Why Helen Mirren Loves Making Action Movies
After her appearance in last year’s F9: The Fast Saga, Dame Helen Mirren goes in-depth about her love of making action movies. At 76, Mirren has a long list of acting credits under her belt, including prestigious films like The Queen and a number of highly acclaimed theater productions, but the actor is now also well known for her roles in various action movies. Mirren portrayed a dangerous assassin in RED and RED 2, but has also now featured in three movies in the Fast & Furious franchise.
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Mirren’s Fast & Furious character is Magdalene “Queenie” Shaw, mother to Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw. Mirren had small roles in The Fate of the Furious, Hobbs and Shaw, and most recently, F9: The Fast Saga. The most recent movie even lets Mirren’s character partake in some of the racing action the franchise is known for, featuring Shaw driving a Noble M600, a very rare British supercar, through the streets of London. With another two Fast & Furious films confirmed to be in the works, it’s not yet clear if Mirren will be reprising her role.
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In a new interview with THR, Mirren explains her love of action movies and showers praise upon the hardworking stuntpeople and special effects experts that are so crucial for making action movies work. Mirren reveals that she loves seeing the craftsmanship that goes into creating action sequences and even advocates for stuntpeople to get their own category at the Oscars. Check out Mirren’s full comment below when asked about what drew her to roles in movies like RED and F9: The Fast Saga:
“Well, there’s no real difference to the work. The periphery is different, you know, the number of trailers or the sets or the amount of time you’ve got to shoot a scene. But, fundamentally, it’s exactly the same thing. But I love the special effects world. And the stunt world. I really believe stuntpeople should be nominated for Oscars. They’ve become such an intrinsic part of filmmaking now. You look at these big action movies, and it’s 75 percent stunts, really. I love working and watching the art, the craftsmanship and the expertise of these people. The whole digital side of things, the special effects, is just extraordinary. Every time I go on set, the technology has advanced to another level.”
The Fast & Furious movies are extremely stunt-heavy, featuring large explosions and intricate car sequences that often defy the laws of physics. Although more reliant on practical effects in earlier entries, F9 boasted a lot of digital effects work, something that Mirren clearly recognizes as its very own cinematic art form. RED and RED 2, as well, while not utilizing quite as much CGI as the Fast & Furious franchise, feature a number of special effects-driven sequences and stunt work, including one memorable scene of Mirren’s character taking out an enemy convoy with a machine gun.
Mirren’s comments highlight the prevalence of stunt work in modern movies and make clear that she respects the artistry and craftsmanship that goes into making action sequences. The sentiment that stunt performers should have their very own Oscars category certainly isn’t new and Mirren’s comments reinforce the idea that, due to the dangerous and complex nature of stunt work, performers should receive awards recognition. Although Mirren is older than the average action star, her recent performances in movies like F9: The Fast Saga suggest that she’s still more than capable of holding her own during intense action sequences, something that will be put to the test once more in next year’s Shazam 2: Fury of the Gods.
More: How Helen Mirren Bullied Vin Diesel To Land Fast & Furious Role
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