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Helen Mirren

Actress

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Helen Mirren talks about her childhood in Britain, the influence of her feminist parents, what first sparked her interest in acting, and how she became one of the most celebrated British actresses in a career spanning five decades.
Helen Mirren began her acting career at the National Youth Theatre when she was 18. Since her first big role as Cleopatra, Mirren has captivated audiences around the world with her undeniable talent.   Born in London, England, Mirren first took an interest in theater when she watched an amateur production of "Hamlet" at the age of 13. Despite being "squeezed" by the pressure to be and do what was expected of her as a woman at the time, Mirren followed her passion with the help of her teacher. Shortly after her time with the National Youth Theatre, she joined the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) where she succeeded for four years before touring Africa and America with Peter Brook's Centre de Recherche Théâtral.   Though her dream of acting began on stage in theatrical productions, Mirren eventually graced the big and little screens in a variety of award-winning roles. Starting with her roles in "Age of Consent" (1969) and "Behind the Scenes" (1972), and leading to "Collateral Beauty" [to be released in 2016] and "Phil Specter" (2013), Mirren's career has made her a renowned and respected international actress, as well as an outspoken advocate for gender diversity in film.

More From Helen

Don't Smile
Helen Mirren talks about some of the most effective advice she's received as a female actor.

Gender Fluidity
Helen Mirren talks about how gender fluidity came to her very easily working in the theater.

Women in the Military
Helen Mirren talks about the importance of having female roles in "Eye In the Sky."

Success... at 40
Helen Mirren talks about how a palm reader predicted her future success, and how that moment inspired her to look at life as an adventure.

And Then the Penny Drops
Helen Mirren talks about how her role in "Prime Suspect" helped advance her career.

The Gender Gap
Helen Mirren talks about the entertainment industry's gender gap.

Inspiration from Francis Bacon
Helen Mirren talks about how Francis Bacon helped inspire her to fine tune her craft as an actor.

Being a Feminist
Helen Mirren talks about how she defines feminism.

Forget Drama School
Helen Mirren talks about why she did not attend drama school.

National Youth Theatre
Helen Mirren talks about the benefits of being a part of the National Youth Theatre, an organization that allows working class children to participate in drama.