Welcome to The Helen Mirren Archives, your premiere web resource on the British actress. Best known for her performances with the Royal Shakespeare Company, "Prime Suspect" and her Oscar-winning role in "The Queen", Helen Mirren is one of the world's most eminent actors today. This unofficial fansite provides you with all latest news, photos and videos on her past and present projects. Enjoy your stay.
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Forget sweeping romantic gestures, Valentine’s Day flowers or showering each other with gifts. Oscar-winning star Dame Helen Mirren says the secret to her long-lasting marriage is simple – being hopelessly unsentimental! “Without being corny, we simply try to be considerate to each other every day,” tells Helen, 72, who celebrated an amazing 20 years of marriage to her husband, Ray director Taylor Hackford, on December 31, which also happened to be the filmmaker’s 73rd birthday. “Taylor and I aren’t remotely romantic with each other,” admits Helen. “And actually, we appreciate the lack of romance in the other person. I’d be completely horrified if Taylor gave me a Valentine’s card. That’s not our sort of relationship at all – we would pour cold water on that sort of thing. We even forget to get each other birthday presents!”
Before the acclaimed actress crossed paths with Taylor on the set of their 1985 drama White Nights, Helen confesses that she never thought she’d be the type to get married. “I did very consciously choose my work over my relationships right up to the time I met Taylor,” tells Helen. “I was 38 when I met Taylor, pretty late in life.” Twice divorced, with a child from each union, the director had lost any romantic illusions and had no plans to settle down again. He says, “When you’re young, you tend to idealise the love relationship. You’re looking for the perfect combination. Unfortunately, I don’t think that happens. When you meet each other and get together mid-life, a lot of things are set.”
However, Taylor recalls experiencing a “chemical” connection from the moment he bumped into Helen and 13 years into their relationship, she became his wife. The film-maker certainly has no regrets, despite the fact their work often has them separated for long periods. “That can be frustrating because I love to be with her,” admits Taylor, who has helmed films like An Officer and a Gentleman and Helen’s box-office flop Love Ranch. “But it can also be quite exciting when you come back together.” That willingness to see his wife spread her wings, says Helen, is another secret to the couple’s success. The star loves that Taylor champions her work – which includes films such as The Queen, Hitchcock and Gosford-Park – and happily supports him with any of his own artistic endeavours. Asked about the secret to a happy marriage at any age, she advises, “Always give your partner the freedom and support to achieve their ambition. Encourage them and support them, and vice versa.”
When they do reunite after long periods apart, the couple prefer to stay in rather than socialise. In fact, Helen says she doesn’t feel like they need to have “date nights” to keep their romance alive. Instead, it’s dialogue that helps to affirm their relationship. “Communication is so important and we do talk a lot,” says the actress. “Actually, I probably don’t talk to Taylor quite as much as he’d like me to – I’m not the kind of woman to constantly ask how he’s feeling or want to pry if he’s quiet. “I’m quite self-contained and happy just to let people be. But we chat to each other about our day and things going on. Taylor absolutely loves a good gossip.”