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Helen Mirren: I'm tough

Published 17/07/2013

Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren

Dame Helen Mirren says it's "cool" to play a vicious assassin after starring as Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.

The legendary 67-year-old actress reprises her role as vicious MI-6 operative Victoria in RED 2, the action comedy sequel to 2010 film RED.

Helen famously won an Oscar for her portrayal of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II in 2006 movie The Queen, but she's revelling in being known as the foul-mouthed assassin again.

“Well, the word 'bad-ass' gets thrown around quite frequently," she told Refinery29 about fans' reaction to her role. "To lurch from being the queen to a bad ass is very cool. It’s lovely to reprise a character. The character always takes on a different kind of life when you come back to it. It’s funny, somehow the characters become a part of your personal life. That's how I feel about Victoria.”

Helen is married to 68-year-old American film director Taylor Hackford. She doubts either of them will ever be able to retire fully. Helen confessed the attention from being in the spotlight is something they both find too addictive to give up.

“You have your dream of what it’s going to be like to be retired. My husband and I have been building this house in Italy that’s sort of like our retirement dream, but I don't know whether we’ll actually ever retire or not. It’s hard to let go of our business," she admitted. "It’s also hard to let go of the attention you get. You don’t think that you’re addicted, or in love with the attention. You think it doesn’t mean anything to you until you suddenly don’t get it. You go, ‘Why isn’t everyone asking me questions and taking photos of me?’ It’s no wonder people are so obsessed with putting themselves up on Facebook, and stuff like that. It’s their way of saying, ‘I exist,’ because they're in some sort of media. I don't know, maybe it would be lovely to retire in the end."

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