Posts Tagged ‘Helen Mirren’

Two of my favorite people on earth.

FESTIVAL GUESTS. Former US State secretary Hlllary Clinton and British actress Helen Mirren are expected to be among the guest in the Berlin Film Festival. File photos by  Michael Loccisano/ Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images/AFP

FESTIVAL GUESTS. Former US State secretary Hlllary Clinton and British actress Helen Mirren are expected to be among the guest in the Berlin Film Festival. File photos by Michael Loccisano/ Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images/AFP

BERLIN, Germany – Europe’s first major film festival of 2020 opens on Thursday, February 20 with the likes of Signourney Weaver, Helen Mirren and even Hillary Clinton descending on the German capital for the 70th edition of the Berlinale.

Under new direction for the first time in nearly two decades, this year’s festival will tackle the issue of diversity in film while also confronting its own murky history.

Read more >>>>

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It’s Fashion Week in New York, and Hillary’s personal style is having an effect on the runways.

Hillary Clinton May Have Lost the Election, But She’s Winning the Runways

John Lamparski/Getty Images
At New York Fashion Week, pantsuits for all!

She may not have won the election, but remarkably, Hillary Clinton, pilloried for her appearance her entire public life, has become a fashion trendsetter.The 2016 presidential candidate could very well be the inspiration for New York Fashion Week’s most pervasive fall 2017 trend, the pantsuit, seen on nearly every runway so far, including Calvin Klein, Victoria Beckham and Gabriela Hearst. While the style has been a red carpet favorite of Emma Watson, Blake Lively and Evan Rachel Wood (the Westworld actress has made the look her new unofficial uniform), brands as disparate as Aussie babe fave Zimmermann, French club wear go-to Zadig & Voltaire and dresser-of-Indian-royalty Naeem Khan have also offered up pantsuit options for every occasion.Zimmermann 

Zimmermann fall 2017.
Fernanda Calfat/Getty Images (3)
Zimmermann fall 2017.

Read more and see more styles >>>>

Meanwhile in L.A., Hillary supporter Dame Helen Mirren wore this to a premiere last night.


Among the events of the week was today’s First-Day-Of-Issue Oscar de la Renta Forever Stamp Dedication Ceremony at Grand Central Terminal where Hillary spoke.



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Normally, after the weekend double-headers, matinees followed by evening performances, Broadway goes dark and takes Monday nights off. That was not the case last night when stars and casts from the shows convened to present a fundraiser for Hillary at the St. James Theatre.  It was a full house for the hottest ticket in town.

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What a night it was!  Billy Crystal was the emcee.  Barbra Streisand assisted by phone from the west coast.  Joel Grey reprised his role from Cabaret to welcome the audience.  Both Chelsea Clinton and Bill Clinton shared campaign trail stories.  There were two original Annies to sing Tomorrow.  Every musical selection conveyed the deep meaning and importance of this election.  Actors read cuttings of plays and speeches.  My favorite prefers not to be introduced by her DBE honorific so Crystal welcomed “Sir Helen Mirren” onstage to a huge reception.  She read from a campaign speech by Eleanor Roosevelt.  You can catch some of her performance here.  I am unabashedly biased and so proud of her support for Hillary.

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Hillary did not attend as she has been prepping for tomorrow night’s debate, but she did appear in a video and thanked everyone – all participants and donors.

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You can read some reviews below and see some great photos of the event.

Hillary’s big night on Broadway: Chelsea and Bill join dozens of Hollywood A-listers led by Julia Roberts for $10,000-a-head New York fundraising show

  • The event, called ‘Stronger Together: Broadway for Hillary’, was held in New York City on Monday
  • Guests paid up to $10,000 to watch the spectacle in person at the St James Theatre 
  • But those at home can enjoyed the spectacle live as it was  streamed on Clinton’s social media pages
  • The Democratic nominee did not attend, but her daughter Chelsea and Bill Clinton were at the concert

Hillary Clinton fundraiser draws huge stars

Julia Roberts, Jake Gyllenhaal, Sarah Jessica Parker and more attend Broadway event

If you didn’t donate last night, maybe you want to now before the final debate tomorrow night.


