Mirren In Talks To Star In Biopic “The Woman in Gold”

Dame Helen Mirren is in talks to star in a new movie about a real-life Jewish refugee who battled Austrian officials for the safe return of art stolen from her family by the Nazis during World War II.

The Queen star is slated to portray Maria Altmann in The Woman in Gold, about the four decades she spent fighting government officials in Austria after learning they had taken charge of art pieces including The Lady In Gold, Portrait Of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, which belonged to her uncle, and was valued at over £81.3 million.

In 2006, the paintings were returned to Altmann and her relatives.

My Week With Marilyn filmmaker Simon Curtis is set to direct the movie, with production slated to begin in the summer in the U.S. and Europe.

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February 20, 2014 by KirstyArticles

Mirren Voices Support for National Youth Theatre

Dame Helen Mirren has called for support for the National Youth Theatre, describing it as “incredibly important” for aspiring actors from working class backgrounds.

The star said the NYT was her “way in” to the profession as her family “didn’t have money to send me to drama school”.

Dame Helen was speaking after being honoured with a Bafta Fellowship award.

She is the latest star to voice concerns that only those with wealthy parents will be able to go into acting.

“The National Youth Theatre at this moment in time is incredibly important because the way my business is going, it’s the prerogative only of kids who have got money,” she said.

“It’s very difficult for working class kids to get into the theatre,” added Dame Helen.

The NYT is a charity that offers free training to young people hoping to make a career of acting or working behind the scenes in the theatre.

Last year it awarded nearly £90,000 to young people via hardship bursaries, and set up the NYT Rep Company, a free eight-month talent development scheme which culminated in a run of three plays in the West End.

Other famous alumni include Daniel Craig, Matt Lucas, Matt Smith and Chiwetel Ejiofor, who picked up best actor for 12 Years a Slave at Sunday night’s Bafta ceremony.

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February 19, 2014 by KirstyArticles

Mirren: Evening Standard Awards Debacle Was Upsetting

Dame Helen Mirren has every reason to feel proud of the Bafta Fellowship that the Duke of Cambridge presented her with over the weekend, but the actress isn’t so sure about the value of another gong that she has on her mantle piece.

Indeed, when she was named “best actress” in the Evening Standard Drama Awards last year for The Audience, several judges resigned amid claims — hotly denied — that it had been “fixed” by the executives of the London freesheet, and other actresses, such as Lesley Manville who had won acclaim for her turn in Ghosts, had been done out of what was rightfully theirs.

“It was a debacle,” Dame Helen says of what happened. “It didn’t shock me — goodness knows, there are more shocking things that happen on this planet — but it was a little upsetting.”

She said she had herself sat on awards panels where they had decided the winners by secret ballot — as they were in the Standard awards — and she saw some merit in the process, as it meant, at the outset, no one was influencing anyone else. “But at some point, it has to switch to open voting, so hopefully the Standard will sort out their procedure,” she adds.

Dame Helen, by the way, is quite diffident about her greatest honour.

“Oh, please don’t call me Dame Helen,” she told one distinguished member of her profession when they spoke on the telephone not so long ago. “I never ever use the title.”

“Well, why did you accept it?” he asked her, not unreasonably.

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February 18, 2014 by KirstyArticles

Mirren ‘Sad Late Parents Won’t See Her Honoured At The BAFTAs’

Helen Mirren has voiced her sadness that her parents will not witness her being honoured at The BAFTAs on Sunday night.

The Red 2 actress is being given the BAFTA Fellowship for her contribution to the movie industry, but has revealed she has mixed emotions about receiving the accolade which her parents didn’t live to see.

“I’ll try not to be too emotional about it,” the 68-year-old told Press Association.

Helen’s father, Vasiliy Petrovich Mironov, passed away in 1980, while her mother, Kitty Mironov, died 16 years later in 1996.

