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Helen Mirren: There’s Nothing Like That Evening I Won An Oscar For ‘The Queen’ | Sunday TODAY


WEEK. GUEST JESSICA CHASTAIN HOSTED WITH TROY SAVANT AS MUSICAL GUEST.>>>DAME HELEN MIRREN IS HOLLYWOOD ROYALTY. HER CAREER HAS SPANNED FIVE DECADES AND A LONG LIST OF IMPRESSIVE CREDITS. ONE ROLE SEEMS TO KEEP POPPING UP, HER ROLE AS THE QUEEN. SHE WON A BEST ACTRESS OSCAR FOR HER PORTRAYAL AFTER TAKING AN AWARD FOR OTHER ROLES. BUT THERE IS A PAIR OF UPCOMING NEW ROLES. HELEN AND I GOT TOGETHER IN NEW YORK FOR A SUNDAY SIT-DOWN.>>WHEN HOSTING A DAME OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE, KEEP IN MIND PROPER TEA SERVICE.>>WHAT IS IT?>>THAT’S A COFFEE POT.>>WE’VE ALREADY BLOWN IT. ESPECIALLY WHEN THE DAME IS HELEN MIRREN. I THINK WE SHOULD BEGIN WITH THE GLARING ERROR HERE ON OUR TEA SET, WHICH IS NOT A TEA SET AT ALL.>>IT’S A COFFEE SET, THAT’S FOR SURE. IF I WERE YOUR TEACHER, IT WOULD BE A FOR EFFORT, ABSOLUTELY, BUT A C-MINUS FOR THE REST.>>A PASSING GRADE FOR THE 72-YEAR-OLD ACTRESS BEST KNOWN FOR PLAYING BRITISH ROYALTY. YOU’VE WON EVERY POSSIBLE AWARD FOR PLAYING THE QUEEN.>>THEY LOVE GIVING AWARDS TO QUEENS, I DON’T KNOW WHY. THEY DO. NO ONE REALLY QUITE REALIZED THAT YOU COULD DO IT, YOU KNOW, AND THEN, OH, YEAH, WE CAN. YOU’RE ALLOWED TO DO THIS.>>WAS IT DIFFICULT GOING IN?>>IT WAS QUITE DICEY, IT WAS. ONLY BECAUSE THE BRITISH PEOPLE HAVE SUCH AN EXTRAORDINARY, PASSIONATE INVOLVEMENT WITH THEIR MONARCHY.>>THERE IS NO ONE WHO KNOWS THE BRITISH PEOPLE BETTER THAN I DO, MR. BLAIR.>>I’VE MET THE QUEEN ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS, YES. WE SHARE A LITTLE SPARKLE. NEITHER MENTIONS IT, BUT WE BOTH KNOW IT’S THERE SORT OF THING.>>BUT SHE DOESN’T ACKNOWLEDGE IT, JUST A BIT OF A WINK?>>YES. NO, NOT A WINK. THE QUEEN DOESN’T WINK.>>MIRREN’S FASCINATION WITH ACTING BEGAN WHEN SHE WAS JUST A YOUNG GIRL IN THE 1950s.>>DO YOU REMEMBER THE MOMENT YOU GOT THE ACTING BUG?>>I GREW UP IN A TOWN THAT’S THE BRITISH EQUIVALENT OF CONEY ISLAND. WE HAVE THE LONGEST PIER IN THE WORLD AT SOUTH ISLAND SEA. MY PARENTS TOOK ME TO SEE A VARIETY SHOW AT THE END OF THE PIER CALLED “OUT OF THE BLUE.” I WAS ABSOLUTELY ME SSMERIZED AND I WANTED TO BE A PART OF THAT WORLD.>>SHE WAS INTRODUCED TO THE NATIONAL YOUTH THEATER WHERE SHE GRAVITATED TO THE WORKS OF SHAKESPEARE AND SOON WAS INVITED TO JOIN THE ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY. BY 1967, THE BRITISH FILM INDUSTRY HAD BEGUN TO TAKE NOTICE OF A RISING STAR.>>DO YOU WANT ME?>>MIRREN WAS BOLD IN HER ROLES, AND IN REAL LIFE, TOO.>>YOU’LL FIND THAT YOUR FIGURE, YOUR PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTES, HINDER YOU IN YOUR PURSUIT OF BEING A PROFESSIONAL ACTRESS.>>SERIOUS ACTORS CAN’T HAVE BIG BOSOMS, IS THAT WHAT YOU MEAN?>>WHEN WE HEAR THESE STORIES OF HOLLYWOOD IN THE LAST SEVERAL MONTHS, DO YOU SAY, YES, I’VE EXPERIENCED THAT?>>I HAVE NEVER EXPERIENCED THAT IN HOLLYWOOD BECAUSE I WAS IN MY 30s. I WAS TOO OLD. WHEN I WAS BETWEEN 16 AND 23, 24, MEN WOULD EXPOSE THEMSELVES TO ME OFTEN. I WOULD SAY ABOUT ONCE A WEEK.>>REALLY.>>ON THE SUBWAY, ON THE TUBE, ON THE BUS, WALKING DOWN A ROAD. IT WAS LIKE, UGH. WEIRD, BECAUSE IT’S NOT LIKE YOU’RE GOING TO GO, OH, MY GOD, THAT’S THE MOST GORGEOUS THING I’VE EVER SEEN. IT’S THE OPPOSITE. IT’S HORROR.