Helen Mirren crowned action queen
Dame Helen Mirren is so good playing a veteran spy in RED that her co-stars are starting to wondering whether she's really acting.
The ensemble cast, which includes Bruce Willis, John Malkovich and Morgan Freeman as retired CIA operatives, have reached a consensus that Helen is the most likely to be a real-life undercover agent.
"She's just there listening to what you're saying, taking notes, and all of a sudden you feel a little stabbing pain back here, and you're on the floor," Bruce joked.
Helen's feminine wiles could be an asset.
"I don't think any man would be looking for an alterative motive because they'd probably be overwhelmed by her charms," says co-star Mary-Louise Parker.
Bruce stars as Frank Moses, a former black ops agent who recruits his former colleagues, an aging A-team now deemed "Retired and Extremely Dangerous" - or RED - to find out who is trying to kill them.
As former sniper Victoria, the 65-year-old Mirren wields a semi-automatic as gracefully as she arranges flowers. Dame Helen, the Oscar-winning actress whose screen credits include The Last Station and The Queen, admits she was nervous about becoming an action star but says working with Willis eased the transition.
"I was very lucky in our leader Bruce, a huge movie star, but he's also an incredibly down-to-earth, welcoming, hardworking geezer," she says. "He's a good geezer, and personally, I love a good geezer."
Despite her best intentions, Mirren spent little time training physically for the role.
"I'm terrible; I'm so lazy," she said. "Every time I start a film I go, 'I've really got to get fit for this one. OK, I'll start tomorrow'."
© Press Association