February 26, 2007

"It held me like two angels' hands."

Said Helen Mirren to Oprah Winfrey on Oprah's post-Oscar show today as she was displaying and explaining the inner structure of the Lacroix gown she wore last night. The camera closeup of the inside of the bodice revealed a delicate structure, the brassiere built into the dress. The audience burst with laughter and applause. Why aren't all our clothes so constructed? Don't you want angel hands for your breasts?

A moment later Mirren makes a gesture with her hand, and I can see that she has some crappy tattoo between her thumb and forefinger. Oh, no! She's so elegant... and then, that!

Oprah asks her if Queen Elizabeth has seen "The Queen." I read a press report -- can't find it at the moment -- that said the Queen is a big Mirren fan but won't watch "The Queen" because it would be too disturbing. Mirren, answering Oprah's question, says "I'm sure she has, because who could resist? Really." She laughs a lot.

"I loved being that woman, and that took me by surprise."


Patrick said...

The scoop:
The Queen is planning to invite Helen Mirren to tea at Buckingham Palace.

An embossed invitation will be delivered to the actress after the Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles next month, when Dame Helen is expected to win the Best Actress Oscar for playing . . . the Queen, of course.

The original plan, I can reveal, was for the Queen to invite Mirren, along with the film’s director Stephen Frears and screenwriter Peter Morgan, as Oscar-winners. But now she has decided to invite them, win or lose.

The Queen has still not seen Dame Helen’s brilliant portrayal of her in the film, which focuses on the days after Princess Diana was killed in a Paris car crash.

She has certainly heard about it, however. All the senior staff at Buckingham Palace have seen it; some were even invited to a private screening. They think it is an ‘astonishingly lifelike’ portrayal.

Only private secretary Sir Robin Janvrin is said to be underwhelmed with the film.

‘He is seen bowing and scraping to the Queen and wringing his hands in virtually every scene, and that is not Robin,’ says a senior Palace aide. ‘He is a much more positive and robust character.’

Mirren’s sympathetic portrayal of the Queen’s feelings as the Royal Family struggled to cope with public anger over their apparent failure to respond properly to Diana’s death has moved audiences worldwide.

Onetime republican Dame Helen endeared herself to the Queen when, accepting a Golden Globe award for the role, she said: ‘I honestly think that this award belongs to her because I think you fell in love with her, not with me. I just tried to make her as true to life as possible.’

So will the Queen see the film before she greets her alter ego? My understanding is that she wants to meet Dame Helen before deciding whether to take the plunge.

A Palace source says: ‘Any invitation to the Palace will be a personal one from the Queen.’

Craig Ranapia said...


With all due respect, The Daily Mail is the kind of paper whose 'news' you take with a pinch of salt... and a whole bottle of tequila. Having said that, I don't think The Queen is going to change a single mind whether you're a rabid royalist and Conservative-with-a-capital-C, or a Guardian-reading leftist who thinks the Windsors are all scrounding parasites and should be lined up against the same wall as Tony Blair and shot.

Both Mirren, and director Stephen Frears, are very much of the left but (thank God) they weren't trying to make some anti-monarchist/Tony Blair polemic. IMO, they did something much more interesting: A nuanced tragicomedy of manners about private people living very public lives, how the world can change utterly around you and you don't even notice, and how much politicians and monarchs alike depend on the affection of their public no matter how powerful they are - and just how fragile & fickle (even illusory) power and public opinion really are.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

There are several explanations for her tattoo.

George said...

Women say they want their breasts held by angel's hands but what they really want is to be undressed by the devil.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Are we bra-blogging again?

AJD said...

Another crappy post from Annie A., faux bad girl.

Palladian said...

Another shitty jealous comment from limp-dicked faux-sentient being AJD...

Finding out that someone you like and admire has a tattoo is sort of like finding out that they voted for Dennis Kucinich or that they smoke clove cigarettes; it throws any previous admiration for their judgment and intellect seriously into question. The only people who have any excuse to have tattoos are Holocaust survivors, Maori warriors and Marines.

CB said...

What's with the anti-tattoo sentiment here? Helen Mirren is teh hawt; tattoos are teh hawt. Fine with me.

Patrick said...

craig, no respect needed. I pasted a bit of gossip about an Oscar winner in a comment on a post primarily related to an Oprah episode. The source of the news is the least of my problems.

I'm sure my seminary professors would be proud of how far I've come.

Craig Ranapia said...

If I was Lizzie Windsor, I'd be pretty flattered by Helen Mirren portrayal of a decent woman who is silly enough to think reticence, modesty and placing duty over self - even if that duty means having your every movement in public put under a microscope since you were ten years old - still means s**t. I may be a republican (as in a supporter of abolishing the monarchy rather than a supporter of the GOP), but I thought the hysterics following the death of Diana - and the tabloids demanding the Royal Family parade themselves like circus freaks for their entertainment - was beneath contempt.

Ernie Fazio said...

Much Ado About Nothing is what I would say about that tattoo. The explanation regarding getting it on a Minnesota (probably Chippewa) reservation has a certain bad girl romance to it though. And, for sure, Helen Mirren grew into her classiness. She went topless in the forgettable Age of Innocence opposite James Mason in '69, was in the delicious The Cook the Thief His Wife and Her Lover in '89, and before Prime Suspect was remembered for them and the Madness of King George. But she also was in Peter Brook's experimental Shakespeare Company and has earned the right to the sobriquet "classy," tattoo notwithstanding. Sort of like Edna St. Vincent Milay.

Cat said...

Craig - I don't think she's silly, I think it's silly that people don't respect such things as duty, honor, modesty, etc.

The fact that people wanted William, Harry to be paraded for public spectacle to "share their pain" was disgusting.

My fav parts of the film were where the Queen was cooly telling Blair that she's seen Prim Ministers come and go and they all think they are the sh*t...and while he may have been right in the short term, I wish she held out and stuck to her guns. She was right in the long term. People look back now and think, what was THAT about? Especially now that they know the most "hunted" woman in the world more often baited her hunters and was a sad, mentally ill woman who alienated and cut off most of her friends in the end.

Peter Palladas said...

...and helps Mirren distinguish her left hand from her right

My admiration is unbounded for any woman so prepared to acknowledge that she makes a naturally crappy map-reader / navigator that she is willing to be scared for life in the greater cause of not sending me down the wrong road.

And no, Her Majesty [echt] has not seen the film. How do I know this? Because that is what she has said.

It's a truth thing. That's just what she is.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Oh, to be an angel.