for a dinner scene in which Natasha Richardson’s character served Branagh and Dench’s characters potatoes, the co-stars simultaneously lost it.
All it took was Michael Gambon asking specifically for 17 potatoes, and suddenly Dench’s laughing face smashed into the potatoes and Branagh was being called out by a voice on the PA. We’ll let Branagh fill in the rest. (Fast-forward to 6:37.)