Dame Helen Mirren really wanted to be a part of the “Fast & Furious” franchise!
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Mirren also revealed that her parents didn’t want her to be an actress!
Helen Mirren Wanted To Be In ‘Fast & Furious’: ‘I Didn’t Ask, I Begged!’
When Mirren was asked if she had asked Vin Diesel about appearing in the popular action franchise, Mirren responded, “I didn’t ask, I begged!”
“I think I was at some function, and he was there, and I got introduced to him,” she explained. “And I was shameless: ‘Oh God, I’d just love to be in one of your movies! Please let me be in it.’ And then Vin, with that beautiful, deep voice of his, said: ‘I’ll see what I can do.’ And he did it for me.”
“He found this great little role for me, which was perfect,” he added. “I’d just never done anything like that before — one of those big, big movies. And, in my vanity, I just loved driving and really wanted to do my own driving in a fast car.”
Helen Mirren Reveals Her Parents Were Against Her Becoming An Actress
To understand why Mirren’s parents didn’t want her to become an actress, Mirren first explained the history of her family. She revealed that her father had been born in Russia but arrived in England at age 2. Her mother was from an old London working-class family.
“I grew up in postwar Britain. So I remember rationing,” she explained. “We were not a wealthy family. Intellectually, I grew up in a very middle-class family, but financially it was [a] working-class [family]. My father eventually was a cab driver. Money was always very, very tight.”
“Just the other day I was mentioning this. My husband always teases me because he says the British never take showers,” she revealed. “But I was reminding him that, actually, we used to only be able to have a bath once a week because only once a week could we afford to light the boiler to heat the water to have a bath. So the whole family would have a bath on Fridays. My mum left school at 14, but my dad had an education. So intellectually, it was a very vibrant household.”
Due to her poor upbringing, Mirren revealed that her parents wanted her to be financially secure in whatever profession she decided to pursue.
“My parents were very against me becoming an actress,” she explained. “Understandably so because, you know, they came out of a depression followed by world war, and they had struggled financially, enormously. So they just wanted us to be financially secure.”
“Financial security meant for us all to become teachers. And my sister did become a teacher,” she revealed. “I, in fact, went to a teacher’s training college, but I very much wanted to become an actress. It was something that caught my imagination quite early in my life; I would say when I was about 12 or 13. I suddenly was exposed to the world of drama, basically through Shakespeare. I was very electrified by that.”
“But my parents were very against it because they thought it was, financially, a disaster,” she admitted. “It could well have been. I was very lucky that it wasn’t. But I do understand their attitude. Absolutely.”
Helen Mirren Says That There Aren’t Any Roles She Regrets Taking
When asked if there are any roles that she regrets taking, Mirren replied, “I don’t think so.”
“I mean, I’m sure I’ve made many mistakes, but mistakes are part of life,” she said. “You know, you carry on. Some things I’ve done have been far more successful than other things. Certainly, there are roles I wish I had done that I was asked to do but turned down. But I’m not going to name those.”
Mirren also dishes on her famous philosophy and the advice she would give to actresses who were looking to make their big break in Hollywood.
“It’s tough,” she admitted. “I would just say, try to mix it up and take every opportunity that comes your way. Try to make the best of whatever comes your way. My mantra is, ‘Be on time and don’t be an a–hole.’ That’s fundamentally my attitude in life.”