July 17th, 2017       Posted by Frederik       Display Comments

Disney showcased their entire upcoming live-action movie slate at D23 this weekend and they didn’t disappoint. They brought out the big guns with A Wrinkle in Time, Mary Poppins Returns, Avengers: Infinity War and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. But they also had time to give us some details on a new project in the form of The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, which will be a new take on the classic Christmas tale. Unfortunately, Disney didn’t release the footage online, but the cast is top-notch. The Sugar Plum Fairy will be played by Keira Knightley, Mother Ginger will be played by Helen Mirren, and Drosselmeyer will be played by Morgan Freeman, with ballerina Misty Copeland also set to star. The Mouse King is going to be a CG creation, with Charles Riley, aka “Lil Buck,” providing the motion capture. Per Slash Film, here is a description of the footage from Nutcracker and the Four Realms that debuted at D23.

The trailer we saw opens with a carriage moving through the snow, while the instantly recognizable voice of Morgan Freeman narrates that it is Christmas Eve, a time of mystery. We then see an elaborate Christmas party, with a young girl wandering through the house, following a strange thread. Eventually, her path leads her into a snow-covered land, fantastic and over-the-the-top in its design. There are a lot of patterns in this world and it looks, for better or worse, very similar to Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland remake.

The Nutcracker story debuted in 1892 and comes from the mind of author E.T.A. Hoffmann. The original story follows a young girl named Clara who, on Christmas Eve, receives a bounty of gifts from her toymaker godfather. Among these toys is a wooden nutcracker shaped like a man. When Clara goes to check on her new toy later that night, the clock strikes twelve and, in classic fairytale fashion, the nutcracker grows to life size. Clara then finds herself in the middle of a battle between gingerbread men and mice. The Nutcracker is one of the world’s most famous ballets, but it has never been given the big screen treatment in the way that Disney seems to be doing here. Lasse Hallstrom is directing with Ashleigh Powell writing the screenplay. And, in case you were wondering, the four realms that will be visited in the movie consist of The Land of Flowers, The Land of Snowflakes, The Land of Sweets and the fourth realm, which belongs to the Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren). The film releases November 2, 2018.

  June 22nd, 2017       Posted by Frederik       Display Comments

On Tuesday, Helen Mirren was the recipient of the Monte Carlo TV Festival’s most prestigious award, the Crystal Nymph, which acknowledges a lifetime of outstanding work on television. Though she is now best known as a film actress, Mirren’s television work includes the ground breaking British drama “Prime Suspect” and the miniseries “Elizabeth I” for which combined she has won three Primetime Emmys and four BAFTAs. On Wednesday, Mirren was in France, attending the Cannes Lions Festival as a brand ambassador for beauty giant L’Oreal. “It was about bloody time!” she joked during a talk about landing her L’Oreal ambassadorship. “I thought, at last, there has been a shift in the fashion and beauty industry – I’m talking about age and beauty, but also diversity.” Pictures from the Monte Carlo TV Festival and the Cannes Lions Festival have been added, with many thanks to Maria for contributing many of the pictures. Thanks!



Photo Gallery – Appearances – 2017 – Cannes Lions Festival 2017
Photo Gallery – Appearances – 2017 – 57th Monte Carlo TV Festival – Golden Nymph Awards
Photo Gallery – Appearances – 2017 – 57th Monte Carlo TV Festival – Photocall

  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.


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