Heroines, Helen Mirren, Oscars and Beyond
18 Oct 2011
Where I meet one of my biggest idols and – oh – by the way – Pernilla Augusts beautiful Beyond wins the Nordic Council Price
She is just as classy as I had imagined, Helen Mirren, not only one of the world’s most skilled and charismatic actresses but also a personal idol, particularly because of her super cool depiction of Superintendent Jane Tennison in the now classical crime show Prime Suspect. You think The Killing is great and that Sarah Lund is a determined bad ass detective? Who do you think we learned from?
Dame Helen Mirren is in Copenhagen to hand out the Nordic Film Council Prize, which I am delighted goes to Pernilla August, another great actress, for her debut as a director, Beyond.
In her bold and lyrical film, the idyllic Ikea scenery in 34 year old Leena’s family home is interrupted, when her mother calls from her deadbed. ”I thought your parents died many years ago?” says her husband. Well.
In Beyond Noomi Rapace, also an actress who embodied a defining crime heroine – Lisbeth Salander – plays Leena who is forced to deal with her demons from an upbringing by alcoholics in the 70s. The film is a rare piece of poetic social realism that delivers fabulous cinematic experience and manages to express hope.
”This is my kind of movie, ” says Helen Mirren, who admits she is here to glamour up the prize in order to help what we call art house cinema. And not only is she glamourous, she is just as kind, and poised as I would have thought and meeting her is a highlight for me. Then again it also leaves me a little disappointed, because she is one of the film personalities that I would have dreamed of really getting to talk to. But in the days of many multimedia platforms, the biggest stars you share with your colleagues. Today there were eight of us sitting with her at the Danish Design Center.
A Swedish journalist wants to know how she felt about winning the Oscar?
”Well it’s weird because I have to say that that was rather great. It’s funny because it’s also sort of unreal, and I never expected it because I never made many of those movies that Hollywood usually adorns. It was a mixed experience of both vulgarity and greatness. … Then again, I don’t really believe in prizes,” she says.
”Except for this one ..?!” I offer. And she laughs: ”Except for this one!”