May 25th, 2017       Posted by Frederik       Display Comments

Many thanks to Claudia for the heads-up on this one. As Helen Mirren walked the red carpet Wednesday night at the Chicago International Film Festival’s summer gala at the Loews Hotel in Streeterville, it was clear her thoughts were far away with the residents of Manchester in her English homeland. In an article by the Chicago-Sun Times, when asked for her thoughts on the terrorist attack on people at the Ariana Grande concert, the actress said, “I know Manchester very well. My very first job was in Manchester – in the theater. I long did a television show, ‘Prime Suspect,’ which was completely shot shot in Manchester. So I personally owe Manchester, the city, a great debt. “It’s a great city. It’s an ancient city. It’s a powerful city. The people from Manchester are extraordinarily resilient and are a strong people. This is a city that won’t be cowed or live in fear. As we all know, that sort of terrorism aimed at innocent people — in this case young girls, children really — is horrible. It’s beyond comprehension. All I can say is this: Manchester is a great city filled with great people, and in their pain and their suffering they will overcome it.” Turning to the career achievement award from the festival, being presented jointly to Mirren and her husband and fellow Oscar winner, director Taylor Hackford, Mirren smiled .

“Tonight, obviously, will be reflective, of course. I’ll be very reflective tonight, as I’m up there [on the dais] watching my younger self, doing her thing. However, in our business, we tend to live in the moment, or slightly in the future, thinking about the next gig. “So we don’t dwell on the past, frankly. Once you’ve done something, that’s it. My husband is very similar,” said Mirren, as Hackford nodded in agreement. “We don’t watch our old movies, or things like that. I’m not like Norma Desmond [Gloria Swanson’s famed character in ‘Sunset Boulevard’] up her hill, watching her old movies endlessly. You know, you move on.” Asked her first thoughts about the city hosting her, Mirren said, “That’s simple. Architecture. I first came to Chicago in the late ’60s on a theater tour. I took a train from San Francisco to Chicago — the most amazing train journey. When I arrived, Chicago was the first time I saw a high-rise American city. I hadn’t yet been to New York or anywhere else really. I was blown away by the architecture of Chicago.”

  May 23rd, 2017       Posted by Frederik       Display Comments


Helen Mirren brought a touch of gold to the 2017 Stuttering Association for the Young (SAY) Gala. The actress hosted the event alongside fellow actress Kelli O’Hara at NYU Skirball Center on Monday in New York City. The gala was held to honor film director Jeffrey Blitz and football coach Joe Moglia. SAY is a national non-profit organization, “which through summer camp, speech therapy, and creative expression empowers, educates, and supports young people who stutter and the world that surrounds them.” Pictures from the event can be found in the photo gallery.

  May 21st, 2017       Posted by Frederik       Display Comments

Dame Helen Mirren cheered the Tulane University Class of 2017 with a speech that was funny, sometimes bawdy and always heartfelt Saturday (May 20) at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. She told Tulane graduates she knew they would fix the world – and to help with that, she doled out advice, one-liners, a dig at LSU and a drink order: “vodka martini straight up with a bit of lime. The bit of lime is because, you know, I’m a bit of a health fanatic,” she said. She received an honorary degree from the university, as did saxophonist Branford Marsalis, research psychologist Shelley Taylor and civil rights leader Diane Nash. Graduation speeches are supposed to be relatable, she said. So “today’s speech will contain advice for any of you born in England, who decided to become Shakespearian actresses and end up doing nude scenes in 10 films.” She added, “I just mentioned that just to see if any of your fathers are getting out their phones right now to Google me. Dads, stop it. Inappropriate. Put it away.” A pause: “I mean the phone.” In fact, her speech contained ample guidance for a far wider audience, which lapped it up. You can read the whole speech over at the university’s official website, pictures can be found in the photo gallery and the speech is also in the video archive.


  May 13th, 2017       Posted by Frederik       Display Comments

On Friday, Helen Mirren donned academic cap and gown for the traditional ‘hooding’ ceremony in Los Angeles, which funnyman Will Ferrell co-hosted with a comical commencement speech. Ferrell , who graduated from USC in 1990 with a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Information, poked fun at the Oscar winner, joking he still loses out on roles to the British actress. “The most painful one was losing the role of Queen Elizabeth in The Queen,” he quipped. “Apparently, it came down to myself and Helen Mirren. The rest is history.” Ferrell also serenaded Mirren, university staff and the graduating students with his rendition of Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You. Pictures from the commencement ceremonies have been added to the photo gallery.


  May 10th, 2017       Posted by Frederik       Display Comments

According to The Hollywood Reporter, CBS Films will release Winchester, starring Helen Mirren, on Feb. 23, 2018. The period supernatural thriller is inspired by the real-life tale of Sarah Winchester, the eccentric heiress to the Winchester Repeating Arms Company fortune who spent her life constructing an enormous mansion in San Jose, California, complete with secret passages and trap doors, in order to keep at bay what she thought were the angry spirits of the people killed by her family’s firearms. In the film, Sarah Winchester is visited by a skeptical San Francisco psychiatrist (Jason Clarke) who discovers that her obsession may not be so insane after all. Today, the Winchester Mystery House is a well-known tourist attraction. Construction on the mansion commenced in 1884. Sarah Snook and Angus Sampson also star in the movie, which is directed by Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig. Tim McGahan and Brett Tomberlin produced.

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