Helen Mirren reveals her ‘normal home life’ while filming ‘The Duke’

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When Dame meets ‘Duke’

Helen Mirren, filmdom’s perennial majesty, arrived at Andrew Saffir’s exclusive movie preview. She plays queens. He does screenings. She’s in Sony Pictures Classics’ newie “The Duke.” His Cinema Society showed it at the Tribeca screening room.

“We were unbelievably lucky,” she told me. “We shot this movie in England. It’s where the film takes place. Happens we were absolutely done, over, completely all finished, exactly two weeks before what then became a two-year lockdown in England.

“After that, like everyone else, I was locked at home. During the pandemic, it was first time since 1984 my husband and I stayed home. Alone. Just we two. Not one or another of us off doing something. Anything. We just had a normal home life. Wonderful. For once we lived like everyday other people. We stayed home, we made dinners and we improved our Italian lessons because we have a house in Italy.

“This movie ‘The Duke’ is a 1961 true story. It’s about a 60-year-old Brit taxi driver who stole Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington in London’s National Gallery in London.”

Helen Mirren arrived exactly 7 p.m. sharp. Hair, each strand perfect. Makeup exact. High heels. She looked stunning. Dress Carolina Herrera, cape Valentino. She wore it all just long enough to put it back on a hanger and return next day.

Said the rogue’s real grandson Christopher: “My screenplay was optioned. It was a famous heist. People purchased the rights and the story’s surreal. It’s like coming from humble beginnings, like from poverty, then seeing this whole famous heist story unfold.”


Apple’s crop is ripe for picking

“CODA” (which stands for child of deaf adults) is bringing us additional disability. A team of hearing-challenged actors, tired of discrimination and confronting Hollywood through sign language, is back in theaters.

More. For greatness forget the Oscars. New Apple TV+ series is “Slow Horses.” Gary Oldman, playing a retired spy in charge of over-the-hill Brit agents, said: “In this film these effed up ‘Slow Horses’ don’t move on, they just slide down. And we don’t care.” What with today’s happy happy world, what could give anyone in the audience greater hope?

Gary Oldman appears at the “Slow Horses” British premiere in Regent Street Cinema in London on March 30, 2022.
Gary Oldman appears at the “Slow Horses” British premiere in London on March 30, 2022.
Mike Marsland/WireImage

Screen time

MORE. Spy stuff. Chris Pine played CIA analyst in “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.” As producer and star he now spies in Amazon Prime’s “All the Old Knives.” And he said, “It’s like John le Carré’s old-time classics. Twists, turns and frightening terrorist attacks.” Fellow spies are Laurence Fishburne and Jonathan Pryce. Global espionage also includes a love interest. Thandiwe Newton. Nice. Bombing is always so romantic.

While we wallow in creativity, know that Oscar winner Jessica Chastain, who won playing Tammy Faye, next plays Tammy Wynette in “George and Tammy.” And Penelope Cruz who did the Spanish language “On the Fringe” next does the “Empire Light” in Italian. And Benedict Cumberbatch who was in “The Power of the Dog” next is in the next long-titled thing “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar.”


Tuning in

Vice President Kamala Harris (2-L), Jennifer Granholm (2-R), US energy secretary, Gina McCarthy (R), White House national climate advisor, and Miguel Cardona (not pictured), US secretary of education, meet with students at Thomas Elementary School in Washington, DC, USA, on 04 April 2022.
Vice President Kamala Harris greets masked children at Thomas Elementary School in Washington, DC, on April 4, 2022.
EPA/Sarah Silbiger/POOL

VP Kamala sat in a hall

VP Kamala’s had a great fall

All the Dem horses and all the Dem bosses

Cannot put Kamala together again.

Question: George Washington and Joe Biden both crossed the Delaware. For what — Kamala?


It’s spring. Kindly know that if Bloomingdale’s calls to say your wife’s teeny bikini arrived — and you know she weighs 182 — your marriage is in trouble.

Only in New York, kids, only in New York. 



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