According to People Magazine, the 2021 Screen Actors Guild Awards are nearing and its list of presenters is getting the star treatment. Helen Mirren, Jimmy Fallon, Henry Golding, Cynthia Erivo and Ethan Hawke will present on Sunday, April 4 during the 27th Screen Actors Guild Awards. The stars join Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen, Lily Collins, Daveed Diggs and Sterling K. Brown, who are already set to present that night. This year’s SAG Awards will be different from past shows. Earlier this month, the guild announced its upcoming awards show will be pre-taped and will only last one hour. “We’re looking at trying to do a unique award ceremony in an hour and leave people saying, which they very rarely do [with an awards show], ‘Man, I wish we had more,'” co-executive producer Todd Milliner told Variety. The show will include the presentation of 13 awards and feature comedy bits as well as the traditional “I Am An Actor” segments from nominees and other presenters. The event will also include an “In Memoriam” segment. According to Variety, the awards will be handed out in the days ahead of the air date in Zoom rooms for each category, where the nominees will gather and the winner will be announced. The winner will then get the chance to make an acceptance speech. That means spoilers are possible, but co-executive producer Kathy Connell hopes that won’t happen. Will & Grace actor Sean Hayes rounds the team of executive producers. “We hope they respect the show enough and everybody does, and their fellow actors, that they don’t want to disappoint the audience at home by letting any surprises go,” Connell said of nominees who will know outcomes ahead of the show’s airdate. The 27th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will be simulcast on TNT and TBS on Sunday, April 4, 2021, at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, with an encore airing on TNT at 11 p.m. ET/ 8 p.m. PT.
Things are looking pretty rubbish for the Queen right now but I have some news that will cheer her up – sort of. The Sun has revealed that the unlikely duo of Dame Helen Mirren, who once played the monarch in a film, and Damian Lewis are teaming up for an album to celebrate Her Majesty’s 95th birthday next month. The actors are making the record with composer Debbie Wiseman and Decca Records, and it will be called The Music Of Kings & Queens. An industry insider said: “Helen and Damian are quite good pals and have a mutual love and respect for the Queen. “They felt it was a very significant birthday and achievement for her to reach 95, so they wanted to do it in a special way. It’s come at a good time and they are hoping it will bring a smile to her face.” Helen won an Oscar for her performance as Elizabeth II in 2006 film The Queen, and three years earlier Prince Charles made her a dame during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace. She did eventually meet Her Majesty in 2014 and five years later was invited to an intimate tea, where she had a “lesson in embarrassment” because she forgot how to address Prince Philip. Damian also has blue blood connections. He played Henry VIII in BBC drama Wolf Hall and his ancestor is The 1st Viscount Dawson of Penn, who was a doctor to the Royal Family in the early 20th Century. Helen, meanwhile, claims to have none. She has said of her brief stint playing the piano: “It was a disaster. It must have been heartbreaking for my poor father to realise that his only daughter had no musical talent.” If, at 95, The Queen is hard of hearing, that won’t be such a bad thing.
Reflecting on diversity and gender equality in the entertainment industry, Dame Helen Mirren said there has been “exponential change” since she stared her career, particularly in the past five years, but there is still a ways to go. “If it’s climbing [Mount] Everest, when I started we were at the bottom of Everest and now I would say we are maybe three-quarters of the way up, still a long way to go,” Mirren said. “I’m kind of pissed off that I wasn’t born 20 years later, not because I particularly want to be younger but…I would love to have experienced this world as a young woman.” As Yahoo! reports, Mirren was the host of the L’Oréal Paris Women of Worth Awards Gala on March 8, part of the Women of Worth initiative, which provided $110,000 in charitable grants to 10 Canadian women who have created innovative programs to provide important supports for their communities. This includes supporting BIPOC entrepreneurs, mental health education for marginalized communities, supports for survivors of human trafficking and gender-based violence, and assistance for newcomer and low-income Canadian families. “They work sometimes in very difficult circumstances, it’s not, as you call, glamorous work, it’s real, grassroots, community based work and these women are incredible heroines,” Mirren said. “I applaud L’Oréal so much for doing this.” Supporting this initiative is very much aligned with how Mirren explained she has tried to live her life, “in a way that is inclusive and recognizing of other people’s abilities and brilliance.” She does also recognize that throughout her career, she has been “ahead of the game” in terms of speaking up as a woman in the entertainment industry. “I would like to have shown more courage, when I think of people like Jane Fonda who exhibited such bravery in her life and her life’s choices,” she revealed. “But…I always was an argumentative person, I was always annoyingly argumentative saying, ‘no why should I, just because I’m a women I’m not going to do that.'”
