Sexism

Dame Helen Mirren: “Any swimming pool scene and suddenly it’s full of women”

Mirren in "Eye in the Sky."

Actress Dame Helen Mirren, beloved by many for her ‘take no prisoners’ attitude, says women should actively pursue roles written for men. “You look at a scene and it’s going to be all men around a table and you think at least half of those could have been women,” she said, while discussing her latest role, playing an army colonel in Eye in the Sky.

Although the role was originally written for a man, the movie’s producers had changed the part to a woman’s before offering it to Mirren — an astute decision, she says, because it opened up a different, more interesting debate for audiences leaving the cinema. In Eye in the Sky, Mirren plays an army intelligence officer, remotely commanding a top-secret drone operation.

Warming to her theme, Mirren pointed out the lack of parts for women even extends to opportunities for extras. “The only time that there is more women on the set as extras is a swimming pool scene and they’re all in bikinis — any swimming pool scene and suddenly it’s full of women.”

Lauded for her straight-talking, the actress has been in the news in the last year for commenting that she hates a man putting his arm around a woman’s shoulder; worrying her husband would “never f*** her again” after playing Queen Elizabeth II, and a hilarious Superbowl ad, in which she said anyone who drives when drunk is a “short-sighted, utterly useless, oxygen-wasting, human form of pollution.”

Read the full story at the BBC.

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