Jul 17
2019

According to The Mirror, Dame Helen Mirren today backs the fight to save free TV licences for the over-75s, as more than 11,000 pensioners aged 100 or over face being stripped of the lifeline. The Oscar-winning actress throws her weight behind the battle to preserve the benefit as campaigners take their crusade to Conservative HQ. Activists will deliver 36,000 letters addressed to Tory leadership hopefuls to Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, demanding the party honour its 2017 election pledge to maintain the concession for the length of this Parliament. And we can reveal how curbs meaning only over-75s receiving Pension Credit will continue to benefit, will clobber the very oldest in society. Analysis by Labour shows 469,622 people aged 90-plus; 109,083 aged 95 and over; and 11,688 people aged 100 and over will lose their free licences next year. Age UK’s charity director Caroline Abrahams said: “So many of those in their 90s and beyond are in fragile or declining health, confined to their home and almost entirely dependent on their TV for entertainment and company. Read More“For this vulnerable group, the inevitable hassle and expense of buying a licence or having to self-validate their entitlement to Pension Credit to get a free licence may prove too much, consigning them to a life without television and stripping them of their connection to the outside world.” Bectu broadcasting union chief Philippa Childs said: “This staggering statistic demonstrates the real human impact on potentially the most vulnerable pensioners of the Government’s cynical decision to pass responsibility for making decisions about future funding of the licence fee for over 75s to the BBC.” The complete article can be read over at The Mirror.

Jul 09
2019

According to Deadline, Vin Diesel has announced on Instagram that Charlize Theron and Helen Mirren are returning for Universal’s Fast & Furious 9. Both actresses’ characters were introduced in 2017’s Fate of the Furious. Theron played cyberterrorist Cipher who forced Diesel’s Dom to turn coats on his street family and operate for her. Mirren played Magdalene Shaw, the mother of Deckard (Jason Statham) and Owen (Luke Evans). Mirren will be seen again as Magdalene in the Fast & Furious spinoff Hobbs & Shaw on August 2. They join new castmember to the franchise, John Cena, whose role is under wraps. Justin Lin (Fast & Furious 6) returns to direct part 9 which is currently shooting in London. Dan Casey wrote the screenplay from a story by Lin and Alfredo Botello. Fast & Furious 9 opens on May 22 release. Diesel produces for his One Race Films alongside Samantha Vincent, and Lin produces for his Perfect Storm Entertainment. Jeffrey Kirschenbaum and Joe Roth also will produce for Roth/Kirschenbaum Films. Diesel has produced the five highest-grossing films in the Fast & Furious franchise: The Fate of the Furious, Furious 7, Fast & Furious 6, Fast Five as well as Fast & Furious. The entire action series has racked up more than $5.1 billion at the WW box office.

Jun 15
2019

On the 90th anniversary of the birth of Anne Frank (1929-2019) the documentary “#AnneFrank – Parallel lives” will be released in Italian cinemas; the film will be scheduled with projections-event only on 11, 12 and 13 November (soon it will be possible to access information on the participating rooms on nexodigital.it). Helen Mirren will be the exceptional guide to the documentary, written and directed by Sabina Fedeli and Anna Migotto.

The documentary film traces the existential pain of Anne through the pages of her diary, a text that has allowed millions of readers around the world to learn about the tragedy of Nazism through the eyes of those who dreamed of becoming a great writer as an adult. The story of Anne Frank is intertwined with the testimony of 5 Holocaust survivors (Arianna Szörenyi, Sarah Lichtsztejn-Montard, Helga Weiss and sisters Andra and Tatiana Bucci) who with faith and determination continue to tell the new generations about pain and absurdity of the evil that took shape in the Holocaust. #AnneFrank – Parallel lives is aimed above all at young people and seeks, through a cinematographic language that refers to the world of social networks, to retrace the past through the media mentality of the current generation. A young actress, played by Martina Gatti, has the role of incarnating this directorial intent, guiding us to the places of Anne and the survivors of the Holocaust. Martina writes a sort of digital diary able to speak to her peers: an immediate way to relate the tragedies passed with the present.

May 13
2019

In honour of Mental Health Awareness week, Mirren and other stars have joined forces with L’Oréal Paris to bring a powerful message about the importance of fostering and maintaining self-esteem. Hear hear, we say. Spurred by the unsettling statistic that 40% of young people in the UK say they don’t believe in themselves, L’Oréal Paris has leant on the star power of some of its famous faces for a rousing and joyful new venture: the “My Self Worth’ Podcast. In partnership with The Prince’s Trust, the podcast tackles issues around body image, and combines the power of positive affirmations with advice from psychotherapist Lucy Beresford. In the podcast, Mirren talks candidly about her own personal journey with her self-esteem, and how it remains something that is crafted, not given. “Those negative thoughts are always lurking there under the surface –everybody feels this way, you aren’t the only one,” said Mirren encouragingly. She went on to reveal, “If I walk onto a movie set and see these humongous movie stars I feel incredibly intimidated. Sometimes I lock myself in the loo to give myself a talking to: ‘You can do it Helen, don’t worry, you can do it!’ What always comes up in my head is that ‘I’m boring, I’m stupid, I’m not exciting enough.’ In my job I meet a lot of extraordinary people, and for me, it’s incredibly intimidating.” Also featured are model Iskra Lawrence, Olympian Tom Daley and activist Katie Piper, among others. Free to download and listen to, the podcast is available on Google Podcasts, Spotify, iTunes and online.

May 08
2019

Social Bite’s sleepout is going global as the Edinburgh charity’s fundraising event will take place in Times Square, New York – with the help of Will Smith. Dame Helen Mirren has also signed up to Social Bite’s biggest charity campaign yet, with 50,000 people around the world sleeping outside to raise money for homelessness. Sleep in the Park, the brainchild of Social Bite founder Josh Littlejohn, has been growing and growing since it began in 2016. In December, 10,000 people took part in sleepouts in all of Scotland’s major cities. On Wednesday, Social Bite announced The World’s Big Sleep Out would take place on December 7 this year. The flagship event will be in Times Square, with Will Smith reading a “bedtime story” to those taking part. Dame Helen will read to those in London. Events will also be taking place in Edinburgh, Chicago, Newcastle, New Delhi, Santiago, Dublin, Newcastle, Dublin, Belfast, Cardiff, Brussels, Barcelona and Madrid. Social Bite said: “The campaign is positioned as the ‘Live Aid’ for the issue of global homelessness – a one-off international event aiming to raise an incredible $50,000,000 and focus global attention on the issue. “Holywood Stars Dame Helen Mirren and Will Smith have agreed to perform the ‘bed time story’ in London and New York respectively, with more big names and musicians yet to be announced throughout the world.” They added: “Partners for the campaign include the Malala Fund, UNICEF USA and the Institute of Global Homelessness, who will be able to support a target of around 1,000,000 homeless and displaced people with the funds raised. Local charities will also significantly benefit where the events take place. “What was born in Scotland is now being adopted worldwide, creating a unity like no other before. “We set out on this mission to be a Scotland for the world to follow, and we hope that this campaign will inspire others around the world to address this local, global and important issue. “We’re extremely proud to be a part of this incredible movement and we hope you are too.” You an find out more on the Big Sleep Out website here.