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.
  February 13th, 2019       Posted by Frederik       Display Comments

Can you imagine a Helen Mirren film being released and no one – literally no one – notices? Nope, me neither. But this is the case with “Berlin, I Love You”, the latest (and most probably final) installment of the Cities of Love series, following “Paris, je t’aime”, “New York, I Love You” and “Rio, Eu Te Amo”. It was released on February 8 on-demand, without any kind of promotion. Described as a “collective feature-film”, 12 stories are told, directed by 12 different directors – and not one of the stories feels anything like Berlin. One of the first segments, starring Keira Knightley and Helen Mirren, has been directed by Iranian director Massy Tadjedin. Their story features solid performances, but it’s nothing more than a short subject in a 100 minute bore. After “Collateral Beauty” and “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms”, it seems Knightley and Mirren are not each other’s lucky charm 🙂 You’ll find “Berlin, I Love You” on various on-demand platforms. Screencaptures have been added to the photo gallery.


  February 13th, 2019       Posted by Frederik       Display Comments

After a less-than-successful November release on the big screen, Disney has launched “The Nutcracker the Four Realms” on home video and on-demand earlier last January. You’re probably in for a good ride if you enjoy Disney movies. Helen’s Mother Ginger is little more than a cameo towards the end of the film. Screencaptures have been added to the photo gallery.


  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 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 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.