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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 March 2006, 00:23 GMT
Actress hails Queen's 'virtues'
Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren has enjoyed recent success as Elizabeth I
Actress Dame Helen Mirren has hailed the Queen's "incredible virtues" after portraying her in a new film.

She said she admired the Queen for her lack of vanity and choosing not to lead a lavish lifestyle.

Mirren told W magazine she would be "devastated" if her portrayal caused the Queen to feel betrayed.

Director Stephen Frears' movie The Queen, due out later this year, looks at events after the 1997 death of Princess Diana in a Paris car crash.


Mirren said of the Queen: "Even as a young girl, she believed in duty and self-sacrifice."

I'd be devastated if she feels that I've betrayed her in my portrayal of her
Dame Helen Mirren

She praised her for not leading a decadent lifestyle but said these qualities were not always respected.

Mirren said: "All of those things are sneered at these days, but I find them incredible virtues.

"So I really got to love the Queen by playing her."

Mirren is no stranger to royal portrayals having recently played Elizabeth I in an award-winning Channel Four drama of the same name.

The actress explained that she would be upset if the Queen regarded her latest film in a negative light.

First choice

Mirren said: "And I'd be devastated if she feels that I've betrayed her in my portrayal of her."

Director Frears, whose previous credits include My Beautiful Launderette and Dirty Pretty Things, has said Mirren was his first choice for the role.

Frears' film claims to recreate the events of the week after Diana's death from the point of view of the Royal Family and Prime Minister Tony Blair, with a script based on interviews with insiders and royal observers.

Veteran actress Sylvia Syms plays the Queen Mother, with James Cromwell as Prince Philip and Michael Sheen as Tony Blair.

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