Sunday, August 7, 2011

Defiant Helen Mirren arrives on the set of Phil Spector film following warnings to pull out or face 'serious consequences'

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Team: Mirren takes on the role of Spector's lawyer Linda Kenney Baden, pictured with Spector at his 2007 trial for the murder of Lana Clarkson
The group, Friends of Lana Clarkson, have enlisted Hollywood publicity agent Edward Lozzi to organise a protest campaign and claim to have influential supporters who will stop actors who take part in the project being considered for prestigious awards.

Spector, 71, is serving 19 years-to-life after being convicted in 2009 of shooting 40-year-old Miss Clarkson at his mountaintop home six years earlier.

The eccentric producer, who worked on The Beatles’ final album, Let It Be, in 1970 and is played in the new film by Al Pacino, also allegedly terrorised other women, holding them hostage at gunpoint.

Getting to work: Helen Mirren, co-star Al Pacino and director Jeffrey Tambor discuss filming on set
Getting to work: Helen Mirren and co-star Al Pacino discuss filming on set

Controversial: Al Pacino stars as Spector in the film, which is understood to be sympathetic to his side of the story
Controversial: Al Pacino stars as Spector in the film, which is understood to be sympathetic to his side of the story
Linda Kenney Baden claims there is evidence Miss Clarkson was so depressed by setbacks in her career that she used a revolver owned by Spector to shoot herself.

Mr Lozzi said the group he represented – called The Friends of Lana Clarkson – was ‘dismayed’ at Dame Helen’s involvement in the film, conceived by controversial New York writer and director David Mamet who has called for Spector to be freed.

Mr Lozzi described the film as ‘an insensitive attempt to portray the loathsome, lying, gun-abusing convicted murderer of our friend Lana Clarkson with some kind of sympathy’.

Defiant: Dame Helen Mirren arrives in New York last weekend to start filming
Arrival: Mirren arrived in New York last night to start filming

Mr Lozzi – a Press aide to former US President George Bush – said that his group would mount a boycott of HBO unless the studio drops the project.

And he warned that influential backers would lobby judges of the Emmy awards, asking them not to consider Dame Helen or any other actors who take part in the film for awards.

‘We have great respect for Helen Mirren,’ Mr Lozzi said. ‘What we hope is that when she reads this script and sees Lana is being trashed, she will speak up and say, “This is not right.”

Al Pacino pictured for the first tim in character as record producer Phil Spector, who is currently serving 19 years to life
Al Pacino pictured for the first tim in character as record producer Phil Spector, who is currently serving 19 years to life
‘Helen Mirren probably didn’t know about The Friends of Lana Clarkson when she agreed to take the role – it would have been just another job to her. But now that she is aware, we ask her to examine her conscience.’

The group has sent a letter to Dame Helen, warning the 66-year-old, who won a 2007 Oscar for her portrayal of the Queen, that she should ‘do the right thing’ and demand script changes or face damaging ‘consequences’ including ‘no Emmy nominations’.

The letter adds: ‘Know that we are very serious.’ Mr Lozzi claims the campaign has already forced Bette Midler – who was initially cast as Mrs Kenney Baden – to drop out, although the actress said she had injured her back. ‘Maybe her back does hurt but I think what persuaded her to quit was she didn’t want to hurt her image,’ Mr Lozzi said.

The film was conceived by director David Mamet, who has called for Spector to be freed.

Dame Helen was also in the spotlight yesterday after beating much younger contenders to be named Body of the Year.

She pushed Elle MacPherson and Kelly Brook into second and third place in a poll of 2,000 women. They were asked by the LA Fitness gym chain to name the women they felt were more  comfortable in their own skin.

Defiant Helen Mirren arrives on the set of Phil Spector film following warnings to pull out or face 'serious consequences'

She is being threatened with awards snubs and worse for refusing to pull out of the film.

But a defiant Helen Mirren arrived on the set of the controversial Phil Spector movie yesterday to get down to work.

