‘RED 2’ Star Helen Mirren Gets Candid About Retirement & Attention

Helen Mirren (Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty)

In new action-comedy sequel “RED 2,” Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren plays retired MI6 agent Victoria, who, like her fellow “Retired Extremely Dangerous” operatives, struggles to assimilate back into civilian life.

Unlike Bruce Willis’ former CIA agent character Frank Moses, who finds normalcy in shopping for hotdogs at Costco, Victoria can’t help but take an odd (and deadly job) here or there. And, like her character, Mirren is not certain she could ever formally retire from the job she loves.

“You have your dream of what it’s going to be like to be retired,” the 67-year-old said at the “RED 2” junket. “My husband and I have been building this house in Italy that’s sort of our, if you like, retirement dream. But, actually, in reality, whether we’ll ever actually do that, I don’t know. It’s hard to let go of our business. It is hard to let go of it. And it’s hard to let go of the creativity involved.”

She continued, “It’s also hard to let go of the attention that you get. And you don’t think that you’re addicted or in love with that attention. You think that it doesn’t mean anything to you until, suddenly, you don’t get it. ‘Why isn’t anyone asking me questions or taking photos of me? I have no idea what’s going on!’ Maybe in the end it would be lovely to do that.”

Mirren was quick to turn the tables on the media, however, gently pointing the finger at writers for balking at stars who slip into obscurity.  

Mirren in 'RED 2' (Photo: Summit)

“It’s funny how people in your business, in particular, think that if people aren’t in the public eye, they must be somehow dead,” she remarked. “Not physically dead, but it’s like, ‘Whatever happened to…?’ Actually, they’re really, really happy living in a house in the country with their family and they couldn’t be happier. They’re living life! But there is a slight feeling in the media that if one isn’t in the media, that somehow you don’t exist. It’s no wonder that people are so obsessed with putting themselves up on Facebook and stuff like that. It’s to sort of say, ‘I exist.’ I don’t particularly agree with that. I think that existing as a human being outside of the attention of other people is probably the greatest kind of human existence you can have, actually.”

As for an existence shopping for hotdogs at Costco?

“I love Home Depot,” Mirren quipped. “That’s my place. They know me by name in Home Depot.”

Catch Helen Mirren in “RED 2,” which opens in theaters everywhere July 19. Click here to order tickets through Fandango.


The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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