Helen Mirren turns ferocious in Monsters Inc.

Actor talks about role in the new movie.

June 09, 2013
Mirren says she isn’t that frightening in real life. PHOTO: FILE

LONDON: British actor Helen Mirren had no trouble transforming herself from monarch to menacing creature for the new Monsters, Inc. animated movie, but said she isn’t that frightening in real life.

The 67-year-old veteran of stage and screen made headlines last month when she stormed out of a London theatre dressed as Queen Elizabeth to scold a group of drummers playing noisily outside in an expletive-riddled tirade. She later apologised.

However the actor, who lends her voice to the terrifying winged monster heading the School of Scaring in Monsters University, said she does try not to seem scary after being intimidated by certain actors when her career started.

"People may look at me and think she is so scary ... but it is not what you're trying to be," said Mirren.

The film is the prequel to Pixar and Disney's hit 2001 children's movie Monsters, Inc. which made over $550 million at the international box office and is still one of the top 100 best earning movies.

The prequel goes back to when the small, green one-eyed monster Mike Wazowski meets the huge, blue-and-purple monster Sulley at Monsters University and the mismatched monsters can't stand each other.

Mirren voices Dean Hardscrabble, a dragon-like monster with a centipede body, who throws Wazowski and Sulley out of the School of Scaring, prompting them to join other monster misfits to compete in a Scare Games tournament and become best friends.

Monsters University is one of a list of family films being released this summer.

Mirren, who won an Oscar for her performance in The Queen, said voicing an animated character was a new challenge for her but she had learnt that fear was something to conquer. "You have to get on with it. My fears are my business and nobody else's and I deal with it. The other thing is to pretend that you are not frightened," she said.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 10th, 2013.                                                                                        

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