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If you cannot remember the world before 1989, it is important to listen to those who lived behind what we once called “The Iron Curtain.”  Some of them had opportunities to defect and come here.  Mikhail Baryshnikov, who is an enormous hero of mine, was one.  Here is his warning.  For me, this is HUGE!

Ballet Legend Mikhail Baryshnikov Warns Against Donald Trump’s Authoritarianism

“Hundreds of thousands of people like me have fled countries led by dangerous, totalitarian opportunists ― like Donald Trump.”


Mikhail Baryshnikov, the famed Russian ballet dancer and actor who defected from the former Soviet Union in 1974, warned in a video released Wednesday that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump could bring Soviet-style authoritarianism to the United States.

“Take it from one who knows: Hundreds of thousands of people like me have fled countries led by dangerous, totalitarian opportunists ― like Donald Trump,” Baryshnikov says in the video, produced by an organization called Art Not War.

The video is part of a campaign called Humanity for Hillary, in which artists have collaborated to endorse Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and advocate against Trump.

Read more and hear Misha in his own powerful words here >>>>


Of course I will also grab any excuse to include Dame Helen Mirren who also endorsed Hillary and has issued similar warnings about Trump.  The photo is from the movie White Nights in which Misha plays a defector whose plane crashes in the Soviet Union and Helen plays the girl he left behind.

Thank you Misha, Helen, and Humanity for HillaryVisit and like their Facebook page here >>>>


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Normally, I do not put a lot of stock in celebrity endorsements, but Hillary won a couple today that warmed my heart.

Ricky Martin endorses Hillary Clinton for president

Ricky Martin performs at 103.5 KTU’s KTUphoria 2015 at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater on May 31, 2015 in Wantagh, New York.

Puerto Rican pop star Ricky Martin is standing by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016, endorsing her as a “Latina at heart” on Wednesday.

In a tweet, the “LiviCopy a Postn’ la Vida Loca” singer said he was “proud” to back the former secretary of state’s White House campaign…

Read more >>>>

Helen Mirren Predicts Hillary Clinton Will Be Next U.S. President (VIDEO)

The Queen has come out as a supporter of Hillary Clinton.

Backstage at Variety’s exclusive studio at the Gotham Awards this week, Helen Mirren predicted that Clinton would be elected the first female president of the United States in 2016.

“I think there’s an amazing candidate who is incredibly experienced, incredibly intelligent, incredibly tough,” Mirren said. “She’s the only candidate that I can see out there who has got what it takes, it seems to me.”

Read more and watch video >>>>

I loved the video. Dame Helen is sooooo … dramatic!




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It is the media.  It is not the mainstream media, and it is not some post-hip sobriquet like the lamestream media which, face it, along with Repugnican, wingnut, Freeper, Faux News, and a host of other tired old terms has passed its hour to be purged from the language.  It is the media’s job to report.  As citizens, our job is to communicate among ourselves on what and how they report, which is another reason to avoid slangy terms.  There is nothing hip or particularly communicative about acting like teens speaking in adult-proof code.

Marshall McLuhan said, “The medium is the message.”  All of the media, these days, seem to be sending one message which, so far, only theSkimm has actually articulated.


theSkimm makes it easier to be smarter.

We’re the daily e-mail newsletter that gives you everything you need to start your day. We do the reading for you – across subject lines and party lines – and break it down with fresh editorial content.

We read. You Skimm.

The idea is arguable, no laughable, that consuming what has been read and broken down for you makes you smarter.  At least theSkimm comes out and says it has put your veggies in a KitchenAid with apples, pears, and high fructose corn syrup.  All of the media do it, and it is a little like reading Lamb’s Tales but not as elegant or as much fun.  At its worst, it leaves huge information gaps that abound among the electorate and presents an exercise in frustration for those who prefer their asparagus and brussels sprouts whole and unadulterated.

