Royalty rules L.A.

'The Queen' bows in H'wood

HOLLYWOOD — It’s not often someone can say “God save the queen” before a premiere and have it refer to a movie, but such was the case Oct. 3 when Stephen Frears intro’d his Helen Mirren vehicle at the Academy.

After Miramax’s “The Queen” unspooled, Frears said the hardest part in making the film was “getting the balance right — being neither sycophantic nor bullying.” Writer Peter Morgan said it came down to: “Tone tone tone.”

“You take the characters seriously as human beings,” Morgan said. “You don’t do satire. You imagine the inner landscape of complicated, intelligent human beings and then write.”

At the after-party, Mirren was as much the center of attention as Elizabeth II is at Ascot, though there was the incongruous detail of her holding a wrapped package of Queen Champagne Lip Balm someone had handed the thesp.

Mirren said she was surprised by the warm response to the film, as the pic “attempts to be honest, and honesty isn’t what cinema often requires.”

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