September 1, 2011

"Twenty Iconic Male Movie Roles In Which Helen Mirren Would Have Ruled."

Adam points to that list, and that causes Isaac Spaceman to list "five iconic male roles in which Helen Mirren would have been terrible."

Heh. Love that, Isaac. Can I call you Isaac Personal Space Bubbleman?

23 comments:

ricpic said...

Does this mean Helen Mirren joins Chaz Bono and Nancy Grace as a manly man? How come it's an upgrade for a woman to join the ranks of manly men but a downgrade for a man to be lumped in with girly girls? I think the answer is obvious.

edutcher said...

I can see her doing Jaack, but not many of the others (granted, I've seen maybe half those movies).

People who make lists seem to need a life.

And some sex.

Henry said...

The first list is Abbott. The second is Costello.

Mirren could do Abbott. Not Costello.

Carol_Herman said...

Oh, stop! In 20 years she'll be a trivia question.

Chip S. said...

Is Isaac's name "Space-man," or "Spah-chemmen"?

Carol_Herman said...

There was an Abbott & Costello routine I remember everyone doing when I was a kid ...

NIAGRA FALLS!

... "And, slowly she turned, step by step ....

WHOSE ON FIRST IS HARDER. Because it's easy to get where the players are, all mixed up. What's that? Where was "what's?"

Cedarford said...

Mirren, the best Russian ethnic actor out there..will best be remembered for redefining the classic iconic male cop role.
Not in movies, but TV. "Prime Suspect" in the early 90s gave her a chance to build, and build on her Inspector Tennyson character.

That more than movies and stage secured her reputation as very good and extremely watchable. And basically gave her 1st dibs on juicy roles in later movie ventures that advanced her rep in and outside the industry further.

gpm said...

On an episode of Coupling, the guys all singled out Mirren as one of a handful of British actresses whose name on a movie guaranteed a worthwhile nude scene (I guess they must have cut the one in "The Queen").

Her (58-year-old!) take on Karen Stone in 2003 was a bit more, uh, graphic than Vivian Leigh's (48-year-old) one in 1961, though without the beautiful young Warren Beatty (and his very phony Italian accent).

--gpm

John said...

And some of them make a lot of sense. Her playing the Nicholson role in a Few Good Men might have made the movie half interesting. She could have put on the airs of a tough mother doing what is necessary to protect those she considered to be her children. It would have been much more interesting than the cliche macho male marine that Nicholson played.

HKatz said...

How come it's an upgrade for a woman to join the ranks of manly men but a downgrade for a man to be lumped in with girly girls?

You're assuming that people need to be fixed into one of those two broad simple categories. She hasn't been upgraded by anyone because she doesn't need to be; she's quite fine as she is.

The beauty is in the flexibility; she's able to play both masculine and feminine characters (or characters that have a blend of both). Many good actors hope never to be pigeonholed into one kind of role.

The list reminds me of Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday. The role of Hildy Johnson was meant for a man; the screenwriters made the character female. Rosalind worked with it beautifully. She was assertive, fast-talking, with a cute face, lovely in heels and a skirt, a great blend of qualities that are thought of as masculine and those that are feminine. She never needed to pretend to be a man in order to make that role her own. And the other day I was watching an Eleanor Powell tapdance routine where she's in a top hat and coattails (the ending of Broadway Melody of 1936). Dressing in masculine clothes didn't make her manly... she looked playful, powerful and athletic and thoroughly feminine.

The list mentions some roles I could see Mirren in (Colonel Jessup I agree is one of them) - but it also suggests Hannibal Lecter, and that made me laugh. As far as I'm concerned, no one does Hannibal but Anthony Hopkins. And the funny thing is Hopkins said that one of his inspirations for the voice of Lecter is Katharine Hepburn, whom he admired :) You can definitely hear Hepburn in his raspy voice - so there you have an example of a male actor getting some feminine inspiration for his part...

john said...

She had other films after "Age of Consent"? I didn't know that.

blake said...

john--

Other roles, yes!

Like Excalibur!

blake said...

And "The Queen". But they cut the nude scene out of that.

Damn royalists.

yashu said...

HKatz, never heard that about the K Hepburn inspiration for Lecter's voice. Yep, I can totally hear it. Ha! So ingenious of Hopkins. This will add much to my enjoyment of the Silence of the Lambs & other Hannibal films.

pogo101 said...

Leonidas in "300"?

Tibore said...

Ok, first of all, I love Helen Mirren. She's hit it out of the park so often with her roles I don't have a problem with comparing her to Sammy Sosa. Some of her roles were so well done I actually think people underrate her as an actress. She's among the tops as far as I'm concerned regarding female actresses to play strong roles.

That said, that list is at minimum half full of shit.

She would have ruled as Col. Jessup, but not as much as Jack did. Nowhere near as much.

Obi Wan Kenobi? GTFO. No way. That would be a total miscast.

Howard Beale on Network? It would've been atrocious casting. Does anyone think she really exudes the "not in control of my destiny at all" air in her roles?

James Bond? As "M", maybe. As Bond the agent, hell no. Not even in her younger years. Sure, she's got the steely part down, but not the careless verve (like Roger Moore's or Pierce Brosnan's portrayals), and I don't think she'd be half as convincing as a careless killer as Tim Dalton or Daniel Craig. I definitely don't see her doing the Eliza Doolittle transition from thug to reasonably cultured agent like Craig did.

Hanibal Lechter? No. Hopkins style of elegance made the character what it was, but hers would come off as such a wrong note, it would've ruined the movie entirely. There's no way she'd have been believeable in it.

Sure, some on that list I agree with. I actually think she'd rock in a Jim Malone Untouchables kind of role, one where the anger is slow building and just erupts. Hell, I'd say she might even have done that sort of role better than Costner. But those I'm listing above?... Blech. The author's full of it on those. Nice try, but the list is in dire need of a pruning.

mccullough said...

She would have rocked as Patton.

Simon said...

John said...
"Her playing the Nicholson role in a Few Good Men might have made the movie half interesting. She could have put on the airs of a tough mother doing what is necessary to protect those she considered to be her children."

It would also have made for an interesting contrast between Mirren's Jessep and Moore's young buck.

rcommal said...

Helen Mirren is a chameleon in terms of her art form[s]. It is a great strength atop her core talents. I wonder: Is this something to which Althouse relates in terms of herself?

Alan said...

When they do the movie version of the 2011 Wisconsin protests, Mirren can play Althouse.

William said...

Which one of Helen Mirren's later roles could not have been played by Maggie Smith or Judi Dench?

rcommal said...

William: Part of the appeal of Helen Mirren is that she avoided "miss-jean-brodie-ing" things. Dench is magnificent; of course, Dench is--but mostly in different ways, and thank God for that: True diversity is something to wish for and for which to be profoundly grateful.

rcommal said...

William: Out of pure curiosity, just and only that, why did you not include Vanessa Redgrave in your 11:19 comment?