Tuesday 21 November 2017

Parenthood should not define you, says Dame Helen Mirren

Dame Helen Mirren premiered her latest film, The Leisure Seeker, at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Dame Helen Mirren
Dame Helen Mirren

By Sam Blewett, Press Association Los Angeles Correspondent

Dame Helen Mirren says parents and grandparents should not be solely defined by their roles in the family.

The Oscar-winning actress stars alongside Donald Sutherland in The Leisure Seeker, a film that follows their characters’ journey across the US in a motor home.

Sutherland’s character has increasingly worsening dementia while Dame Helen’s also has an illness but they escape their grown-up children’s suffocating attention.

On Saturday, Dame Helen, 72, told the Press Association: “It’s about family and it’s about coming towards the end of your life, it’s about what we all deal with in life whether it’s with our parents or our grandparents and it’s about the individuality of people apart from their families.

“People tend to get defined by being parents or grandparents but actually we forget that they are absolutely individual people as much as you are.”

Dame Helen, speaking at a screening of the film at the Toronto International Film Festival, also expressed sorrow over the adversity being faced by those in the paths of hurricanes and floods after storms battered the US, Mexico and the Caribbean.

“Taking control of your life is a very difficult issue when you think of the people experiencing hurricanes and floods as we speak at this very moment in time no there are moments in your life where you absolutely cannot take control of your life,” she said.

Italian director Paolo Virzi, in his first English-language film, said it was an honour to work with the veteran actors.

“They were an extraordinary couple,” he said. “They know so well the art of acting that they probably didn’t need a director.”

The film received middling reviews after premiering at the Venice International Film Festival.

:: The movie is set to be released in the US in January.

Press Association

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