Helen Mirren reveals letter she wrote to the Queen before film portrayal
Helen Mirren won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in Peter Morgan's The Queen.
It's been 16 years since biographical drama The Queen arrived in theatres, subsequently earning Helen Mirren an Academy Award and a BAFTA for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II – however, the award-winning star has only just revealed that she wrote a letter to the Queen before playing her on screen in the film.
In an interview with Radio Times magazine, Mirren spoke about taking on the mammoth role and preparing for it by writing to the reigning monarch.
"I realised we were investigating a profoundly painful part of her life, so I wrote to her," Mirren explained.
"I said, 'We are doing this film. We are investigating a very difficult time in your life. I hope it’s not too awful for you.' I can’t remember how I put it. I just said that in my research I found myself with a growing respect for her, and I just wanted to say that."
She continued: "She didn’t write back, of course, but her secretary did. You know, 'Yours sincerely, da di da di da,' on behalf of the Queen. I was very relieved subsequently that I had written that letter."
The 2006 film, written by The Crown's Peter Morgan, looks at the Royal Family's reaction to the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997.
Staged's Michael Sheen and the late Helen McCrory starred as Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie Blair, while Succession's James Cromwell played Prince Philip and Unforgotten's Alex Jennings played Charles, Prince of Wales.
Peter Morgan continued to write about The Queen and the Royal Family in Netflix's The Crown, which is heading into its fifth season with Imelda Staunton taking on the role of Queen Elizabeth II.
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