There was a time, in the early days of this blog,  so,  not that distant in the past, when I could go to media sources and find an entire interview to post.  Today, a mere seven plus years into this work, all I can find are media bytes.  Little 1.5 – 3.5 minute spoonsful.  As theSkimm unabashedly tells you,  it is all cut up and pre-chewed for you – like baby food.  Unfortunately, they are the only ones telling you that,  leaving the impression that you are getting the whole story from other sources, but that is not the case.  Most of what you find today is Gerber’s in another guise, and it no longer seems to matter whence the source – there no longer is a mainstream.  The media has achieved true social, if not economic, democracy.

When I posted, two days ago, about Fareed Zakaria’s stroke of genius in dividing his interview with Helen Mirren in two and asking her how she would portray Hillary Clinton, I gave credit where it was not due.  That was not Fareed’s fault entirely, although he did supply the mini-clip of the conversation.  Throughout yesterday, additional stories about Dame Helen’s remarks arose, and I added one of those to that post.  Nothing I read or posted prepared me for the whole, real story.  Nothing rectified my initial misconception.

Who, then, had the brainstorm and should have received the credit?  It was not the interviewer.  It was Dame Helen herself who brought up the subject of Hillary Clinton, along with her own appetite to play that role should a script appear.   She did insert a disclaimer that there was some self-interest,  but that was not really why the subject came up.  The topic was roles for women on stage and screen.

Dame Helen has long been an advocate for broader, deeper, more complex longitudinal portrayals of women in drama.  In an age when sustainability is a buzzword and even, somehow, an area of academic pursuit, female actors have less sustainable careers than their male counterparts, and, as Mirren points out, ever has it been so.  The Bard did not provide much in the way of roles for mature women which is why Mirren portrayed Prospero as Prospera in Julie Taymor’s fantastic production of The Tempest.  It is a matter of taking on and refitting the male roles for the mature woman.  She stopped short of suggesting she would ever play Lear.  Here is how Hillary and 2016 actually entered the conversation.

ZAKARIA: Over the span of a 50-year career in acting, Helen Mirren has done a lot of things. She has done everything from high Shakespearian theater to the scandalous 70s film of “Caligula,” played everything from a queen to a Mossad agent, and won everything from an Oscar to a Tony to an Emmy. But the one thing she has never played is a Bond girl. Is she bitter? Not Dame Helen.

ZAKARIA: You said we’ve all sat and watched as James Bond has become more and more geriatric. While his girlfriends —

HELEN MIRREN, ACTRESS: Get younger and younger. That was the case for a while, wasn’t it? I mean, it was like embarrassing. I thought it was ridiculous.

ZAKARIA: But do you think it’s — is it a big problem in Hollywood that men get cast for roles well into their 60s and 70s, and for women it’s more of a struggle?

MIRREN: It is more of a struggle. But even Shakespeare did that to us, you know. As you get older, even the Shakespeare roles become — that’s why we have to start stealing the men’s roles, you know. Doing like I did “The Tempest,” Prospero. And it’s great that a lot of women are, you know, doing Hamlet, doing “Henry V.” I’m a sure there will be a female Othello soon. And I love that. I think it’s absolutely great. Because, why not.

Video >>>>

But it’s changing. I’ve always said, don’t worry about roles in drama — well, do — moan and complain, and I do. But really spend your energies on changing roles for women in real life, because, as night follows day, as the roles for women in real life change, they will change in drama. And I really hope that we’re going to see a female president in the next — when are the elections?

ZAKARIA: 2016.

MIRREN: 2016. Oh, not till then. A while. Oh, next year! So I hope we see a female president next year. That would be absolutely fantastic, and that would make a huge difference to the understanding of what women can be.

ZAKARIA: Do you think you could pull off the accent for Hillary Clinton?

