Belfast Telegraph

Helen Mirren: I wanted to be a French star

Dame Helen Mirren had to turn her back on her ambitions to become a French star as she was offered too much work in England.

The British screen star has an awards cabinet that boasts the likes of an Oscar, three Golden Globes and five Baftas. Despite her many successes, 69-year-old Helen's desire to become a French star has largely gone unfulfilled.

"Well part of my thing was I also wanted to be a French actress. I did try to become one at some point. I did a film in France and I loved being there. I rented a little garret in Paris, literally a bedsit at the very top of a house on the Left Bank. It was all very bohemian," she recalled to British newspaper Metro.

"I thought I would literally go to Paris and sit there until I became a French actress. But sometimes life won't let you do what you want to do and I keep being offered a work in England, which I had to take because I had to pay for the garret in France. It just never worked out."

However Helen's luck has recently changed, and she can currently be seen playing chef Madame Mallory in new movie The Hundred-Foot Journey.

The film centres around The Kadam family, who have recently relocated from India to France. They open a restaurant directly opposite that of Madame Mallory, a talented cook obsessed with gaining a second Michelin star.

"Well, the whole process of being a professional restaurateur is really extraordinary and dedicated and an all-consuming profession.

"I absolutely came to appreciate that, and the fact that food is an art form, like writing or music or acting. The people who engage in it are obsessed and as critical and as utterly consumed by it as any other artist," she explained.

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