The actress smiled and waved at cameras, perhaps sending a message to the group of apparently 'influential' Hollywood insiders and friends of Lana Clarkson who are protesting her involvement, that she is not backing down.

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Defiant: Despite warnings from Hollywood insiders to quit, Helen Mirren arrived on the set of hew new Phil Spector film today

Confidante: Mirren plays Spector's long-time lawyer Linda Kenney Baden in the film
Confidante: Mirren plays Spector's long-time lawyer Linda Kenney Baden in the film
The 66-year-old sat outside her trailer drinking tea in her costume for the role of Linda Kenney Baden, Spector's long-time lawyer and supporter, before making her way on to the set.


She wears a long blonde wig and glasses for the part, and today was filming in a tight black dress and purple flats.

The Oscar-winning actress was pictured discussing a scene with her co-star Al Pacino, who plays the lead role of Phil Spector .

Threats: Despite the warnings by friends of Lana Clarkson for her to pull out of the controversial film, Helen looked comfortable on the set in Long Island today

Threats: Despite the warnings by friends of Lana Clarkson for her to pull out of the controversial film, Helen looked comfortable on the set in Long Island today

The movie has been filming in Long Island and Manhattan for the past month, with Pacino bearing an uncanny likeness to Spector.

The film is understood to be sympathetic to the former Beatles producer and claims he was wrongly jailed for murder.

Dame Helen’s spokesman last night said the actress had received a letter sent to her by the protesters, but added: ‘She’s in the movie. She’s not dropping out. That’s all she’s saying.’


Joining forces: Mirren stars as Baden, while Pacino appears as Spector
Joining forces: Mirren stars as Baden, while Pacino appears as Spector
Joining forces: Mirren stars as Baden, while Pacino appears as Spector



The secrets to Dame Helen Mirren's amazing body

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Helen Mirren (Pic:Nick Ball)

SHE may be 66 years old but Dame Helen Mirren’s stunning figure is still an award-winner.

The actress trounced the likes of Jennifer Lopez to scoop Body of the Year in a poll by gym chain LA Fitness.

So how does she do it? Here we delve into the beauty secrets which made Russell Brand gush: “She’s sexy and enchanting. There’s something about her that drives me wild.”
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Learn good posture

DAME Helen once explained: "Four-inch platform heels give you great height and make your legs look unbelievably long.I used to get them in stripper shops but now you can buy them everywhere. Although, unfortunately, that means everyone else had discovered the trick, too. "I aso hold my tummy in. It comes from being on stage.You're aware of your posture."

Go easy on exercise

THE star has explained: "I do exercise but, honestly, it's not particularly a beauty thing. As you get older, you have to keep up your energy levels. I'm very lazy. If I start getting out of puff when I go upstairs, I'll force myself into minimalistic exercise. I'm a great believer in the Royal Canadian Air Force exercises, as they only take 15 minutes."

Cut your own hair

SHE'S pretty low-maintenance when it comes to her barnet.

The actress said last year: "I cut my hair in my bathroom and colour it, too. For the past 20 to 30 years, I've only ever been to the hairdressers if I've had to go for a part I've been playing. Otherwise I simply put my hair in a ponytail and cut across the top - it creates natural layers and just falls right."

Work, rest and...rest

SHE can't get enough of jumping into bed - and enjoying some shut-eye. The star has said: "When I'm working hard, I don't party.

I don't go to the bar after work. I don't go out to restaurants.

I just go to bed.

If I'm on a film, I even try to catch some sleep in my trailer at lunchtime. "I try to sleep as much as possible.

It's very important and, as you get older, even more so."

It's all about make-up

DAME Helen says there's one big secret to her amazing looks.

"A lot of looking good is simply down to good make-up."

She usually goes for the minimalist look, often with a splash of vivid red lipstick and she once admitted that her greatest extravagance is "drugstore make-up".

Just before the Oscars she was spotted buying Too Faced Liquif-Eye - and it helped hold back any tears during her Best Actress acceptance speech for The Queen.

