Page last updated at 11:24 GMT, Wednesday, 21 April 2010 12:24 UK

Dame Helen Mirren slates 'British villians' typecast

Dame Helen Mirren
Dame Helen will next be seen in cinemas in The Tempest

Oscar-winning actress Dame Helen Mirren is fed up with Hollywood producers casting British actors as villains.

Speaking at an event in Los Angeles to celebrate British success in Hollywood, Dame Helen told the Press Association British actors were an "easy target".

"I think it's rather unfortunate that the villain in every movie is always British," she said .

"It's just nice to say we're not snooty, stuck-up, malevolent, malignant creatures as we're often portrayed."

"We're actually kind of cool and hip!" said the 64-year-old.

Shakespeare film

Baddies in Hollywood blockbusters are often played by British actors - examples include Sir Ian McKellen as Magneto in the X-Men films and Alfred Molina as Dr Otto Octavius in Spider-Man 2.

"I love the idiosyncrasy of the British people, I love the eccentric nature," said Dame Helen.

"It's very important to let Americans know that we're not just the royal family, there's a lot more to us than that," she added.

The Oscar-winning actress will soon be seen playing a female Prospero in a film adaptation of Shakespeare play The Tempest.

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