“The emotional quotient, if my lip starts trembling, is the thought that my parents aren’t here to be proud and that’s the trouble with getting these sort of lifetime things because they do tend to come towards the latter part of your life as opposed to the beginning and they would have been so proud and so pleased for me,” the actress added.

Despite her disappointment, the Oscar-winning actress revealed that she could seek comfort at least in the fact her parents would be relieved her acting career has hit such heights.

“They would be so relieved that it all worked out,” she added.

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February 16, 2014 by KirstyArticles

Mirren to be Honoured with BAFTA Fellowship

Helen Mirren will be honoured with a Bafta fellowship at the annual awards ceremony next month.

Mirren, who has won four Baftas and been nominated for prizes on a further seven occasions, follows in the footsteps of Hollywood luminaries such as Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Elizabeth Taylor, Stanley Kubrick, Laurence Olivier, Judi Dench, Christopher Lee and Martin Scorsese. Bugsy Malone, Fame and Mississippi Burning director Alan Parker was handed the fellowship, the highest honour bestowed by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, at last year’s ceremony.

Mirren said: “This is the greatest professional honour I can imagine, certainly one I never dreamt of as a schoolgirl in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex. To join that list of legendary names is overwhelming.”

Bafta chairman John Willis said: “Dame Helen Mirren receives the fellowship as one of the most outstanding actresses of her generation. Dame Helen’s incredibly successful career is testament to the determination, dedication and skill she brings to each of her roles.”

Mirren’s career began in the 1960s, but her breakthrough role is often considered to be Victoria, the sharp-as-a-knife gangster’s moll she played opposite Bob Hoskins in the 1980 British crime thriller The Long Good Friday. She picked up a first Bafta film nomination for 1984 IRA drama Cal, and a second for 1994′s The Madness of King George, for which she was also nominated for an Oscar for the first time.

Mirren received a damehood for services to the performing arts in 2003, and won a Bafta, a Golden Globe and the Oscar for best actress for the 2006 Stephen Frears film The Queen.

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January 27, 2014 by KirstyArticles

Mirren lucked out with Spector role

Dame Helen Mirren has revealed she only landed her award winning role in TV drama Phil Spector because Bette Midler injured herself.

The Queen actress scored a Screen Actors Guild Award for best female actor in a television movie or mini-series for the HBO drama, in which she played lawyer Linda Kenney Baden.

Collecting her male statue trophy, the star said she thought her statue was “sexy” and said she did not feel “saggy” despite her win.

Speaking afterwards, she said: “I so did not expect to win. I was sure Elisabeth (Moss) was going to win. I came in a relaxed state. I had a drink – big mistake.”

Addressing her role in the drama about the record producer convicted of murder, Dame Helen said: “Bette Midler was originally going to do it. She had to drop out after shooting one week with Al (Pacino). She had a bad neck so had to drop out. I was on holiday in Italy and got a call to do a film with Al Pacino.

“I had to leave my holiday and the lovely time I was having and go into something quite challenging. I lucked out in my role.”

But the veteran star was not the only Brit to win big at the glittering ceremony at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, Dame Maggie Smith scooped the award for best actress in a TV drama series for her role of Lady Violet Crawley in Downton Abbey – but was not there to collect the gong.

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January 21, 2014 by KirstyArticles

Mirren is Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year

Dame Helen Mirren has been selected as Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year.

The Oscar and BAFTA-winning actress will accept the award from America’s oldest theatrical group on January 30.

Mirren is being given the prize for having “garnered international critical acclaim”.

She joked in a statement that it is “very saucey” of Harvard to give her the Woman of the Year prize.

“As someone who adores Pudding in all its manifestations – Suet, Christmas, Treacle, Bread and Butter, Yorkshire, Plum, Figgy, etc, etc – I am so looking forward to the famous Hasty Pudding,” she quipped.

The Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year prize has previously been given to Marion Cotillard, Claire Danes and Julianne Moore.

Mirren will next star in The Hundred-Foot Journey, opening on August 8 in the US and September 12 in the UK.

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January 17, 2014 by KirstyArticles

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