February 24, 2023

Move over, Tom Cruise. There’s a new action star in Tinseltown.

Helen Mirren, 77, revealed that she chose to do some of her Shazam! Fury of the Gods stunts on her own — and broke a finger in the process. “I was incredibly brave and didn’t say anything or complain because I wanted to be a real stunty person,” she says on an episode of The Graham Norton Show airing Friday on BBC One.

The dame portrays demi-god villain Hespera in the forthcoming Shazam! sequel opposite Zachary Levi, Lucy Liu, and Rachel Zegler, among others. Directed once again by David F. Sandberg, Fury of the Gods is a continuation of Billy Batson (Asher Angel) and his fellow foster kids’ stories as they juggle teenhood and their adult superhero alter egos.

Just don’t ask Mirren too much about the film itself. “Don’t ask me about the plot, it’s too complicated!” she tells host Graham Norton. “We are angry goddesses wearing unbelievably heavy costumes. It was very hot and uncomfortable; and, in fact, Lucy said at the end of the first day’s shooting, ‘They are trying to kill us’ in all seriousness.”

Mirren signed on for the film because she “loved the first Shazam,” she explains. “It was sweet and funny. I am not a big superhero type person, but I loved the idea of it and happily signed up for the second one. It is great.”

Sandberg recently called it a “dream” to work with Mirren and Liu, who plays the dame’s onscreen sister Kalypso, in conversation with EW. “We aimed high when we cast the movie, and we got exactly what we wanted,” Sandberg said. “They’re both so kickass!” He added of Mirren, “You kind of have an expectation, like, ‘Oh, it’s Dame Helen entering the set!’ But the first day she came on, she’s like, ‘Yeah! We need more p—y power on set! We’re here now!’ and I was like, ‘Oh, okay!'”