>>MIRREN’S CAREER TOOK HER TO HOLLYWOOD FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE EARLY 1980s.>>YOU DRIVE A MERCEDES?>>AND WHAT DO YOU DRIVE IN THE AMERICAN LINE? DONKEY?>>MIRREN MET HER LONG-TIME PARTNER IN 1984 FOR 20 YEARS NOW, DIRECTOR TAYLOR HACKFORD. IT WAS SEVEN YEARS LATER WHEN MIRREN LANDED THE BREAKTHROUGH ROLE OF LIEUTENANT INSPECTOR JANE TENNYSON IN THE PRIME SUSPECT SERIES “NATURAL SUSPECT.” BY THE TIME THE SHOW WRAPPED IN 2006, HELEN MIRREN WAS A HOUSEHOLD NAME. NOMINATED TWICE FOR BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS FIRST IN “THE MADNESS OF KING GEORGE” AND SHE THEN WON AS THE QUEEN. SINCE THEN SHE’S HAD OTHER CHOICE OF ROLES. MIRREN’S LATEST FILM “WINCHESTER” TAKES HER IN AN ENTIRELY NEW DIRECTION.>>PROFITING FROM SUCH A THING AS VIOLENCE AND DEATH?>>I’M SO FASCINATED BY YOUR CHOICES. THERE IS A MOMENT WHEN YOU WATCH THE MOVIE, YOUR VEIL COMES UP AND THERE’S HELEN MIRREN AND YOU’RE CHILLING IN THE ROLE. WHAT EXCITED YOU ABOUT PLAYING THAT KIND OF A PART?>>IT’S MORE OF A GHOST STORY FILM. I THOUGHT THAT WOULD BE VERY INTERESTING. BUT THERE IS THIS REAL HOUSE AND THIS REAL WOMAN, AND ONE OF THE LEGENDS THAT GREW UP AROUND HER WAS THAT SHE WAS BUILDING THE HOUSE TO PLACATE THE GHOSTS OF THE PEOPLE WHO HAD BEEN KILLED BY THE WINCHESTER RIFLE. THAT’S BASICALLY THE STORY THAT WE EMBRACED. INCIDENTALLY, I DON’T BELIEVE IN GHOSTS. DID YOU SEE THAT?>>YOU ACTUALLY SCARED ME FOR A SECOND. YOU’RE GOOD AT THAT.>>SHE FLOATED BY.>>YES, SHE FLOATED BY. DID YOU SEE THAT?>>MIRREN GOES FROM A GHOST STORY TO A ROAD TRIP IN HER NEXT FILM. SHE CO-STARS WITH DONALD SUTHERLAND IN “THE LEISURE SEEKER” ABOUT A SENIOR COUPLE’S W WINNEBAGO TRIP.>>WE THOUGHT WE WOULD FLASH SCENES OF YOU.>>OH, WHERE I GREW UP. I CAN ALMOST REMEMBER THAT LITTLE SWIMMING COSTUME, YES. THAT’S NATIONAL YOUTH THEATER WE WERE TALKING ABOUT EARLY ON. I PLAYED CLEOPATRA AND THAT LAUNCH MID CAREER, ACTUALLY. THANK GOD YOU CAN’T SEE MY KNICKERS IN THAT ONE.>>TO THE REST OF US MERE MORTALS, WHAT’S IT LIKE TO HAVE YOUR NAME CALLED LIKE THAT?>>THERE IS NOTHING LIKE THAT. THERE IS NOTHING LIKE IT. THAT WAS A CHRISTIAN LECROIX DRESS MADE ESPECIALLY FOR ME. I HAD NEVER EXPERIENCED THAT BEFORE IN MY LIFE.>>OFTEN A ROYAL ON SCREEN, DAME HELEN MIRREN SOUNDS A LOT LIKE THE REST OF US AT HOME. I HEARD YOU SAY IN AN INTERVIEW THAT IF YOU HAD YOUR WAY, YOU WOULD STAY HOME AT NIGHT AND WATCH TV. I THINK PEOPLE VIEW YOU IN SORT OF A REGAL WAY. PART OF IT IS THE WAY YOU CARRY YOURSELF, PLUS YOU PLAYED THE QUEEN.>>I AM SO NOT REGAL, THOUGH. I DON’T GET IT.>>YOU LIKE TO SIT AT HOME IN YOUR SWEAT PANTS AND WATCH NETFLIX?>>NOT IN MY SWEAT PANTS. OF COURSE NOT. TIGHT PENCIL SKIRT WITH A NEAT LITTLE TOP AND LAPELS AND STILETTO SHOES.>>DAME HELEN MIRREN SAYS HER FAVORITE SHOW TO WATCH ON NETFLIX IS “STRANGER THINGS.” “THE LEISURE SEEKER” OPENS ON MARCH 9. TO HEAR WHAT SHE FACED IN THE 1960s AS A WOMAN IN FILM, CHECK HER OUT ON OUR WEBSITE. HELLO, DYLAN.>>I ALSO LIKE “STRANGER THINGS.”>>TWINS.>>LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT THE HEAVIER SNOW WE’RE GOING TO SEE, ESPECIALLY EARLIER THIS WEEK ACROSS MINNESOTA AND NORTHERN WISCONSIN. HEAVY RAIN AHEAD OF IT, AND WE COULD SEE ISOLATED SEVERE STORMS, TOO. BY THE END OF THE WEEK, THAT STORM MOVES AWAY BUT ANOTHER ONE MOVES TO THE WEST COAST BRINGING

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