Some excerpts from Helen’s sit-down with Oprah:
Oprah, talking to Helen Mirren, on her excitement around her being cast in the role ofMadame Mallory in The Hundred-Foot Journey:.
“I loved the book The Hundred-Foot Journey and was so excited to be involved in the making of the film. It was Steven [Spielberg] – whom I hadn’t worked with since The Color Purple – who said”, “I think we should ask Helen.” I said, ‘The Helen?’ And then we all held our breath to see if you’d say yes. When you did, we sighed and said, “Now we have a movie!’” My Note: “Click on” the August 7th NCM Blog post below for a synopsis of The Hundred-Foot Journey. You’ll definitely want to go out to dinner afterwards
Helen on what it was like to win her Oscar in 2006 for the movie “The Queen”:
“The Oscar is just one of those amazing, magical moments that came out of the blue. Years ago, there used to be an ad in England for the lottery that featured an ordinary family going about their life and this big, sparkly finger coming out of the sky and pointing in through the window as if to say, ‘It could be you, winning the lottery’.
I feel that way about the Oscar. It was a big finger that came out of the sky and said, ‘It’syou.’ You witness in your life so many talented people who deserve the greatest success but are not getting it for all kinds of reasons. So much of it is hard work, but it’s a lottery as well.”
On how nervous she was when she met Queen Elizabeth II in person, a couple of years after The Queen came out:
“I was terrified. There are certain people who can deal with meeting the queen. But the vast majority of us get queenitis. You just – you cannot think of anything to say.”
On falling in love in her late 30’s and marrying in her 50’s:
“ I used to say to Taylor, her husband of 17 years. ‘I wish we’d met earlier on. We’ve missed so much time together.’ And he’d say, ‘We’d never be together now if we met earlier.’ And I think he’s actually right because we were both on a trajectory of work and ambition and, of course, to a certain extent, wanting to resolve ourselves as ourselves.
’Before I met Taylor, all my relationships took second place to my work. If I had to go to Africa, it was ‘Bye-bye, I’m off to Africa.’ And then he came into my life, and I started thinking, Maybe it’s time to have a different attitude – and to say that my relationship is at least as important as my work. To give it the time.
My note: Helen met her future husband Taylor Hackford a director/producer on the set of “White Nights” the 1985 movie starring Mikhail Baryshnikov and the late Gregory Hines. Helen played Galina Ivanova a former ballerina and former girlfriend of Nikolai ‘Kolya’ Rodchenko the character played by Baryshnikov.
Helen Mirren &Taylor Hackford
Helen Mirren blowing kisses to her fans
Dame Helen Mirren
Thirty years ago, for my birthday, my then boyfriend gave me a stuffed leopard in a cage. It was brilliant. I still have it.
Being extremely lazy. I’m excellent at spending hours doing absolutely nothing.
Best Thing Most People Don’t Know About Me
I make clothes. They’re always a bit of a disaster, but I like doing it. I’m particularly fond of buttons, and I adore darning socks.
Best Shortcut to Feeling Beautiful
It has nothing to do with clothing or makeup. Just put your shoulders back and chin up, and face the world with pride.
Best Book I’ve Read Recently
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. It’s one of those utterly delightful books that are tragic yet somehow life-affirming.
Best Life Lesson from Shakespeare
He had such a deep understanding of the progress of life, the journey toward death—you can’t wriggle out of it. The end is inevitable. I find such beauty in accepting that.
Riding in a London cab. I look out at the city and enjoy that someone else is in charge.
Best Thing a Man Can Say to His Wife
“I love the way you look first thing in the morning, darling.”
James Brown was a main influence for Michael Jackson and Bruno Mars – “Get On Up” opens tomorrow, Aug. 1st