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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EXCLUSIVE: The Oscar winner admits she can be plagued by anxiety but keeping herself busy in the garden helps her stay in a positive state of mind
Helen Mirren has learned to chase away any “dark dragons” by indulging herself in a little green therapy. The Queen Oscar winner claims nothing soothes her anxieties better than getting her hands dirty in the gardens of her homes in London and the US. Dame Helen, 74, said: “I am not very good at turning off but gardening is a wonderful thing to do because it is absorbent, meditative and it is a learning process and it is physical. “It is a really good way of keeping those dark dragons away. I do have them. I do, yes.”
Dame Helen, married to Hollywood director Taylor Hackford, 75, has admitted in the past to suffering from “negative thoughts”. She has even told of locking herself in a toilet to work through issues. The star of TV’s Prime Suspect, Helen lent her support to mental health charities last summer when she opened up about her anxiety issues on the My Self Worth podcast. She told how she sometimes feels “boring and not exciting enough” while getting “incredibly intimidated” working with big names in movies and TV. In the recording, made in collaboration with The Prince’s Trust and L’Oreal Paris to promote mental health awareness, she said: “These negative thoughts are always lurking there under the surface. Everybody feels this way, you are not the only one.
“What always comes up in my head is that ‘I’m boring, I’m stupid, I’m not exciting enough.’ “Sometimes I lock myself in the loo to give myself a talking to like, ‘You can do it, Helen, don’t worry.’” She opened up about her gardening therapy secret last week as she spoke to Downton Abbey actor Jim Carter in a fundraiser for the Kiln Theatre, West London. Fresh from landing back in the UK from the Oscars, she also recounted how she has just completed a film called The Duke with fellow Oscar-winning Brit Jim Broadbent, 70. She said: “The story is reminiscent of the Ealing comedies era of film-making in Britain. “It is based on a true story about the hijacking of a famous painting of the Duke of Marlborough by a man who is very angry about old age pensioners having to pay for their TV licences. “The film takes place in the early 1960s and I play his wife. It is a very charming.”
Dame Helen also spoke about diversity in film and said she was shocked to learn hardly any black talent worked on her latest movie. She added: “It is still very white. We were on set and there were no black faces. Not in front of the camera but behind the camera. That has got to change.” And from her years in the business, Dame Helen has some no-nonsense advice for how to deal with award ceremonies. She explained: “The way to get through them is not exactly take the p*** but not take it too seriously. It’s when you take it seriously that you get nervous. I am getting better at it. My best bit of advice is, ‘Don’t be such a tw*t’. It is very British.”