For the past six decades, Helen Mirren's career has successfully shifted from a respected theatre actress to an iconic fixture on British television to a beloved Hollywood star. Her celebrated range of work has earned her the triple crown of acting - an Academy Award for The Queen, a Tony for The Audience, numerous Emmys, including for her iconic performance in Prime Suspect - and, since 2003, an appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Now in its fifth year online, The Helen Mirren Archives chronicles Miss Mirren's life and career from the early days to the recent with information, pictures and videos. Enjoy your stay, and check back soon.
  December 8th, 2018       Posted by Frederik       Display Comments

Following speculation that EuropaCorp will shutter its French film distribution arm, the company announced it is entering into a three-year distribution partnership with Pathe, according to The Hollywood Reporter. That means director Luc Besson’s Anna, starring Helen Mirren, will get a French release even as the beleaguered company faces financial troubles. Nous Finerons Ensemble, starring Guillaume Canet will also fall under this deal. EuropaCorp had pushed back the releases as it tried to find a distribution partner. Anna was moved from a planned Jan. 2 bow to a March 27 opening in France. Lionsgate, which has U.S. rights to Anna, has shelved the film for now. “We’re delighted to partner with Pathé, and to share our savoir-faire and enthusiasm with them,” said Besson. A spokesperson for EuropaCorp painted the news as a positive for the company as they face the next round of financial results on Dec. 14. “This partnership allows us to have the best of both worlds: reduce our overhead, manage our distribution and work with the best talents in France,” they said. The decision to partner with Pathe comes as EuropaCorp is trying to reduce its overhead as the company is in financial peril after the global disappointment of Besson’s $180 million to $200 million sci-fi epic Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Besson also faces legal peril after Belgian actress Sand Van Roy accused Besson of raping her, sparking a police investigation. On Nov. 28, five more woman came forward in a report in French investigative magazine Mediapart, alleging sexual misconduct. In total, nine separate woman have accused the director of sexual assault and harassment.

  November 15th, 2018       Posted by Frederik       Display Comments

Warner Bros has set a November 15, 2019, release date for The Good Liar, director Bill Condon’s drama starring English screen vets Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren. Scripted by Jeffrey Hatcher based on the novel by pseudonymous author Nicholas Searle, it focuses on Roy (McKellen), a veteran conman and born liar who meets wealthy widow Betty (Mirren) online and believes she’s an easy mark. Roy is sure he can pull off the final coup of his career, but as the narrative entwines Roy’s and Betty’s futures, it also delves deeply into their pasts, revealing nearly a century of secrets. Before Roy can close the deal, there is a reckoning to be made. Russell Tovey, Jim Carter, Mark Lewis Jones and Laurie Davidson co-star. The Good Liar will face off a year from now against Universal holiday rom-com Last Christmas, Fox’s untitled Kingsman threequel and Warners’ own Melissa McCarthy holiday comedy Margie Claus.

  November 2nd, 2018       Posted by Frederik       Display Comments

“The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” is released today in US theaters after a release yesterday in most European countries. An adaptation of the German fairy-tale and the Tchaikovsky ballet, the story signifies the studio’s further attempts to expand their live-action output beyond remakes of their classic cartoons and Pirates of the Caribbean sequels. Unfortunately, the reviews have been less than exciting, with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 34% and a Metacritic number of 37. Most reviews criticize the lack of an altogether story. The Los Angeles Times writes: “The visual allure of this production is undeniable, but having the nerve to be simple and nice all the way through is, even for Disney, verging on being a lost art.” According to Rolling Stone, the “wretched attempt to turn the famous fairy tale/ballet into a blockbuster gives a bad name to family entertainment. There’s not much positive being written about the actors – Morgan Freeman in paycheck mode and Helen Mirren, reduced to mugging – oh well. Maybe it’s better received among its target audience – children, who do not yet participate in the Tomatometer 🙂

  October 21st, 2018       Posted by Frederik       Display Comments

The November issue of Harper’s Bazaar (US) has a great interview with Helen Mirren as well as a new – very fitting – photoshoot picture for “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms”. She talks about this, the recent filming of “Catherine the Great” in Russia, and the recently wrappred “The Good Liar”. Here’s an excerpt from her interview, scans can be found in the photo gallery.

Obviously I play her at the height of her power,” Mirren goes on, “but she was very straightforward, a very clever and ambitious person. And of course Russia at that time was amazingly complex, violent, and difficult country to govern. But she felt she could handle it”. She is also intrigued by Catherine’s sexuality. “In our slightly puritanical, Prostestant world, it’s shocking the way she behaved. It was extraordinary for that era. She had four children by four different men”.

  October 4th, 2018       Posted by Frederik       Display Comments

The first-look photo above captures Helen Mirren in all her glory as the famous Russian ruler, Princess Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst, aka Catherine II, aka “Catherine the Great.” You can view the picture in full resolution in the photo gallery. HBO has partnered with Sky to produce the four-part limited series, which is currently shooting across Russia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Directed by Philip Martin (who helmed Mirren’s last Emmy-winning performance in “Prime Suspect: The Final Act”) and written by Nigel Williams (who wrote and produced “Elizabeth I,” which won Emmys for both he and Mirren), “Catherine the Great” also stars Jason Clarke (“Zero Dark Thirty”) as Grigory Potemkin and Joseph Quinn (“Howards End”) as Paul, Catherine’s son and heir. New cast members have also been announced, including: Gina McKee as Countess Bruce, Catherine’s lifelong friend and confidante; Rory Kinnear as Minister Panin, a skillful politician, advisor and governor to Catherine’s son; Richard Roxburgh as Grigory Orlov, one of Catherine’s former lovers, who helped orchestrate the coup that brought Catherine to power; Kevin R. McNally as Alexei Orlov, who, with his brother Grigory, helped orchestrate the coup that brought Catherine to power; and Sam Palladio as Alexander Vasilichikov, Catherine’s young lover. Focusing on the final years of her three-plus decades in power, “Catherine the Great” is produced by Origin Pictures and New Pictures and is an HBO/SKY co-production. No release date has been set. Here’s the official synopsis, courtesy HBO:

Set against the politically tumultuous and sexually charged court of Russian empress Catherine the Great, who wielded supreme power throughout Russia for nearly half of the 18th century, the limited series follows Catherine towards the end of her reign during her passionate affair with Grigory Potemkin. Amid scandal, intrigue and immense conflict, they develop a unique and devoted relationship, overcoming their adversaries and together serving as the architects of modern-day Russia.