MIRREN: She would be a wonderful person to play. Somewhere down the line, someone will do a story. Because she has had — well, it was an extraordinary trajectory, and the brilliance, brilliance at handling her world.

helen-mirren-honored-hollywood-walk-of-fame-03And what unbelievable challenges she’s had over the years.

ZAKARIA: If you were to compare the two, the queen and Hillary, what is the defining character of Hillary Clinton that you, as somebody playing her, imagine to be playing her, what would you be trying to capture?

Video >>>>

MIRREN: That’s a very interesting question. I mean, the enormous intelligence, the brain that I think is very, very, very fast-moving. And I think the incredible tenacity. The queen of — Elizabeth Windsor, I call her, is — it’s a different — hers is I just — put my head down, I do what I’m supposed to do, I do it as well as I can, and I don’t argue, and I don’t complain, and I just do it. Hillary is much fiercer than that. It’s, you know, she is a lioness of a kind. A lioness. And the — Elizabeth Windsor is not, you know. I don’t know what animal she is. I’ll have to think about that one.

Read more >>>>


No run up to this interview prepared me for Dame Helen being the one who brought up Hillary and the election.  Everything that was out there – and ended up in the earlier post – led me to think it all Fareed’s idea.  These two videos are all that CNN offers.  Not the entire interview.  Only these.  Important content has been skipped,

The real story was much deeper than an interviewer with a campaign cycle agenda.  It was a woman  with a much bigger agenda, changing the roles of women in the world.

Why did I not know that this was Helen’s subject to raise?  Because of the piecemeal nature of reportage.  The story was cherry-picked for me by the host and by those who wrote about the interview in advance having seen it in advance.  This was not at all about a smart anchor raising a brilliant question, as the promos had me believe.  It was about a brilliant female leader perceiving the value of expanding the roles of women in general and, as an example and role model, promoting one brilliant woman in particular.

Why was that not the message we all received as we looked forward to this interview?  Because the media adulterated it, masticated and strained it for our consumption, just like baby food, and all the good stuff stayed in the strainer and went into the compost bin.

This was less about Helen Mirren wanting a role and therefore wanting Hillary Clinton to ascend to that role than it was about Helen Mirren wanting to boost all women and recognizing Hillary’s ascendancy for its value in that social revolution.

Maybe the fault in the previews had something to do with men having provided all the promotional reports I saw about this interview. Not that they necessarily meant to, but they edited out those crucial first words on the subject.  Men are used to Hillary being brilliant and fierce and many men support her.  Is it possible that, to more men than I would hope, this was somehow scary?  “Spend your energies on changing roles for women in real life.”   Why was that part of the story excised?

Thank you, Dame Helen Mirren for your wise advice.  You are one of the most brilliant people around, and I cannot imagine two better role models and leaders for women than you and Hillary Clinton.

We women, especially,  should be wary.  When we see clips of Hillary, we miss some of the context.  That original clip of Helen lacked important context.  So much of the time all we see, and all I can find, are the little pre-digested bytes, bits,  and pieces.  I have always tried to find full transcripts and videos of Hillary’s speeches and remarks, but even at her campaign site they are few and far between.  All the information comes in memes, clips, and shorthand.  If the medium is the message, as McLuhan said,  we are all being shortchanged.

APB, Media!!!   We do not really need you to do the hunting for us. Lionesses come in prides!  We hunt.  We have teeth!  We can rip the meat off the bone and chew it for ourselves.



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When you manage a huge “get” the smartest thing you can do is mine it for every possible gem.  Fareed Zakaria was among a handful of TV hosts lucky enough to get an interview with Dame Helen Mirren while she was performing in The Audience on Broadway and had Woman in Gold opening.  She did not do many appearances.  Unlike the other royally privileged hosts, Fareed did something very clever.  Two things, really.  He broke his audience into two sittings and used one of them to ask a question no one else has asked her.

Helen Mirren, Douglas Brinkley, Jorge Ramos: Sunday guests

To quote her co-star, Sir Anthony Hopkins,  at the end of RED 2, “I didn’t see that coming!”

