Helen Mirren loves playing women with power. She won an Oscar for playing Elizabeth II in “The Queen,” and a Tony for playing her again in another Peter Morgan drama, “The Audience.” In the interview above, we Zoomed with the actress, situated in the spare bedroom of the Northern California home she shares with husband Taylor Hackford, to dig into her “Catherine the Great” for HBO. Set in opulent 18th Century Russia, the four-hour limited series, written by Nigel Williams (“Elizabeth I”) and directed by Philip Martin (“The Crown”), is jam-packed with romance, court intrigue and the theater of politics.
Of all the queens she’s played, from Shakespeare’s Titania to Cleopatra, “they don’t come any more powerful than Catherine the Great,” said Mirren. “It’s the most extraordinary story of a young woman having the courage and intelligence and tenacity and intellect to be able to say, ‘I can do this, run this complex difficult country.’ Then of course after she died, everything she accomplished, with incredible success, everything she achieved, her son tried to destroy.”
Powerful men maligned her, damaging her reputation. “It was mostly the lies spread about her by Frederick the Great,” said Mirren, “who hated her because she was powerful and successful and she stood up to him. He couldn’t stand that she was woman who was successful.”
After Catherine arrived from Prussia at 16 years old, she embraced Russia, joined the church, and committed to the country. “She understood she had the capability to run the country better than her husband,” said Mirren, who doesn’t view Catherine as power-hungry. “He was literally mad. It’s similar to Elizabeth II and I, was that acceptance of destiny. ‘This is falling on your shoulders. Are you up for it?’ In the case of Elizabeth I and II and Catherine, all three of them stood there, put their shoulders and chins up and said, ‘We can do this.’”
Helen Mirren has taken part in Dolce & Gabbana’s new ‘Made at Home’ series, which hopes to highlight and explore how the shared experience of lockdown has united us all. For her part in the fundraising project, the British actress filmed herself reading ‘Now Is the Time’, a poem by Hafez.
“I’m going to read you a poem by a Sufi poet, a Persian poet, called Hafez, who lived in the 12th century,” Mirren says. “It’s incredible the way his words have such power and meaning for a soul today, particularly at this moment in time when the whole world is experiencing what we’re experiencing.”
Mirren’s poetry reading is part of Dolce & Gabbana’s attempt to celebrate the creativity that can be found, even through this difficult period, in our own homes.
“In a time when our values have slowed, shifted and deepened, ‘Made at Home’ reveals the power of craft and creativity to articulate love, closeness and care,” the brand said in a press release.
The project will also support the Fondazione Humanitas Per La Ricerca and is an extension of Dolce & Gabbana’s ongoing ‘Amore For Scientific Research’ project with Humanitas University, which was founded in February via a significant financial contribution from the house. It aims to support the vital research co-ordinated by Professor Mantovani to clarify the responses of the human immune system to Covid-19.
“We felt we had to do something to fight this devastating virus, which started from China but is threatening all mankind,” the house said in a statement at the time. “In these cases, it is important to make the right choice. This is why we thought Humanitas University would be the ideal partner, whose excellence and humanity make it a special entity, with which we have already co-operated on a scholarship project.”
I apologize for the lack of updates, but with this pandemic no one goes out (thankfully!) and there’s not many news. So I am going back into the archive and uploading movies caps and stills that are missing from gallery.
Here are two movies Helen Mirren did in 2001 “The Pledge” and 2003 “Calendar Girls”. Enjoy!
If you’ve ever wanted to know what it takes to win an Oscar or create an iconic sketch show character then you’re in luck because Barnardo’s is making dreams come true.
The leading children’s charity has teamed up with some of the UK’s most loved stars to help banish the lockdown blues with its Fifteen Minutes with Fame prize draw.
Winners really can have a one to one chat with Oscar-winner Dame Helen Mirren or actor and author David Walliams.
These celebrities are the latest Barnardo’s ambassadors and supporters who are offering members of the public the chance to win a 15 minute video call with them. Big names already offering calls include Dame Emma Thompson, Russell Howard, Catherine Tate, Jamie Vardy and Lennie James, with more to follow in the coming weeks.
Each entry costs £5 and all proceeds go to the Barnardo’s emergency appeal, to help the charity continue its vital work supporting vulnerable families across the UK during these very challenging times.
Dame Helen Mirren said: “In partnership with Barnardo’s I am offering one of you the exclusive opportunity to join me for a Q&A over video conference, with all the money raised going towards their coronavirus appeal, helping them continue their vital work with the UK’s most vulnerable children.
“You will have the chance to ask me a series of questions – they could be about a role I’ve played, about becoming an actor or actress or anything else that you’ve always wanted to ask about my work – within reason of course!
“Just click the link to find out how to enter. I look forward to meeting you – see you soon!”
David Walliams said: “I’m working with Barnardo’s to give you the chance to have a special one to one video chat with me. Perhaps if you have children I could read them a bedtime story, or you can ask me questions – or if you really want I can dance for you like a monkey!”
To enter all people need to do is go to this link on the Givergy website: https://www.givergy.com/
Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan said: “The vulnerable children Barnardo’s supports need us now more than ever. We’re working round the clock to adapt our vital services, so we can continue to help children and families – whether face to face, on the phone or through an App.
“But we cannot do this alone, and with our shops closed and major events cancelled, we’re more reliant than ever on the generosity of our friends and supporters, as well as the British public. This is why I’m so grateful to our fantastic ambassadors and supporters, and to everyone bidding for 15 Minutes with Fame. The funds raised will help make sure we can support vulnerable children through this crisis.”
Finally it’s here, the whole article of Helen Mirren for Vogue Germany scanned and also the outtakes attached. Enjoy!
Have a first look at Vogue Germany May 2020 issue with several covers among which one with Helen Mirren. The issue will be out on newsstands on April 7th.