Oct 15
2019

Helen Mirren is no stranger to playing powerful female rulers operating in the world of men. Her latest endeavor, Catherine the Great, is no different as she brings the story of the extraordinary 18th century Russian Empress to life in the upcoming HBO limited series. At the New Yorker festival screening of the first episode, Mirren was joined by co-star Jason Clarke, who plays Catherine’s military leader and lover Grigory Potemkin, for a Q&A moderated by Juilliard Drama Director Evan Yionoulis. While the four-part series charts Catherine’s shaky beginnings as a ruthless but progressive empress following a coup that overthrew her late husband, it equally follows Catherine’s passionate love affair with Potemkin and its sweeping impact on the Russian empire. Read on for four takeaways about the series, including its inspirations and some surprising similarities.

Unlike Catherine the Great when she took power, Helen Mirren has Russian roots.

While Catherine herself was Prussian-born, making the scope of her rule even more extraordinary, Mirren is Russian on her father’s side. Her paternal grandfather was a member of the Russian Imperial Army and her original family name was “Mironoff.” “I was made aware of Russian history by my grandfather when I was 7 or 8, listening to him tell stories of the dacha and where the horses were kept,” Mirren recalls. “And he’d tell of a sleigh ride that took four days from Moscow to our family estates in Russia.” These tales gave Mirren an early start, but it wasn’t until later in life when she began reading Russian history that she became specifically fascinated with Catherine the Great.

Catherine’s real-life letters were a valuable source of research for Mirren and Clarke.

Catherine and Potemkin’s correspondence, which still exists, proved to be a treasure trove of information about an era predating photos and videos. The letters of love and yearning when Potemkin was away at war fighting the Turks provided a script for Mirren and Clarke’s characters to follow. “They were so intimate, so sweet, but at the same time you could see their jealousy and their angst — you saw the whole relationship beautifully expressed in those letters,” Mirren said. “You could see the way he made her laugh, and her sexual obsession with him, but it was true love.” “You see in what they wrote that she was the center of his universe,” Clarke agreed. “He just couldn’t get enough of this woman on all different levels. Initially she was his teacher and educator; then he was her attack dog or war man. Their relationship was incredible, like nothing I’d ever read.”

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Sep 28
2019

Earliert today, L’Oreal has hosted its annual runway show featuring an all-star cast of movie stars, singers and supermodels celebrating female empowerment on the sidelines of Paris Fashion Week. Cheryl Cole made a spectacular return to the runway for the L’Oreal Le Défilé show, wearing a black leather mini dress. She appeared alongside long-time brand ambassador Eva Longoria, actress Andie McDowell, model Doutzen Kroes and former Spice Girl Geri Horner. A barefoot and smiling Helen Mirren closed the show in a floral dress, running joyfully on stage. Celebrities including Naomi Campbell looked on from the audience of the show, held in the inner courtyard of the neoclassical Monnaie de Paris building. L’Oreal, an official sponsor of fashion week, collaborated with fashion houses such as Balmain, Elie Saab, Karl Lagerfeld and Giambattista Valli to dress its high-profile models. Pictures from the runway have been added to the photo gallery.


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Sep 28
2019

On Friday, Helen Mirren helped launch Graham Norton’s 26th season of his beloved show, promoting the UK release of “Catherine the Great” while sharing Graham’s red sofa with RuPaul, Jack Whitehall and Simon Reeve. In reference to Ru Paul’s UK premiere of “Ru Paul’s Drag Race”, Mirren joked that her husband Taylor Hackford’s sons Rio and Alexander were “slightly in shock” when she showed them around the popular gay entertainment venue the Vauxhall Tavern years ago. “There’s a real historic tradition of drag in London and I was growing up and first came to London on a Friday night there was often a drag show. There is a very famous drag pub – the Vauxhall Tavern – and when I first got together with my husband he had two young sons. I thought it would show these two young Californian boys something of the real London, so I took them to the Vauxhall Tavern.” She added: “These poor kids were slightly in shock but they certainly remember it as being very cool. It was cool, and I love my London.” The full episode can be watched below and in the video archive while screencaptures and promotional stills have been added to the photo gallery. By the way, this is Helen’s seventh appearance on The Graham Norton show – you can find all previous appearances in the video archive.

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Sep 25
2019

Earlier this evening, “Catherine the Great” celebrated its premiere in London, providing Helen Mirren with an entrance worthy of a Queen. A first batch of pictures have been added to the photo gallery, with more information to come. Edit: Over 100 additional images have been added to the photo gallery with many thanks to Joan for the contributions. Also, video footage from the premiere as well as a news segment by Entertainment Tonight Canada have been added to the video archive.


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Sep 22
2019

The two iconic Parisian brands are joining forces to introduce a makeup collection like no other. Karl Lagerfeld and L’Oreal Paris are pleased to announce an unprecedented collection of beauty products, featuring feminine shades with a sophisticated, rock-chic touch. Connected by their Parisian heritage, both Karl Lagerfeld and L’Oreal Paris share a vision based on elegance, style and relentless innovation. As Karl once said, “Tomorrow I could be the opposite of what I am today” — which is also the idea this collaboration invites women to explore. The striking campaign was inspired by Karl’s most iconic quotes. It features the inimitable Helen Mirren, Doutzen Kroes, Liya Kedebe, Ming Xi, Luma Grothe, Louise Bourgoin and Soo Joo Park. You can watch the collaboration video below and find the very stylish screencaptures in the photo gallery.

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