Mirren Basks in Glow of Golden Weekend

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By MIKE CIDONI
The Associated Press
Sunday, January 14, 2007; 8:53 AM

LOS ANGELES -- Oh, to be Helen Mirren this weekend. It started Friday morning, when Mirren got word that her film "The Queen" topped the list of nominees for the British Academy Film Awards, the British equivalent of the Academy Awards.

On Friday afternoon, the American Film Institute honored another Mirren movie, "Elizabeth I," as one of the year's 10 best television productions.

Then Friday night, the Broadcast Film Critics Association named that film the best picture made for television, and Mirren herself was honored as best actress for "The Queen."

Her golden weekend continued Saturday night, when American Cinematheque threw a sold-out tribute to her at the historic Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.

Mirren was set to collect a statuette Sunday night from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, which named her best actress for "The Queen."

And she's a triple nominee for Monday's Golden Globe for "The Queen" and "Elizabeth I," as well as the television film "Prime Suspect: The Final Act."

"Oh my goodness," Mirren told AP Television News before entering the tribute Saturday night. "There seems to be nonstop fittings for clothes. It's like playing a role, actually."

Mirren said that during off moments this weekend, she has been getting together with fellow actors for drinks.

"A drink or two but not many because you might have to get up and say something," she said.

Some critics predict Mirren could be asked to get up and say something multiple times on Monday.

Mirren won a Globe for the 1996 television movie "Losing Chase," has three Emmys and has been nominated twice for an Oscar. This year's Oscar nominations will be announced Jan. 23.

At age 61, never has Mirren's profile been so high.

"It doesn't matter when (success) comes," she said. "Early or late. It would be nice if it came two or three times in one's life. But it's wonderful. It's really great."

Mirren said the roles she's gotten the past couple of years have been a big part of her success.

"I had a year of incredible work. 'Elizabeth I,' then 'The Queen,' then 'Prime Suspect,' and each one of those roles were very demanding, very wonderful leading roles."

Mirren said she's not sure what her great year will mean for future roles.

"The downside of this kind of success is that people want to stick you in that box, the box in which they saw you in being successful. And you're constantly trying to break out of that box."

So no more playing royals for a while?

"No, I will not," Mirren replied with a laugh. "Possibly for the rest of my life."


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© 2007 The Associated Press

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