Dame Helen had a busy Tuesday in London with appearances at the premiere of “The Duke” as well as a taping of “The Graham Norton Show”, which will air this Friday in the UK. Pictures have been added to the photo gallery.
During the Christmas Holidays, I recapped some of Helen’s films that I found in better quality – and which serve as a great testament of her acting range if you throw these three films togehter: There’s “Eye in the Sky” from 2015, in which Helen played a UK-based military colonel in command of a secret drone opteration. Then, there’s Paul Schrader’s 1990 drama/horror “The Comfort of Strangers”, which is one of the most deranged projects in Helen’s career. Nevertheless, it was great seeing the restored version in such great quality, I hope the screencaptures show, it remains a guilty pleasure. The third film is a 1982 BBC adaptation of Stephen Poliakoff’s “Soft Targets”, in which Helen draws Ian Holm’s Soviet journalist character into the eccentric upper-middle-class English life. Enjoy the new screencaptures.
Dame Helen Mirren has said questions over the choice to have her play Israel’s first female prime minister, Golda Meir, are “utterly legitimate”. The casting for the upcoming biopic Golda, directed by Guy Nattiv, was criticised by fellow actor Dame Maureen Lipman last month because Mirren is not Jewish. Meir, who died in 1978, was Israel’s prime minister between 1969 and 1974. The new film is set during the Yom Kippur war in 1973 and started shooting in November 2021. Mirren told the Daily Mail, as reported by The Guardian the question of her appropriateness for the role had occurred to her too. “It was certainly a question that I had, before I accepted the role. [Meir] is a very important person in Israeli history,” she said. “I said, ‘Look, Guy, I’m not Jewish, and if you want to think about that, and decide to go in a different direction, no hard feelings. I will absolutely understand.’” Lipman previously said that the challenge of acting was to become the character you are playing regardless of background. But, speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, she added that actors who shared the background of their character should be looked at first. On the portrayal of Meir specifically, she highlighted that “the Jewishness of the character is so integral”. Responding to Lipman’s criticism, Mirren said: “I do believe it is a discussion that has to be had – it’s utterly legitimate.” “I very much respect Maureen. And I love her as an actress, absolutely. “I’d love to bump into her and sit and have a cup of tea and talk about it,” she added. “Dame to dame, I suggest.” She added: “‘My only real fear is if I’m really bad as Golda … in which case, I’ll be toast.”
Next month, Helen Mirren will receive the Life Achievement Award at the (most probably virtual) Screen Actors Guild Awards on February 27. In a special For Your Consideration issue, the guild’s official magazine is bestowing us with a wonderful cover story and article that features an outstanding new editorial of Helen. Have a look at the scans below.
Photo Gallery – Magazine Articles & Scans – 2022 – SAG Aftra Digital Issue (USA, January 2022)
According to Deadline, Sony Pictures Classics has set a March 25 theatrical release date for The Duke, directed by the late Roger Michell. The film starring Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren will open in theaters in New York and Los Angeles before expanding in the following weeks. The dramedy is currently playing at the Laemmle Royal in Los Angeles for a one-week awards qualifying run through Dec. 16. The Duke is set in 1961, when Kempton Bunton, a 60-year old taxi driver, stole Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery in London. It was the first (and remains the only) theft in the Gallery’s history. Kempton sent ransom notes saying that he would return the painting on condition that the government agreed to provide television for free to the elderly. What happened next became the stuff of legend. Only 50 years later did the full story emerge – a startling revelation of how a good man set out to change the world and in so doing saved his son and his marriage. With screenplay by Richard Bean and Clive Coleman, it’s produced by Nicky Bentham and executive produced by Cameron McCracken and Jenny Borgars for Pathé, Andrea Scarso for Ingenious Media, Hugo Heppell for Screen Yorkshire, Peter Scarf, and Christopher Bunton. It played at the Venice and Telluride Film Festivals. It is the final film from Michell, who passed away in September. A couple of new production stills have been added alongside the Italian poster for the film.