Robert Maxwellâ€™s Eager Collaborator: Dame Helen Mirren
The Academy Awards are rapidly approaching, and with the marinade of glitz and glamour comes the veil of secrecy and wonder about who is going to take home the awards. Covering Variety this week is Helen Mirren, the Best Actress winner in 2007, and she looks like she’s got a secret. With her face covered by a mask, holding a sealed golden envelope, she’s our usher to the surprise and we can’t wait to hear what she has to say.
The mask was photographer Robert Maxwell’s idea. “I just brought that from home, they said she was coming with her own clothes, and I just wanted to make sure that we had interesting things on set,” Robert says. Not every actress would be playful enough to don a mask, but Dame Helen was there with Robert one hundred percent. As Robert tells it, “She said, ‘I love that let’s do it.’”
But, Robert knew he was going to find a willing collaborator in Helen. He’s worked with her before and has consistently been struck by her kindness and artistic generosity. “She’s one of the sweetest, easiest subjects I’ve ever worked with,” says Robert. “She’s one of the sexiest women I’ve ever met.” Not only does she arrive ready to work with Robert, she arrived alone. Usually, public personalities arrive with publicists and managers in tow. Not Helen, she arrived solo, eager to work with Robert. Maybe that’s her secret.