American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization, today announced Helen Mirren has narrated its soon to be released documentary, “Escape from Extinction,” expected to be released this fall, Broadwayworld.com reports. The organization’s first feature documentary “Escape from Extinction,” directed and produced by Matthew Brady of MRB Productions, showcases the critical efforts Certified Zoos and Aquariums are undertaking to preserve millions of species on the verge of disappearing forever. It will draw significant attention to the dire circumstances facing animals today and illustrate how certified zoos and aquariums are saving endangered species. According to a recent United Nations report, there are currently one million plant and animal species on the verge of extinction. The film comes amidst a global pandemic that many believe to have been caused by the trafficking and consumption of exotic ANIMALS. “During this current global crisis, we are seeing an uptick in poaching and slaughtering of some of the world’s most endangered megafauna, which underscores the critical need to rapidly increase conservation efforts across the world,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane, who is also an executive producer on the film. “Certified zoos and aquariums are on the frontline of saving species around the world through conservation, rescue breeding and environmental awareness. You can’t protect what you don’t love, and you can’t love what you don’t know. We at American Humane are so thankful to Helen for joining us in telling this critical story of survival, while educating others on how to be advocate.
According to Deadline, Oscar-winning duo Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren will play husband and wife in Roger Michell’s art heist comedy movie The Duke for Pathé. I can reveal that the film is officially greenlighted and will shoot in January 2020. The script by Richard Bean (One Man, Two Guvnors) and Clive Coleman is based on the real-life story of 60-year-old taxi driver Kempton Bunton who, in 1961, stole a Goya painting from the National Gallery in London. Bunton sent a ransom note saying he would only return the picture on condition that the UK government agreed to provide free TV for the elderly. However, it turned out he was spinning a web of lies, with the full story not emerging for another 50 years. The incident was the first, and still only, theft in the National Gallery’s history. Producers on the project are Nicky Bentham (Moon) for her UK banner Neon Films with Pathé, Ingenious Media and Screen Yorkshire. Executive Producers are Cameron McCracken and Jenny Borgars for Pathé, Andrea Scarso for Ingenious Media, and Hugo Heppell for Screen Yorkshire. Pathé will distribute the film in the UK, France and Switzerland and will handle sales for the rest of the world, commencing at AFM next week. Yesterday, the company also announced a new entry in the Asterix & Obelix franchise of successful French movies, which will also be on its AFM slate. Director Michell is coming off the back of Blackbird, with Susan Sarandon, Sam Neill and Kate Winslet, which premiered at TIFF. Nicky Bentham has been working on the project for four years since responding to a cold email from the grandson of Kempton Bunton. “He contacted me directly saying he had a story, it was a one paragraph email. A lot of those things come through your inbox but this one caught my eye, so I started researching the details,” Bentham told us. “I thought, ‘surely that’s not true?’ But the more I looked the more I was amazed that it actually happened.” The producer visited the family, discovering a wealth of source material including press clippings, court transcripts, family photos and original writings by Bunton, who turned out to be an amateur playwright. Bentham believed the natural home for the project was Pathé, due to the company’s track record producing comparable projects (see Florence Foster Jenkins, Suffragette, The Queen). “Pathé was the first call I made. It’s a very British story in its sensibility, quirkiness and humor – I knew they’d be able to get to the best version of it.” Broadbent was such a clear frontrunner for the lead role that Bentham says they didn’t even write a list, “If you look at the pictures [of Bunton] it’s hard to imagine anyone else.” Luckily he responded quickly and positively to the material, as did Mirren when sent the screenplay.