Sunday, August 27, 2006

Helen Mirren Rocks!



I've always been a fan of Helen Mirren. She's a fabulous actress and a beautiful, bright woman, but last night during the Emmy's my admiration for her expanded.

Why?

Because she thanked writers for creating good parts for women on TV
Because she said "ass over tits" on TV
Because she sublty spanked entertainment execs for not having enough good roles for women.
Because she looked so damned lovely.

The British TV series Prime Suspect, which started in the early 1990's and continues today, is one of the most clever, tense, best written shows I've seen on TV, and created a fabulous character in DCI Jane Tennison, played by Mirren. DCI Tennison is a woman, working in a man's world, who's tough enough to put up with the crap her male bosses, peers and subordinates thjrpw her way, get the bad guy and still remain a feminine and emotionally vulnerable. In fact, it's that vulnerability that makes DCI Tennison so good at her job.

I read a number of years ago that Hollywood, recognizing an amazing character when they saw it, (or perhaps just noticing the ratings of the series), wanted to create a movie version of Prime Suspect but didn't want to cast Helen Mirren. Rather, they wanted to cast a younger, more conventionally beautiful woman in the role.

How sad. How misguided.

Brother. I'm nearly 20 years younger than Ms. Mirren and could only wish to look half as good as she does.
I know this is hardly an original thought... but why don't we value older women more when we hero worship so many older men, particularly male actors?

I don't get it.

9 comments:

Kristin said...

I love "Prime Suspect," too! Thank goodness for BBCA!

By the way, I have noticed a BIG difference in actors who are cast on British series and actors who are cast in American series. A lot of times, women on the BBCA shows are 'regular' sized women. I mean, women who aren't stick thin and sickly looking.

I just watched "ShakespeaRE-Told" the other day...they did "Midsummer Night's Dream" (great series, by the way), and both the female leads were very pretty but with NORMAL bodies.

I think Hollywood is overly obsessed with women looking perfect. Even into their 40s and 50s. While men are not held to such a standard. Yes, movies show men with perfect, hairless chests and rock-hard abs, but they also have no problems giving the lead to flabby, older men who are balding.

Where are the roles for flabby older women? There's only a few good actresses in Hollywood who would be considered 'overweight.' Kathy Bates comes to mind...but otherwise, where are they?? Where are the GOOD roles for women over 40???

NOWHERE. ARGH! I *hate* it!!!!

Louisa Edwards said...

Man, I feel like I really missed out by not watching the Emmy's last night. Everyone is talking about Helen Mirren! God, I love her.

Sara Hantz said...

I love HM too. she's the most awesome actor. And Prime Suspect was always a fave of mine.

I haven't seen the Emmys, didn't show them over here - or if they did it on some obscure channel and i didn't realise!!

Sinead M said...

Love Helen Mirren. I didn't watch the Emmy's, but the pics of her were gorgeous.

The Emmys don't hold a lot of weight with me. Arrested Development didn't win best comedy (although the office is great.)

Mel Francis said...

SHE'S A BABE. I wanna be her when I grow up.

Kathy Holmes said...

The good news is "More" magazine had a recent article about some of the upcoming movies coming out with fabulous parts with older actresses. Check out my recent posting called More.

MariaGeraci said...

I loved Helen's speech too! It was fabulous. Although there is a debate going on over at my blog as to whether she said "arse" or "ass". (g)

Sara Hantz said...

I didn't watch it, but as a Brit my money would be on 'arse over tit' as that's a very well known saying.

RC said...

I think Helen's comments on writing are excellent.

I'm excited about Helen's new role as Elizabeth II in THe Queen.

--RC of strangeculture.blogspot.com

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