Apr 18
2019

Let’s hope Helen Mirren has seen her performance in The Fast & Furious 8 in the meantime, because she has another one coming up. In the latest trailer for Universal’s Fast & Furious spin-off Hobbs & Shaw, Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham come out swinging. The trailer then pivots to a widescreen introduction of Idris Elba’s Brixton Lore, a cyber-genetically-enhanced criminal mastermind, who announces he’s coming for the duo and Shaw’s sister, Hattie Shaw (Vanessa Kirby). The latter stole from Lore a catastrophically deadly virus, and Lore wants it back. In line with previous Fast & Furious films, the world-saving mission becomes part family business, with Helen Mirren’s red-lipsticked Magdalene Shaw even making a brief appearance in a red jumpsuit behind a glass partition. “Look after your sister,” she says before Hobbs and Shaw buckle up to take down a slew of international baddies. A barrage of punches, car chases, explosions and airplane ejections follow, as Lore re-appears, announcing himself as “black Superman” before going head-to-head with the leading duo. However with Hobbs and Shaw seemingly unable to slow the genetically altered villain and his army of mercenaries, the two go off the grid to Hobbs’ home turf. Written by Chris Morgan, a regular scribe for the Universal franchise, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw hits theaters on Aug. 2.

Apr 15
2019


Dame Helen Mirren was on hand at yesterday’s BFI & Radio Times Television Festival, and has said she was “scared” and “frightened” by her new role as Catherine the Great, according to The Independent. The actress – who stars as the titular Russian queen in the Sky Atlantic drama – described the show’s creator’s decision to write the part for her as a “terrible mistake”. Speaking at the festival, the veteran actress explained that a pair of producers she had previously worked with had read an interview in which she had mentioned wanting to play the powerful monarch. She said: “I made the mistake when I was doing an interview and someone said, ‘what would you like to do next?’ Maybe it was after Elizabeth. “I said, ‘Well, I’d quite like to play Catherine the Great, actually. That would be an interesting character’. “People heard that, producers David Thompson, who was involved in Elizabeth, and Charlie Pattinson – and they went off and raised the money. “It’s really bad. I was, ‘oh no, that’s a terrible mistake’. But then I was committed. I couldn’t wriggle out of it.” Dame Helen, who also starred as Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen, said being responsible for kick-starting such a vast project had worried her. “I think I was nervous. I think was frightened,” she said. “I don’t know why but I was. You set yourself up to fall flat on your face. I’ve always been very wary of saying ‘I’d like to do this’, because it is a recipe for disaster. “It’s better to allow things to come randomly and brilliantly.” The Oscar-winner’s induction into the Radio Times hall of fame closed three days of panel discussions and talks at the festival. Dame Helen also defended Catherine the Great against claims of promiscuity and that she had had sex with a horse. She said: “That was calumny thrown at her by history because history doesn’t like very successful, very powerful women. “They have to drag them down and history tried to drag Catherine down. I hope we are going to reinstate her reputation as the incredible leader that she was. “I’m not saying she didn’t have her faults. She made mistakes and finished up quite tyrannical but she was originally a reformer and a Westerniser, if you like, of this vast, vast country.” Catherine the Great is set to air on Sky Atlantic this autumn.

Apr 12
2019

A couple of fantastic production stills from the upcoming HBO miniseries “Catherine the Great” have been added to the photo gallery.

Apr 10
2019

Lionsgate’s Summit label has decided to give Luc Besson’s Anna a high-profile summer release. The crime-thriller, starring Russian supermodel and actress Sasha Luss opposite Helen Mirren, will open in theaters on June 21. Anna’s opening was put on hold last year when Belgian-Dutch actress Sand Van Roy filed a complaint in May 2018 accusing the director of drugging and raping her at a Paris Hotel. In November, five more women came forward in a report in French investigative magazine Mediapart, alleging sexual misconduct. In total, at least nine separate women have accused the director of sexual assault and harassment. In late February of this year, the Paris prosecutor’s office dismissed the rape charges after an investigation failed to turn up evidence to support Roy’s allegation. Nevertheless, promoting Anna could prove problematic in terms of putting Besson in front of the press. Lionsgate and Summit acquired domestic rights to the movie before the rape charge and other allegations. The movie is his first directorial effort since Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets — which featured Van Roy — hit theaters in 2017, grossing $225 million globally. Anna also stars Luke Evans, Cillian Murphy, Eric Godon and Anna Krippa. The story follows former model who turns government assassin (Luss). Mirren plays her boss. Toy Story 4 and Child’s Play also open nationwide over the June 21-23 weekend. Edit: An international teaser trailer, which features completely different scenes, has been added as well.



Apr 04
2019

There’s a wonderful lenghty interview with Helen Mirren in the UK Vogue’s Non-Issue, with Jane Fonda on the cover. Here’s an excerpt, the full article can be read over at Vogue: Helen Mirren walks into the Hôtel Regina in Paris with a steely resolve. Throwing off her tan cashmere coat amid the red-velvet grandeur of the Bar Anglais, she reveals a delicate crimson top then runs a hand through her burnished silver hair. A small tattoo – two interlocking Vs at the base of her thumb, a reminder to “love thy neighbour” and the result of a drunken night out with a Native American theatre group some years ago – is just visible below the hem of her left sleeve. She is perfectly windswept. Mirren is not L’Oréal Paris’s oldest ambassador (that honour goes to Jane Fonda), but she is definitely its most frank. “I was stuck in the damn tunnel,” she explains of her slight tardiness, her crackling azure eyes on full beam. “I told the driver, ‘Fuck it, I’ll walk!’” By her own admission, the Academy Award winner tends to “swear like a potty-mouthed sailor”, and hearing Mirren swear is surely one of the great wonders of the modern world. Although the actress’s colourful language has been noted before, I somehow expected it to be a little like hearing one’s own mother swear. It’s not like that at all – it’s guttural. And it suits her.

Her contemporary Meryl Streep came under fire for insisting that not everyone within the close-knit Hollywood community knew about Weinstein’s alleged sexual assaults. But Mirren agrees with her. “Not everyone knew. Do you think Obama would have sent his daughter to intern with Harvey if it had been generally known? Absolutely not. But who did know? I guess that’s the point, that it happened behind closed doors, so those it happens to think they’re the only ones. And they stay silent.