In “The Queen”, she clashed with the Labour government of Tony Blair over the death of Princess Diana, but Dame Helen Mirren has now dipped her toe into real-life politics, this time in her adopted home of Italy.
The Oscar-winning actress, who for a decade has owned a holiday home in the picturesque Salento peninsula of Puglia in southern Italy, is backing the election campaign of a Left-wing politician to become the region’s new governor.
The 69-year-old British actress and her American husband Taylor Hackford, 69, a film director, have recorded a video message of support for Senator Dario Stefano.
The 51-year-old politician, from the Left Ecology Freedom party, is hoping to become Puglia’s next governor, with a primary to be held on Nov 30.
If successful, he will replace Nichi Vendola, the current governor, who has held the post since 2005.
A former Communist, Mr Vendola was the first Italian politician to come out as gay and is from the same party.
Dame Helen, who once said of the Conservatives “they’re all just bloody public schoolboys”, said that the Left-wing regional administration had done “some really extraordinary work for the promotion of agriculture and for the environment”, bringing Puglia’s wine and olive oil to global attention.
I’ve added to the gallery ad prints from Helen’s L’Oreal photoshoot.
Commercials & Ads > L’Oreal
Dame Helen Mirren has struck a blow for older women looking their age by insisting her image must not be re-touched when she signed as L’Oreal Paris’s new UK ambassador.
The 69-year-old Oscar-winner follows in the footsteps of actresses such as Julianne Moore and Jane Fonda in her association with the brand.
Her ambassadorship marks a new approach to age in the fashion and beauty industry, however, celebrating it rather than promoting an “anti-ageing” message.
She said: “I am truly delighted to become an ambassador and join such an impressive group of high-achievers.
“I am not gorgeous, I never was, but I was always OK-looking and I’m keen to stay that way.
“I hope I can inspire other women towards greater confidence by making the most of their natural good looks,”
It is not the first time Dame Helen has refused to be shy about her age.
Accepting the Icon award at the Glamour Women of the Year ceremony in June, she said: “Your 40s are good. Your 50s are great. Your 60s are fab. And 70 is f—— awesome. I’m not quite there yet, but almost.”
L’Oréal’s general manager Elen Macaskill, described Dame Helen as “brilliant, irreverent, beautiful, sexy and quintessentially British.”
She said: “She is subtle and alluring, and to women in the arts she’s an inspiration and a tireless supporter of emerging talent. As you can tell I’m a huge fan, and we’re incredibly excited to introduce her as an ambassador for our brand.”
The Fan Carpet has dedicated today’s Fansite of the Day spot to Mirror on Mirren.
Site Opened: September, 2011
Image Gallery Count: 23705
Known For: The Queen (2006)
Up Next: Woman in Gold (2015)
Last Known Dating: Taylor Hackford
Quote: “The trick in life is learning how to deal with it.”
Fun Fact: Won Film Achievement, Greatest Britons.
Profile Page: Resume
This column has always celebrated and championed the unique beauty of older women. And now it seems the big cosmetics companies are following suit.
As this world-exclusive picture shows, 69-year-old Dame Helen Mirren can today be revealed in this column as the newest face of L’Oreal.
It is the first time she has put her name to a range of beauty products and I think the decision is inspired. She looks amazing – the make-up is natural, her hair has plenty of volume and, best of all, these pictures don’t look as if they have been airbrushed.
As you would expect, she is characteristically modest about her new role. ‘I am not gorgeous and I never was, but I was always OK looking and I’m keen to stay that way,’ she says.
‘I have always loved the L’Oreal Paris brand, and I hope I can inspire other women towards greater confidence by making the most of their natural good looks. We are all worth it!’
Helen is the perfect poster girl for a new breed of older women, showing it is possible to maintain looks, vitality and energy levels whatever your age.
Even better, she doesn’t seem to take herself too seriously and it’s this trait that will endear her to the legions of sixtysomething women who – as I know from the hundreds of readers who email me every week – aspire to simply look their best, but without going over the top.
Earlier this year, Helen said: ‘I don’t really know what a beauty routine is. But I love beauty products, and I’m always trying new ones. I wear make-up every day.
‘I love putting it on, and I get really into it: a little bit of this here, a little bit of that there – but then I stand back and look in the mirror and it’s awful! It’s absolutely true that, as you get older, you have to wear less and less make-up.’
Despite her Hollywood fame, she still likes a bargain buy and is a great believer in drugstore products, saying: ‘You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get quality stuff nowadays.’
With Ender’s Game director Gavin Hood and a cast that includes, Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, Alan Rickman, Barkhad Abdi and Iain Glen busy shooting in South Africa, we’re happy to bring you the first, exclusive imagery from drone drama Eye In The Sky.
Movies > Eye In The Sky > Promotional Stills