Oscar winner and Essex girl Helen Mirren nearly quit acting
SHE may be a multi-award winner now, but Essex girl Dame Helen Mirren has revealed she considered quitting acting in the eighties.
Dame Helen, who won an Oscar and a Bafta for her regal turn in The Queen, was struggling to find parts 20 years ago, with all the plum roles going to more famous actresses.
Dame Helen nearly quit acting
Now Dame Helen, who grew up in Westcliff-on-Sea, has revealed she was close to giving up acting to spend more time with American film director Taylor Hackford, now her husband.
“It was certainly not love at first sight and I would have taken a hefty bet against it if someone had said that this was the man I would spend the rest of my life with,” said the actress.
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“However, he has a positive nature and the ability to press forward against all the odds.
“Eventually I felt that I had to put my relationship before work. There was a time when I felt like giving up on my career because all the decent roles were being given to Hollywood actresses with bigger profiles than me.”
But talking over her fears with her husband-to-be Hackford, not only reaffirmed her commitment but made her realise how much she cared for him.
“I started crying and told Taylor my difficulties,” she disclosed. “He just took me aside and said: 'Don't worry. We're only this far along in our life together and still have all that time to go. Some will be hard and some will be easy but we'll make it.'
“I think that was the moment I finally fell in love with him.”
And it also meant Dame Helen, 63 this month, went on to star in the likes of The Queen and Prime Suspect.