Helen Mirren apparently doesn't take kindly to her stage performances being interrupted. This, a whole gay pride parade in London found out the hard way last weekend when they were approached by Dame Helen herself - dressed in full costume for her role as Queen Elizabeth II in Peter Morgan's play The Audience - and told to keep it down.
According to The Telegraph, Mirren was performing alongside co-star Paul Ritter in central London's Gielgud Theatre when the noise from the nearby As One In the Park gay music festival became too loud to ignore. The actress - who just won an Olivier Award last week for her role in the production - then reportedly stormed out of the theatre and, in full costume, proceeded to tell them to be quiet.
"Not much shocks you on the gay scene," parade organizer Mark McKenzie commented on the incident, "but seeing Helen Mirren dressed as the Queen cussing and swearing and making you stop your parade – that’s a new one." He also claims that she gave one of the parade promoters a "regal tap on the head" - whatever that means.
In Mirren's own words: "I’m afraid there were a few 'thespian' words used. They got a very stern royal ticking off but I have to say they were very sweet and they stopped immediately. I felt rotten but on the other hand they were destroying our performance so something had to be done...the drumming just slowly got louder and louder and then settled right outside the stage door. There was just a thin wall between drumming and the theatre so it was unbelievably loud on stage. Paul Ritter and I could hardly hear each other speak and the audience couldn’t hear us speak at all," she explained.
"I thought, we can’t carry on like this, they have to stop...I was so upset from struggling through the scene with Paul that I literally walked straight off stage, straight up the stairs and straight out the stage door and banged my way through the crowd who were watching and said 'stop, you’ve got to stop right now' only I might have used stronger language than that. They were very sweet and stopped the minute they knew I wasn’t just a batty old woman haranguing them on the streets of Soho on a Saturday night."
Mirren added that she'd like to track down the drummers she shushed - she described them as "fellow performers" to The Telegraph, which is adorable - and invite them to a performance of the play.
So, what have we learned today? Basically, that Helen Mirren is a badass.
You know where to reach us, Dame Helen.
[via The Telegraph]