Grow old gracefully..

SHE has said: "My mother told me an amazingly wise thing that I've found to be true, which is that you should never worry about getting older. Because an amazing thing happens.

As you reach each age you find, like a miracle, you've got the weapons, or tools, to deal with it.

So your body gets older but your mind gets better. "You've learned how to deal with relationships. You've realised you're not the only person in the world, and beauty's not the most important thing. To be obsessed by your looks is pathetic."

Ditch the dieting

DAME Helen revealed: "My whole life I've gone backwards and forwards the same 10lb.

I can wear clothes from 20 years ago.

At my thinnest I'm a couple of pounds under 9st - at my fattest I'm a few pounds under 10st. I've gone through many diets that are also so boring. You stop eating and that's what makes you lose weight - not eating.

But as you get older, losing weight doesn't make your body look better. "I eat healthily but not that healthily...as anyone who saw me munching a burger will know. But I don't eat burgers regularly. I don't think people should."

Helen Mirren Sticks with BioPic Despite Calls to Quit

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Helen Mirren is slated to star in a new film about Phil Spector, known for his work in the music industry and later accused of murdering Lana Clarkson. Mirren will be playing the role of Spector’s attorney, Linda Kenney Baden.

Friends and allies of Clarkson have promised “serious consequences” if Mirren goes through will the role, according to the British Daily Mail. The Daily Mail reported that Mirren’s spokesman said,  “She’s in the movie. She’s not dropping out. That’s all she’s saying.”

The 66-year-old actress will star opposite Al Pacino as Phil Spector. Spector was found guilty of Clarkson’s death and is currently serving a 19 years-to-life sentence.

According Reuters, screenwriter and director David Mamet said, “I definitely think there is reasonable doubt  [in Spector's case]… They should never have sent him away.”

The Daily Mail reported that Edward Lozzi, a publicist speaking for Friends of Lana Clarkson, called the film, “an insensitive attempt to portray the loathsome, lying, gun-abusing convicted murderer of our friend Lana Clarkson with some kind of sympathy.”

Spector’s attorney Baden has set forth the idea that Clarkson in fact killed herself with Spector’s gun.

She can't be 66! Helen Mirren turns back the clock in colourful tunic and leggings

According to the New York Daily News, Miss Mirren received 17.7 per cent of the votes cast by 2,000 respondents to a survey by international gym chain LA Fitness.

Miss Mirren beat Elle Mapherson, Jennifer Lopez and Pippa Middleton to win the accolade.

Speaking to the newspaper, LA Fitness spokesman Tony Orme said: 'It's great to see the public celebrating bodies of all shapes and sizes, and proving that you really can look fabulous over 40 and 50.'

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Forever young:  Earlier Dame Helen enjoyed a game of hopscotch on the set of the Phil Spector biopic she is shooting

Miss Mirren plays Linda Kenney Baden in the Phil Spector movie, Spector's long-time lawyer and supporter, in the biopic, which stars Al Pacino as the former record producer who is now serving a prison sentence for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson.

The film is understood to be sympathetic to the former Beatles producer and claims he was wrongly jailed for murder.

Miss Mirren agreed to star in the movie despite being threatened with awards snubs and worse for refusing to pull out of the film.

Controversial: Helen relaxes with a cup of tea on set of the Phil Spector movie in which she plays Linda Kenney Baden, Spector's long-time lawyer and supporter
Controversial: Miss Mirren relaxes with a cup of tea on set of the Phil Spector movie in which she plays Linda Kenney Baden, Spector's long-time lawyer and supporter

Uncanny: Al Pacino bears a remarkable resemblance to the former music producer
Uncanny: Al Pacino bears a remarkable resemblance to the former music producer

She can't be 66! Helen Mirren turns back the clock in colourful tunic and leggings

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Youthful: Helen Mirren turned back the clock as she stepped out in a pair of leggings and a colourful tunic in New York yesterday
A smiling Miss Mirren teamed her youthful look with a matching pink headscarf and shades as she headed to shoot scenes for the Phil Spector movie she is filming in New York.

