Acting Legend Dame Helen Mirren speaks out on Brexit, Netflix and death Ahead of the Release of THE LEISURE SEEKER
This Friday’s i newspaper features iconic actress Dame Helen Mirren who opens up about her acceptance of approaching death and her thoughts on Brexit.
In this interview, the BAFTA-winning actress talks candidly about the lack of privacy in modern Hollywood and the impact that Netflix is having on the film industry.
On working towards accepting death “As much a part of life as anything else” [death can’t be ignored, she says.] “We are all headed in that direction, sorry to tell you! It’s gonna happen. So one might as well confront it, and what better time to confront it than the latter part of your life? As you travel through life, you do realise that you lose friends and colleagues and death becomes a part of your life and that happens at every age. It’s not just what happens to older people.”
On her opinions of Brexit “Well I live in the States and England,” she answers. “It’s very hard to see where Brexit is going to take us. The Brits themselves…it was an idea, and rather like Trump’s America, it was a rather nostalgic idea. Let’s go back to how it used to be, with cricket and tea on the lawn and people being nice to each other. None of these horrible problems [of today].”
On the lack of privacy in Hollywood “There used to be an understanding of privacy. There is no understanding of privacy now. Privacy is completely gone. Random people taking photos, e-mails being hacked, people doing screen grabs…it used to be if you did a nude scene, for example, closed set, no photography. Now they [take] a screen shot from the movie and put it on the internet, for everybody to see.”
On how Netflix is influencing the film industry [For her husband, American film director Taylor Hackford, whom she met on 1985’s White Nights, the rise of streaming sites like Netflix changed everything.] “It’s devastating for people like my husband, film directors, because they want their movies to be watched in a cinema with a group of people. So it’s a communal thing.” [Needless to say at home, Mirren daren’t watch movies on her phone.] “But I’ll watch them on my iPad,” [she smiles.]
On the resilience of the American people [While it’s not hard to see where her loyalties lie – her Instagram features a girl with “Fuck Trump” painted onto her lips – she has] “great faith” [in the American people.] “I think Americans are extraordinary. No matter what their political outlook, there is a unifying thing in America. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I know it’s there. They are extraordinary organisers. They are incredibly energetic. I think they’re pretty amazing people, Americans.”
The full interview appears in this Friday’s issue of the i newspaper, out on 13th April.
This in an extract from the full interview with Helen Mirren, available to read in this Friday’s issue of the i newspaper, priced at 60p.