She slipped Trump’s name in as she praised the writers who had been central to her career, and offered a meditation on the power of words. Words, she mused, can convey everything from love to hate to kindness to stupidity — and right after the word “stupidity” is when she added, “Donald Trump,” jumping on the anti-Trump bandwagon that started rolling during Rosie Perez’s speech to introduce the Gothams’ audience award.
Mirren, who was accepting one of the career tributes handed out during the 2015 Gotham Awards ceremony, opened her speech with the attention-grabbing line, “I have to tell you a story about f—ing the queen.”
She went on, “When ‘The Queen’ was first screened at Venice, I’d never seen it before, and neither had my husband Taylor. In the first scene I’m in the full regalia, and I turn and look at the camera and there’s silence in the cinema. And my husband lets out this huge laugh. So I lean over to him and say, ‘Darling, do you think you’ll ever f— me again?'”
She finished her story with the mischievous aside: “Between you and me, he has.”
Mirren’s appreciation of all the writers she’s worked with, and the words that power their projects, was part of the more serious subject matter she touched on during her speech. “Let us love our writers and their courage, and stand behind them whenever they’re threatened with any chickensh– censorship,” she said.
She also encouraged the audience to lobby on behalf of Saudi Arabian poet Ashraf Fayadh, currently sentenced to death in his home country.