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  HOME | Arts & Entertainment

Helen Mirren: Fine, I’ll Grow Old

BERLIN – Legendary actress Helen Mirren believes there are only two options when it comes to aging: you either die young or grow old.

“You know, I feel so sorry for Kurt Cobain because Kurt Cobain never saw GPS. GPS is the most unbelievably brilliant thing. I am so happy that I stayed alive to witness GPS and see my little blue dot moving along the phone,” British actor told EFE in an interview.

“It’s the most miraculous thing!

“I want to stay alive for all that! I don’t want to die young and the only alternative to dying young is to get old, OK fine. I’ll do it,” she continued.

The actress is in the German capital to be awarded a Golden Bear for lifetime achievement at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival on Thursday.

Sporting an elegant magenta dress, Mirren spoke to EFE and looked back on her career and what moved her to become an actress:

“Originally my motivations were to do with escape,” said Mirren, who won the Academy Award for her role in “The Queen” (2007).

“There was London glittering and exciting just down the road and that was where I wanted to be, but I came into the idea of drama and storytelling just through escape from normality.

“But then as I processed through my career and my life as an actress, I guess I realized that the world of drama actually is nothing to do with escape it’s to do with confronting the reality of what it is to be a human being in all its different manifestations.

“So I think that is what kept me the world of acting,” Mirren continued.

A versatile performer, Mirren has taken to the stage, cinema and television screen with ease and aplomb.

For years the theater was a religion for her.

“I felt it was fulfilling an incredibly important role in the artistic life of human beings,” the star said of her period working with director Peter Brook.

Many years before the #MeToo feminist movement came to the fore, Mirren was involved in a now-iconic 1975 interview with BBC presenter Michael Parkinson, which some have accused of acting in a sexist way towards her.

“It was a cultural dinosaurial attitude, I wouldn’t call it misogyny honestly,” Mirren said of the encounter.

“There were attitudes around in the ’60s and ’70s that I had to deal with, but they were attitudes, and attitudes change and that’s one of the great things, I am sure you know, about getting older, is that things change,” she continued.

When asked about her key achievements as an actress, Mirren said: “Some of my best film work actually has been on television. I’ve done some great roles on television. Every era has brought its own advantages and disadvantages.”

In her conversation with EFE, Mirren recalled a period in her life when she was haunted by profound insecurity.

In a bid to feel better she visited an Indian palm reader. He instructed her to take notes during the session warning he would be talking a great speed. Which he did, the actress recalled.

Once the palm reader finished she paid him five pounds and left with a vast sheaf of papers in her hand.

“I looked at this sheaf of papers and I thought you know what? I don’t want to know, and I went to the nearest rubbish bin and I threw it away and it liberated me because at that moment I realized I didn’t want to know what the future was going to bring.”

 

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