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Dame Helen Mirren boasts an impressive career, and numerous accolades, and despite being the only actor to receive the Triple Crown of Acting in the UK and US, there was one specific goal she was determined to reach.
The 76-year-old actor has made appearances in the the Fast & Furious franchise, including The Fate of the Furious, Hobbs & Shaw, as well as F9, in which she portrayed Jason Statham’s mother, Magdalene ‘Queenie’ Shaw.
But the award-winning movie icon has admitted she had to “beg” to be cast in the role back in 2017, which she has returned to for the latest instalment, because she wanted to be in a “big big movie” and to drive a fast car. Oh, Helen you thrill seeker you!
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter about her role in the popular action film , she said: “I didn’t ask — I begged!
“I think I was at some function, and he was there, and I got introduced to him. And I was shameless: ‘Oh God, I’d just love to be in one of your movies! Please let me be in it.’ And then Vin, with that beautiful, deep voice of his, said: ‘I’ll see what I can do.’ And he did it for me.
“He found this great little role for me, which was perfect.
“I’d just never done anything like that before — one of those big, big movies. And, in my vanity, I just loved driving and really wanted to do my own driving in a fast car.”
Helen – who has appeared in The Queen, Red, and Calendar Girls to name a few – can’t stop gushing about the movie franchise, as she previously admitted she loved working with Vin Diesel, who portrays street car racer Dominic Toretto – and felt she was in “safe hands”.
Speaking previously to Entertainment Weekly, Helen said: “You’re in very safe and loving hands when you’re in a Fast & Furious. It was just great to be in a very small space with Vin Diesel for quite a long time. I just loved every minute.
“It was great, hearing that beautiful, soft brown velvet voice really, really close, because we were squished together. Oh, I just so love his voice. He’s got the best voice ever.”
“I just adored him immediately, and he’s always been so kind and lovely to me. So it was there right from the beginning, and it is very weird. It doesn’t make any sense whatsoever on any level, but that’s the weird thing about chemistry, isn’t it? There’s never an explanation for it. It’s just one of those things that happens.”