It was almost midnight today in London when I spoke with Helen Mirren. She and husband Taylor Hackford assured me it was ok to phone that late.
Mirren was learning her lines for Universal’s “State Of Play” which was to have started Nov.15 — but Brad Pitt dropped out. And Taylor was working on the Jan.28 start in Albuquerque (for Reno) of his “Love Ranch,” which will star Mirren and Joe Pesci. As of midnight, Helen did not have word from director Kevin Macdonald (“Last King of Scotland”) on a replacement for Pitt and/or the new “State of Play” start date. “Miracles happen,” she said — “It’s a wonderful project ” — she loves her role as an editor who bosses the crack journalist — formerly played by Pitt. Meanwhile, Mirren has two films awaiting release, this week’s “National Treasure II,” and “Ink Heart.”
A new career for Helen Mirren will bring the award-winning actress new applause for her talents as a writer. Her autobiography, “In The Frame — My Life in Words and Pictures” was published in England by Weidenfeld&Nicolson and will be published in the U.S. next April by Simon & Schuster. It reveals a multi-talented performer. She unveils every detail of her still-full and fulfilling personal and professioal life. You know every member of her loving family — including, of course, husband Taylor Hackford — and she takes you through a career spanning the globe in every medium. And further, there’s a remarkable collection of photographs — dating back to her father’s regal beginings in Russia, his descent to driving a taxi in England. No holds are barred in either her revealing prose or equally revealing artistic (ahem!) photographs as well. She wrote every word of the book “on the positive side — I was blessed,” she explains. And, in turn we revel in her loving openness. Helen Mirren’s a winner once again.