Helen Mirren is drawing headlines today — like this one from Entertainment Weekly — for some comments she made at the Empire Awards over the weekend. During her acceptance speech, Mirren discussed fellow award winner Sam Mendes’ acceptance speech, and the fact that he didn’t credit any women in helping inspire his career.
Mirren’s remarks about Mendes and about women working in the film industry are receiving a lot of attention, obscuring the fact that earlier in her speech Mirren was critical of another group of people as well: film critics who, she says, “always bloody well piss [her] off.”Here’s the transcript of the passage in question:
“Actually, I’m probably almost the oldest person here, which is probably why I’m being given this Legend Award. It’s been an amazing life in film, I’ve loved every minute. Well, no, that’s not true. I haven’t loved every minute. What a lie. Actually, getting up at 4:00 in the morning is so horrible. Being out in the cold and the wet and the rain. People outside our industry have no idea what you guys do to make movies. They absolutely have no idea. Which is why the critics always bloody well piss me off. What do they know? Honestly.”
After that portion, Mirren asked if there were any critics in the audience, and asked them to stand. It’s unclear from the video (see below) whether anyone did, but it shouldn’t have surprised her if there were critics in attendance because she was accepting an Empire Award, which is named for and given out by Empire Magazine, a British film publication that employs, y’know, film critics and stuff.
Via EW.com, here’s the full video of Mirren’s speech:
I was working on a rebuttal to Mirren’s comments when I saw The Los Angeles Times‘ Sam Adams’ response on Twitter, and his was so much better and more succinct than mine, I’m just going to quote him here (with his permission and my humble appreciation): “It’s not that critics don’t know how hard it is to make movies. It’s that we have a responsibility not to care.”
Putting that matter aside, Mirren’s certainly entitled to her dislike of film critics, even if the forum she chose to voice that dislike was an odd one. Mirren’s words are most surprising, though, because I don’t think the feeling is mutual. This isn’t like Uwe Boll, a filmmaker who routinely gets horrible reviews, lashing out at critics. This is Helen Mirren — who critics love more thoroughly and consistently than almost any other actress working today. Who is Helen Mirren reading who’s giving her these horrible reviews? I don’t know ’em.
Read more of “Helen Mirren Reminds Sam Mendes That Women Direct Movies, Too.”
[H/T Matt Patches]