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Helen Mirren tells of fears over return of a hard border after Brexit

Worry: Dame Helen Mirren
Worry: Dame Helen Mirren

By Staff Reporter

Actress Dame Helen Mirren has said it would be a "tragedy" if a hard border was reintroduced in Ireland because of Brexit.

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The multi-award winning actress, who has filmed three movies in Ireland - Excalibur, Cal and Some Mother's Son - said she doesn't want to see Northern Ireland go back to the bad old days post-Brexit.

She told the Irish Sun on Sunday: "I was in Belfast at the time of the Troubles and it was a very different Belfast to how it is now.

"I was so excited to see things like Game Of Thrones being shot there and to see that beautiful, beautiful part of the country really beginning to flourish.

"It was very exciting for me, especially having seen it in its darkest days.

"All I can say is that I hope the North of Ireland continues to ­flourish. I hope that films will ­continue to be made there.

"It would be a tragedy to me if Northern ­Ireland again becomes cut off."

Oscar winner Excalibur was shot in Wicklow in 1981. Mirren hit it off with her Ballymena-born co-star Liam Neeson with the pair dating for the next two years.

She then went on to film Cal in Northern Ireland in 1984, playing a British soldier's widow who falls in love with her husband's killer.

Twelve years later she returned to star in Some Mother's Son, based on the hunger strike at the Maze Prison.

The superstar actress said she is proud of the contributions filmmakers make when they bring productions to a particular location.

She explained: "When movies come to town - as I've seen in Belfast and elsewhere - restaurants flourish, drivers thrive, there are so many jobs around the film industry that local people can pick up.

"Film people in general are open minded and energetic and there's a great energy they bring to town. I really hope that the film industry in Belfast not only continues, but that it thrives."

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