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Actress Helen Mirren shows off twerking skills at Harvard University

When Helen Mirren showed up at Harvard University to accept the Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year award this week, the last thing she was probably expecting to do was twerk on stage in front of hundreds of people, but that’s exactly what happened.

Yes, you read that right, Dame Helen Mirren pulled a page out of twerk queen Miley Cyrus’ book and good-naturedly complied when one of Harvard’s Hasty Pudding drama troupe members presented her with the task of twerking on stage during the ceremony. Watch the video evidence below:
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Backstage at the SAG Awards: What the winners didn't say on TV

On stage during the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the big winners were the ensemble casts of American Hustle, Modern Family, and Breaking Bad. But backstage at L.A.’s Shrine Auditorium, the stars opened up in ways they didn’t at the podium.

Supporting actor winner Jared Leto, who continued his awards-show momentum with another win for his supporting role in Dallas Buyers Club, thanked his mother (and date for the evening) for always encouraging him to pursue his creative dreams. To prepare to play the transgender woman Rayon, Leto said he sought out transgender people as mentors to help him develop Rayon’s voice and physicality. Attention, Thirty Second of Mars fans: The band will play in Mexico on Tuesday and continue its worldwide tour through the rest of the year.

Lupita Nyong’o, a budding fashionista and Supporting Actress winner for 12 Years a Slave, seemed humbled by all the attention she has been getting this awards season because of her wardrobe choices. “I appreciate the fashion world as an art form,” she said, “but I never want it to take over my acting.” Nyong’o gave reporters a quick lesson in the pronunciation of her last name — it’s NYON-go — and noted the universality of her movie even outside the U.S.: “Slavery is an institution that affected a lot more places than just America.”

The cast of Modern Family, celebrating the show’s fourth consecutive award for Best Ensemble in a Comedy Series, is preparing to hit the road. They head to Las Vegas tomorrow to film an episode, and producers are planning another this season to be shot in Australia. Though there’s still no script for the Down Under episode, Julie Bowen did reveal that producers had asked her if she was afraid of heights or fanged animals. (Bowen’s onscreen hubby Ty Burrell, who won Male Actor in a Comedy Series, had better be careful.)

Michael Douglas, whose performance as Liberace in HBO’s Behind the Candelabra has earned a SAG as well as an Emmy and Golden Globe, noted that Steven Soderbergh’s film was released theatrically outside the U.S. (and even picked up several BAFTA nominations earlier this month). Though he says he contractually can’t say anything about his role in Marvel’s upcoming Ant-Man movie starring Paul Rudd, Douglas says his kids are happy to see him working as an actor again after “a few years where I just made pancakes.”

Undeterred by construction noise outside, Julia Louis-Dreyfus couldn’t contain her excitement about winning Best Actress in a TV Comedy for Veep. Even better, just before entering the press room Louis-Dreyfus heard from fellow SAG winner Helen Mirren that the dame is a fan of the show. “That’s kind of cool, right?” said Louis-Dreyfus. But when asked if she would ever consider a real career in politics, the former Seinfeld star firmly said, “No, you don’t want me to be president.”

Speaking of Mirren, the actress admitted that not only was she surprised by her SAG Award (“I so didn’t expect to win”) but her role in the HBO movie Phil Spector was a last-minute thing as well. When Bette Midler injured her neck after one week of filming, director David Mamet  Helen Mirren on vacation in Italy and asked if she would step in and start filming the next day! “The whole landscape of drama on film is changing rapidly,” she said, citing the work of HBO, Showtime, and streaming sites like Netflix. “I’m just happy to still be working at a time when things are changing.”

“I’m the lady who said the bad word,” joked Rita Moreno as she entered the press room. The member of the elite EGOT club was delighted to add a SAG Lifetime Achievement Award to her mantle. She admitted concern about the one-minute time limit she was given for her speech — “Wait a minute. I’m Puerto Rican! I can’t even say hello in one minute!” — but appreciated her introduction by longtime friend and former Electric Company costar Morgan Freeman.

The cast of Breaking Bad continued its post-final-season victory tour, picking up the award for won for Best Ensemble in a Drama Series. Aaron Paul, who dubbed it “the longest, greatest goodbye ever,” said he started rewatching the series when they began filming the final eight episodes (he’s still only on season two). Bryan Cranston, who also won Best Male Actor in a Drama Series, gave full credit to the press for supporting the gritty series. The cast said they hope to stay in touch with one another — thanks primarily to shared enthusiasm for golf and tequila shots. Paul said, “We knew from day one that these friendships wouldn’t die when the show died.”

Amy Adams said she can’t wait to bring home her SAG Award for her work on the American Hustle ensemble to her 3-year-old daughter, Aviana. “She’s gonna like this one a lot,” said Adams. Alluding to the fact that the statuette depicts an anatomically accurate naked man, she added, “A particular aspect of this one she will find fascinating.” Costar Jennifer Lawrence, cursing at Bradley Cooper when he ducked out early, fielded a question about working back-to-back with director David O. Russell on Silver Linings Playbook and Hustle. “David doesn’t change,” she said. “He stays the same.” And acting veteran Robert De Niro revealed that the biggest challenge of his brief cameo in Hustle was learning Arabic.

Cate Blanchett, a winner for Blue Jasmine, sang some of her favorite Beatles tune “When I’m Sixty-Four” for reporters and said that she hopes Australian customs agents would be kind to her with all the new awards she’ll be toting back home with her.