Miss Mirren looks sensational for her age and yesterday was seen laughing heartily as she played a game of hopscotch.

She was recently awarded the title of Body of the Year by 2,000 fitness fanatics.

Read mo
Chic: The actress's outfit wouldn't have looked out of place on a woman a third of her age. She teamed the look with a headscarf and shades
Chic: The actress's outfit wouldn't have looked out of place on a woman a third of her age. She teamed the look with a headscarf and shades 
Chic: The actress's outfit wouldn't have looked out of place on a woman a third of her age. She teamed the look with a headscarf and shades
According to the New York Daily News, Miss Mirren received 17.7 per cent of the votes cast by 2,000 respondents to a survey by international gym chain LA Fitness.

Miss Mirren beat Elle Mapherson, Jennifer Lopez and Pippa Middleton to win the accolade.

Speaking to the newspaper, LA Fitness spokesman Tony Orme said: 'It's great to see the public celebrating bodies of all shapes and sizes, and proving that you really can look fabulous over 40 and 50.'


Helen Mirren has the sexiest body on planet

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She's 66 years old. She has an Academy Award for playing a decidedly frumpy Queen Elizabeth. Her last movie role was as the elderly spinster nanny to Russell Brand's playboy millionaire in "Arthur." And she's officially got the best body in the world. Dame Helen Mirren, what was it like when they created you on Mount Olympus?

When the gym chain LA Fitness polled 2,000 members on the sexiest male and female physiques on the planet, you'd expect renowned hotties like Nicole Scherzinger and this year's It Girl, Pippa Middleton, to make the list. And they did. But who'd have guessed that Inspector Jane Tennyson would blow away the competition for the top spot? Or that 48-year-old Elle Macpherson would come in second, and 42-year-old Jennifer Lopez would land in fourth? And lest you thinking defying Father Time is for the ladies, the male list is decidedly unyouthful too, with Daniel Craig, Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, David Hasselhoff and Simon Cowell all making appearances. Note to gravity: YOU LOSE.

Now, an LA Fitness poll isn't exactly the ne plus ultra of scientific inquiry, and it's not as if Helen Mirren's off-the-charts level of foxiness is going to change Victoria's Secret fashion shows or Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues. You need only do a comparative perusal of the Maxim 100, where teenagers like Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift are holding their own against a variety of Kardashians and models, to know that dewy, voluptuous youth never goes out of favor.

There's something defiantly cheeky and provocative about the LA Fitness poll results -- a little like, oh, I don't know, declaring Mirren's costar Russell Brand the sexiest man of the year.  Look at us! Thinking outside the box! No wonder LA Fitness's marketing director Tony Orme told the Hollywood Reporter this week that "It's great to see the public celebrating bodies of all shapes and sizes, and proving that you really can look fabulous over 40 and 50."

That's really the point here, isn't it? A beautiful body at 18 is all but a birthright, but one at 60 is the result of damn hard work and incredibly serendipitous genetics. And indeed Mirren declared last year that her "best friend" is her Wii Fit.

Of course, a survey whose results suggest that beauty and sexiness aren't the sole terrain of the young -- and that having a rocking body is possible at any age -- is well in service of the fitness industry. Sure, Mirren, like those ankle-biting whippersnappers Macpherson and Lopez, surely has all the body, face, and hair upkeep that a woman could dream of. Simply rolling out of bed looking like a million bucks becomes an increasingly unrealistic option the older any of us get – even a woman who is still cavorting around in red bikinis and posing naked in magazines.

Yet despite the attention-getting nature of the LA Fitness poll, it serves as a reminder that beauty and sexiness don't necessarily have an expiration date. That aging is inevitable, but "letting yourself go" only has to be if you choose to make it so. That being vibrant and active is always seductive. And that the untouchable Helen Mirren can outscorch legions of females 50 years her junior.