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.
  January 15th, 2019       Posted by Frederik       Display Comments

USA Today has an exlusive first look in “The Good Liar”: If online dating wasn’t already treacherous enough, it’s getting extra-hairy courtesy of a Hitchcock-style spin in “The Good Liar.” An adaptation of Nicholas Searle’s 2016 novel, the upcoming thriller (in theaters Nov. 15) finds Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen sharing the big screen for the first time: He plays an aging British con man looking for one last score and she’s a well-off widow he woos through email. Director Bill Condon (“Gods and Monsters,” “Beauty and the Beast”) promises suspense, mystery and “behavior that we’d probably disapprove of in real life, that great Hitchcockian thing of forcing you to be conflicted about how you’re feeling about certain events.” Betty McLeish (Mirren) is a quiet English woman who’s lost her husband and is “vulnerable in the sense that she has great empathy with people,” the actress says. “She’s not wealthy but she’s very comfortably off, and there’s a gap in her life that is to do with companionship and having someone to go to the theater with or the cinema and go out to dinner with.” She goes online and finds Roy Courtnay (McKellen), a charming, funny and self-deprecating guy who is, unbeknownst to her, “actually a double-dealing sort of character,” Mirren says. “He has various mysteries in his life, various people hanging around who we’re not quite sure who they are, so there’s obviously something going on.”

Once Betty opens her life to him, Roy becomes quite taken with the mark he’s supposed to be swindling, things are revealed about his past, and from there, “it’s twisty,” Mirren teases with a laugh. Two other characters add to the overall intrigue: Jim Carter (“Downton Abbey”) stars as Roy’s longtime partner Vincent (“The kindly one, the one who has more of a moral compass,” Condon says), and Russell Tovey (“Quantico”) plays Betty’s grandson Stephen, who’s wary of her new suitor. The last time Mirren worked with McKellen was 17 years ago on a Broadway revival of August Strindberg’s play “Dance of Death.” Although she knows McKellen well, doing the new thriller “was like meeting a new Ian, the film Ian, and likewise he was meeting the film Helen, which are in a way different creatures,” Mirren says. “Good Liar” gave McKellen a chance to play a villain far afield from “the great charm and twinkle” of his real-life persona, Condon says. “It was fun to move him out of twinkle mode and get back in touch with that side that he is able to present so brilliantly.” And Mirren is a foil “who can really go toe to toe and certainly match him in intelligence and in power,” Condon adds. As much as Mirren enjoyed her character, she also loves the construction of a mystery and the idiosyncrasies required in her performance: “You sort of need to lead the audience by the nose, in a way.” Although much of the mystery genre has “been taken over” by TV, Condon feels “it’s right for re-examination in cinema.” And he’s bringing it into modern times: While “The Good Liar” is a bit of a period piece – it’s set in 2008 (“There are websites but no apps”) – he says technology is integral to its puzzle and reveals. “Although there are mountains and mountains of information out there, it’s still very easy to pull the wool over people’s eyes, as you can see by the recent election in America,” Mirren says. “Concealing becomes more prevalent and easier to do simply because everyone thinks that they’re reading the truth.”

  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.

  March 13th, 2018       Posted by Frederik       Display Comments

The award-winning actors who last starred on Broadway’s “Dance of Death” in 2001, have been cast the film adaptation of Nicholas Searle’s novel. The thriller will be directed by Bill Condon and produced by New Line Cinema. The film reunites actor Ian McKellen with director Condon: their collaboration in 1998, on the period piece Gods and Monsters, earned each of them an Oscar nomination. They worked together again in 2015 on Mr. Holmes. (Condon most recently helmed Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast.) The Good Liar features con artist Roy Courtnay (played by McKellen), who meets a well-to-do widow Betty McLeish (played by Helen Mirren) online. Roy finds himself genuinely caring about her, which hampers his intention of a straightforward swindle. New Line acquired rights to the book two years ago, just after Searle’s debut was published in the U.S. by HarperCollins. Searle worked on his novel during a six-month online writing course in July 2014; the novel was finished and published in early 2016. Jeffrey Hatcher wrote the adapted script; Greg Yolen and Condon are producing.