Matthew McConaughey said that the hardest part about losing weight to play an AIDS patient in Dallas Buyers Club was deciding to do it. “I became a nice little hermit and enjoyed it,” he said. “In a very literal sense, I was hungry for knowledge, research, information. Trying to get to the core of my man.” When filming was done, McConaughey’s first indulgence was an ultimate cheeseburger that took the actor 45 minutes to mentally prepare to eat. “The friend I was with had finished his dessert before I took my first bite.”

 

 

Helen Mirren named 2014 Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year

There’s actually an honor out there Dame Helen Mirren hadn’t yet received — but she’s taking care of that now.

The actress has been named the 2014 Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year, an annual recognition by Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals, the nation’s oldest theatrical organization. Established in 1951, the Woman of the Year Award has been given to many A-list entertainers, including Meryl Streep, Katharine Hepburn, Julia Roberts, Jodie Foster, Elizabeth Taylor, Anne Hathaway, Claire Danes, and, most recently, Marion Cotillard. READ FULL STORY

Helen Mirren plays Queen to fulfill dying boy's wish

helen-mirren-oliver-burton

Dame Helen Mirren is just as classy as you think.

Oliver Burton, who was born with Down’s syndrome and had recently been diagnosed with cancer, had a dying wish to meet Queen Elizabeth II. When that wasn’t possible, Mirren stepped in.

The actress, who is currently playing the Queen in a West End performance of The Audience, invited Burton and his family to see the show and then the 10-year-old was brought backstage to meet a still-in-character Mirren. The two drank tea together while Oliver played with the corgis featured in the show, according to the Daily Mail. “She stayed in character for the whole thing,” Oliver’s father, James Browne, told the paper. “Oliver thought she was the real queen, and well, that’s good enough for us.” READ FULL STORY

Helen Mirren, in full costume, scolds street performers interrupting her play about the Queen

You must respect the THEATRE! The Daily Telegraph reports that Dame Helen Mirren left a performance of The Audience, in full Queen Elizabeth II costume, Saturday evening to yell at a group of drummers outside the Gielgud Theatre for disrupting the performance. Apparently, as the music from a group promoting the As One in the Park festival grew louder, Mirren could barely hear her co-star, Paul Ritter, speak and so she walked off the stage and left the theater to scold the performers, in less than regal language, reportedly.

Mirren told the Telegraph, “I’m afraid there were a few ‘thespian’ words used. They got a very stern royal ticking off but I have to say they were very sweet and they stopped immediately.” She continued, “I felt rotten but on the other hand they were destroying our performance so something had to be done.”

Mirren recently won an Olivier Award for her performance in the play.

Requests to Mirren’s representation as well as representatives from the As One in the Park festival for comment were not immediately returned.

Read more:
Helen Mirren reigns at London’s Olivier Awards
Helen Mirren reminds Sam Mendes that women direct movies, too
Laura Linney, ‘Mad Men’ actresses, George Lucas, and more honored by Women in Film

Helen Mirren reigns at London's Olivier Awards

Helen Mirren was crowned queen of the London stage at the Olivier Awards Sunday, while compelling, canine-titled teen drama The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time emerged as best in show with seven trophies.

Mirren, 67, was a popular and expected best actress choice for her regal yet vulnerable Queen Elizabeth II in “The Audience,” Peter Morgan’s behind-palace-doors drama about the relationship between Britain’s queen and its prime ministers. READ FULL STORY

Helen Mirren reminds Sam Mendes that women direct movies, too -- VIDEO

Helen Mirren was honored with the “Legend” award at the Empire Awards over the weekend, and she quickly demonstrated why. In a speech that also discussed her career high points and her deep appreciation for her long career, the Oscar-winner called out Skyfall director Sam Mendes, who had won the “Inspiration” award earlier in the evening, for demonstrating how “bloke-y” her industry has traditionally been.

In Mendes’ speech, he thanked directors who had inspired him, including Paul Thomas Anderson, François Truffaut, Martin Scorsese and Ingmar Bergman, according to U.K. paper The Guardian. When Mirren took the stage, she used his speech as the starting point to discuss her dismay that Mendes didn’t cite any women (although Mirren was careful to emphasize that she was not criticizing Mendes personally). Mirren stated her hope that when “The next Sam gets up and makes his, or hopefully her, speech, there will be two or three or four or five women’s names there. There are some wonderful, wonderful female directors coming up, many of them are British and it’s so exciting to see that. Go girls!”

Cue rapturous audience applause.

Watch video of Mirren’s speech below (The talk about women starts at 2:48): READ FULL STORY

Helen Mirren will portray Queen Elizabeth II again

Long live Helen Mirren!

The British actress who won an Oscar for her role as Queen Elizabeth II in the 2006 movie, The Queen, will once again don the crown for a new play written by Peter Morgan and to be directed by Stephen Daldry. (Mirren also portrayed the other Queen Elizabeth in a 2005 miniseries, Elizabeth I.)

The new play, The Audience, will focus on the Queen’s relationship with the 12 prime ministers who served during her reign — from Churchill to Cameron. “For 60 years Elizabeth II has met each of her 12 prime ministers in a weekly audience at Buckingham Palace. A meeting like no other in British public life — it is private. Both parties have an unspoken agreement never to repeat what is said. Not even to their spouses. The Audience breaks this contract of silence — and imagines a series of pivotal meetings between the Downing Street incumbents and their Queen,” according to The Audience’s official site.

The Audience will begin performances at the Gielguld Theatre in London’s West End on Feb. 15, 2013.

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