Regal Helen Mirren puts the accent on adaptability


Last updated at 08:05 29 February 2008

Leading lady: Helen Mirren

Helen Mirren was in the middle of switching accents.

"I've just played the English editor-in-chief in State Of Play and I'm heading to Albuquerque to play a brothel owner who is very American in Taylor's film," the Oscar-winner told me, referring to the movie Love Ranch, which is being directed by her husband, Taylor Hackford.

The actress, stunning in a vibrant Georges Chakra gown and diamond earrings from H Stern, was relaxing over a vodka gimlet at the Oscar Governors Ball after she'd knighted Daniel Day-Lewis with his Academy Award for his performance in There Will Be Blood.

"That was funny - Daniel went down on one knee before me," she said. "It was hilarious, and very gracious of him. I obviously did my job well in The Queen!' State Of Play is a movie based on the acclaimed BBC drama series written by Paul Abbott.

In the film version, being directed by Kevin Macdonald (who made The Last King Of Scotland), Helen, as editor of a Washington daily paper, has to tough it out with secretive politicians when her dogged investigative reporter, played by Russell Crowe, uncovers a story involving murder and corruption.

Bill Nighy played Helen's part in the TV series. "She's the one in control," Andrew Hauptman, the producer who secured the film rights from Abbott, told me.

"She is the person in charge of this newspaper and she makes it known that she's strong, old school - a real Fleet Street type," Hauptman added.

Eric Fellner of Working Title (the London studio behind Atonement - which won an Oscar, by the way, for best score) is overseeing the production and he and his associates commissioned the building of a massive newsroom in a Los Angeles studio.

The film also stars Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams and Jason Bateman.

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