But how fascinating!  I know.  I know.  There is a huge contingent out there who would want to see Meryl in that part. But the woman who  brought sympathy to the woman who,  for a week or so in the wake of the death of Diana,  was perhaps the most reviled in the world would be a tantalizing choice to play Hillary.  She could bring out the vulnerability that we all know is there (“Well, that hurts my feelings….”).  Mirren always manages to find the soft spots.  I can’t wait to see what she has to say on this subject.

Helen Mirren: Hillary Clinton a lioness

Hillary Clinton may be getting a lot of criticism lately, but Dame Helen Mirren says she might like to play the presidential candidate. Mirren says the role would very different from Queen Elizabeth II, the actress’ most famous part.

“The Queen, Elizabeth Windsor, I call her … hers is a just, pop my head down, I just do what I’m supposed to do, I do it as well as I can, and I don’t argue and I don’t complain, and I just do it,” Mirren tells Fareed Zakaria on his CNN show Sunday. “Hillary is much fiercer than that. You know, she is a lioness — and Elizabeth Windsor is not — I don’t know what animal she is. I have to think about that one.”


“She would be a wonderful person to play somewhere down the line,” Mirren tells Zakaria. “Someone will do a story, because she has had what an extraordinary trajectory and brilliance, brilliance at handling her world, and what unbelievable challenges she has had over the years.”


… I’m just saying in terms of roles for women in drama, I’m being very self-interested at this point, it would be good — to have Hillary as a president, I think.”

Read more >>>>


Back in July, before she closed on Broadway, Helen professed her love for Vin Diesel and said she wanted to be in a Fast & Furious movie.  Within two weeks a script was in the works with a part for her.  So, just saying, Peter Morgan, are you listening?  I think you already are!

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While Kate McKinnon and Darrell Hammond were at 30 Rock putting finishing touches on the cold open of SNL’s season finale,  Hillary Clinton and her tall, handsome escort were being ushered to their seats at the packed Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre several blocks away.

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Video :  http://www.whosay.com/status/sararamirez/1103963

Bill and Hillary Clinton took in a matinee on Saturday of the widely acclaimed Peter Morgan play, The Audience,  in which Helen Mirren DBE zigs and zags achronologically among weekly audiences held by Queen Elizabeth II with the 12 prime ministers who have served over her 60+ years on the throne.

One of the most touching and powerful moments comes at the end of act one.  Just after this conversation – one of many Elizabeth has with her younger self – she is anointed Queen and accepts the very weighty crown that will dominate the rest of her life.


It is a scene with which Hillary certainly can identify.  Immediately after this, the curtain comes down for intermission during  which these two actors spend the entire time onstage as palace guard.  No doubt that particular role felt a wee bit more genuine yesterday.  As far as I could tell, the swords are authentic.
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Apparently. it was during intermission that the Clintons went backstage to greet the cast.

Helen Mirren pokes fun at the Clintons

Bill and Hillary Clinton made the cultural rounds over the weekend and were playfully teased by Helen Mirren at her Broadway play “The Audience.”

One theatergoer noted, “In one scene, Mirren, as the Queen, is speaking to one of her prime ministers and says, ‘Well, you are better off with me than with what they have over there.’”

Mirren turned and stared right at the Clintons, and then the whole audience was in an uproar.

The couple went backstage during intermission.

Read more >>>>>

Mirren moves seamlessly from her 40s to her 20s to her 70s and back to her 30s with most costume changes occurring, almost miraculously, within seconds right onstage.  It is a magnificent tour-de-force for Dame Helen who is nominated for a Tony and earns it easily, appearing onstage fearlessly both with children and animals (an ancient theatrical taboo).  The little corgis, Mimi and Marco,  who hit their marks running, are rescues who, six weeks prior to their debut, were awaiting adoption.


Congrats are in order all around!  For all of these and for attracting the couple most sought after on the Great White Way!

