Helen Mirren is the kind of woman who invites fantasy.
She is so regal and classy, yet she doesn’t have a moment’s hesitation about shedding her clothes for a role. And you never quite know what she might say, which makes for very entertaining interviews.
For the March issue of The Advocate, the-woman-who-has-been-Queen talked about her relationship with LGBT fans — especially lesbians. Here are some highlights.
On why Jane Tennison, the detective Mirren played in Prime Suspect, has become a lesbian icon:
Well, the character wasn’t a lesbian, but Jackie Malton, the person she was based on, was a lesbian. She used to say that she came out as a gay woman very early on in her police career because she didn’t want anyone to think that she’d f—-d her way to the top. So she was quite a character herself, and it’s interesting that somehow people picked up on that through Jane.
On kissing Kyra Sedgwick in Losing Chase:
Well, just look at Kyra’s mouth — I mean, my God!
On playing a lesbian:
I think the most interesting actors are the ones who bring a mixed sexuality to the table — the male actors who have a lot of femininity in them and the actresses who have a lot of masculinity. That’s the nature of acting, in a sense: to fall somewhere in between the sexes in general.
On whom she would pick as a love interest if she played a lesbian again:
I would just want a wonderful actress, gay or straight, but I certainly wouldn’t say no to Ellen DeGeneres. I’m such a huge fan of hers and I’ve loved her from a distance for such a long time, so it was quite a moment for me this year to do her show, stand on her set, and see her right there in front of me.
On whether she competes with Dame Judi Dench:
No, I wouldn’t say so. Like her, I work in film, television, and theater — which is a very British attitude — but she came ahead of me, so I’ve always been following in her footsteps in many ways. Certainly, I’m an incredible admirer of hers, and I aspire to work the way she works. So no, Brandon, we don’t arm-wrestle.
Oh, to see Helen Mirren arm wrestle. Or mud wrestle.
And if this puts you in the mood to see Dame Helen on screen, don’t miss her Oscar-nominated performance in The Last Station, which finally gets its U.S. wide release this weekend.