Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 May 2015

Mirren's boredom with Shakespeare

Dame Helen Mirren went off Shakespeare for a while
Dame Helen Mirren went off Shakespeare for a while

Dame Helen Mirren has admitted she went through a period of being bored with performing William Shakespeare plays - because she had done so much of his works.

The Oscar-winning actress started off in theatre, playing Cleopatra in a National Youth Theatre production before joining the Royal Shakespeare Company, where she portrayed Lady Macbeth, Cressida and Phebe in As You Like It.

"I think because I did so much Shakespeare when I was young, I suddenly went right off Shakespeare - I didn't want to do it, I didn't want to see it, I sort of kind of had enough of it," she said.

"Except in that era, I would still go and see productions of Shakespeare and be blown away by the production, by the acting, and absolutely love it. I'm not saying I completely went away from it. But maybe, to a certain extent, I lost my own bottle about it, if you know what I mean. I lost my own courage in doing it."

But Helen, who now stars as Prospera in The Tempest, soon missed it.

"I missed having that language in my mouth, I missed having those thoughts in my head. It's a beautiful world to inhabit... it's so full of poetry and understanding and mystery that when you're in the world as an actor, it's a fabulous place to be," she said.

:: The Tempest is in cinemas now.

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