Outer Critics Circle Awards!

Outstanding Actress in a Play: Helen Mirren

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play:  Richard McCabe

Founders Award for Excellence in Directing: Stephen Daldry!

We thank Sara Ramirez, of Hillary’s favorite TV show Gray’s Anatomy, for her video. Poetic justice that her tickets for this excellent production happened to be for this particular day.  Hope she had a chance to meet Hillary in all of the excitement!

Meanwhile, back at 30 Rock,  Darrell Hammond, who took over as SNL announcer after the death of Don Pardo, reprised his role as Bill Clinton to Kate McKinnon’s Hillary in a musical production previewing a summer of campaigning.


The Clintons were not the only political powerhouses to endure a satirical swipe.  In the Weekend Update  portion, Jeb Bush explained away allegations that his brother created ISIS by bestowing part of the credit on Dick Cheney as he should have done in reality in the first place.

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I do not put a lot of stock in celebrity endorsements, but this one is special.  Dame Helen Mirren endorsing Hillary Clinton makes my day!  They are two of my very favorite people on earth.

Helen Mirren supports Hillary Clinton’s run for presidency

hillary-endorement article


She ,,,  made it clear that she’s rooting for a woman president and actively supports Hillary Clinton’s run.

“I’ve always said how incredibly important Margaret Thatcher was—although I didn’t agree with her politics,” Mirren said. “She was a role model for a little 3-year-old girl [to think] that she could become the prime minister of England. It’s so incredibly important. So, go Hillary!”

Read more >>>>

Helen Mirren is currently performing in The Audience on Broadway and is nominated for a Tony Award for her portrayal of HRM Queen Elizabeth II.  In return for her strong endorsement of our candidate, I say, “Go Helen!”  We will be watching on CBS and routing for her on June 7.  It is an outstanding, tour-de-force performance not to be missed!

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Lucky people who had tickets for today!

Hillary has been at almost every one of these summits.  She missed  one once when she was Secretary of State and traveling, but she has been at all the others.  This time it was just a wee bit different because she was there not as cabinet member, nor as a private citizen, but as a presidential candidate.  You can imagine the excitement in the hall.

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Well, you don’t have to imagine it!  Here is the video!

Hillary Clinton keynotes Women in the World Summit. Implores audience to “become agents of change”

“I’m grateful that there is now a new burst of energy around the rights and opportunities of women and girls”

Hillary Clinton fired up her 2016 presidential campaign with a sweeping, estrogen-packed speech at the Women in the World Summit in New York City on Thursday, telling the crowd at Lincoln Center, “There has never been a better time in history to be born female.”

Read more >>>>

An added treat this year was the an appearance by Dame Helen Mirren, another of my very favorite human beings on earth.  Dame Helen, who happens to  be engaged  in the Broadway production The Audience where she portrays Her Royal Highness,  Queen Elizabeth II, participated in a conversation with Tina Brown and appears to have turned things a bit topsy-turvy!

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Helen Mirren, Actress and Tina Brown, Founder, Women in the World and CEO, Tina Brown Live Media on 'Helen Mirren Rules!' at The 2015 Women In The World Summit,  Lincoln Center, New York City; 4/23/2015

Helen Mirren, Actress and Tina Brown, Founder, Women in the World and CEO, Tina Brown Live Media on ‘Helen Mirren Rules!’ at The 2015 Women In The World Summit, Lincoln Center, New York City; 4/23/2015

Helen Mirren, Actress and Tina Brown, Founder, Women in the World and CEO, Tina Brown Live Media on ‘Helen Mirren Rules!’ at The 2015 Women In The World Summit, Lincoln Center, New York City; 4/23/2015

Dame Helen Mirren has an idea about how to get Hollywood to give women more substantive roles: “Change roles for women in life,” she suggested at the Women in the World Summit on Thursday afternoon in an interview with Tina Brown.

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I believe this is the video they showed. She had great control, poise and presence of mind even then.

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