Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Mirren tones down killer instinct

Dame Helen Mirren didn't want to see any random killings in her latest action movie

Dame Helen Mirren has insisted she would not kill anyone in her latest action movie role - because she hates films with random killing.

The Oscar-winning actress said she only wanted to be seen to "partially disable" people when her assassin character Victoria goes on a shooting spree in forthcoming title RED 2.

But Dame Helen, 67, told Reader's Digest magazine that she was "fighting a losing battle" with her demands to persuade the director to avoid the killing of innocent bystanders.

She said: "I have this big sequence where I walk into an embassy and start shooting. I kept saying to the director, 'I will not shoot to kill. I want it to be very clear that I'm not killing people. Please, make it very clear'.

"So Victoria's only partially disabling them. I do get terribly upset when I see films where people are just randomly shot. I think they all have families to go to, children at home, you know.

"Victoria's a trained assassin, but isn't random - it's very carefully done. That sort of arbitrary killing with automatic weapons is just not her style."

Dame Helen said she also used her powers of persuasion to ensure an "innocent" driver did not lose his life in a car chase in RED 2. At one stage she said a lorry is seen rolling over as a result of the chase.

"I said, 'What about the driver of that lorry? He's an innocent bystander. I can't be in a sequence where they're driving along just randomly killing innocent people," she explained.

"So they made it quite apparent in the sequence that the lorry lands the right way up. I was fighting a bit of a losing battle, but I was trying my best."

:: The full interview appears in the July edition of Reader's Digest, out on Tuesday.

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