She's won every acting award there is, reigned onscreen as three different queens and since 2003 has served as a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Needless to say, Dame Helen Mirren is a living treasure of stage and screen, and had been long before becoming a household name on this side of the Atlantic with her Academy Award-winning turn in 2006's 'The Queen.'
Still, it's been particularly gratifying to see Mirren shrug off that Oscar-anointed monarchic image in the last few years, in which we've seen her gallivant around Mt. Rushmore ('National Treasure: Book of Secrets'), dazzle as the wife of Tolstoy ('The Last Station'), embark on an affair with a younger man while running a brothel ('Love Ranch') and voice an icy, evil animated owl ('Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole'). (Of course, she's no stranger to making daring artistic choices or embracing her seductive side; look no further than Tinto Brass's 'Caligula' for proof.)
Cinematical was honored to sit briefly with Dame Helen Mirren to discuss gun control, Harvey Pekar, and her role in this week's action comedy 'Red,' in which she continues to surprise and delight as an ex-sniper pulled out of cozy retirement alongside Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman and John Malkovich.