Why Helen Mirren Sent A Warning Letter To The Queen

Actresses are often charged with taking fictional characters and bringing them to life. But their job gets a little bit harder when they have to portray characters that are very much still alive and well. Add to that portraying someone that's literally royalty, and the job gets all the more hard. So Helen Mirren once gave a warning to Queen Elizabeth about a role she was playing, and it actually has a pretty sweet sentiment.

If there's one thing that the world knows to be true about the royal family, it's that they like their privacy. So when people decide to go ahead and make a movie about their lives, there's no doubt in our mind that it makes them a bit uncomfortable. Mirren apparently knew that and gave a warning to Queen Elizabeth. Because when you're a Dame, you can apparently do that. Let's just say that it very much paid off for the actress.

Helen Mirren gave Queen Elizabeth a sentimental warning about her role

Nowadays there are tons of different shows and movies based on the royal family, but that wasn't always the case. When Helen Mirren played Queen Elizabeth II in "The Queen" back in 2006, it was the first movie of its kind. Naturally, the actress was a little nervous to play the role. "At the time, it had never been done before, playing the queen," the actress told The Hollywood Reporter. "It was quite nerve-racking because I didn't know –- no one knew –- how the public would receive it, let alone the establishment in Britain."

So what did she do? Well, according to Yahoo!, she wrote a letter to the Queen to keep her in the know about what was going on. Because, after all, her opinion is the only one that truly matters, especially when you're British like Mirren is.

"I realized we were investigating a profoundly painful part of her life, so I wrote to her," she said. "I said: 'We are doing this film. We are investigating a very difficult time in your life. I hope it's not too awful for you.' I can't remember how I put it. I just said that in my research I found myself with a growing respect for her, and I just wanted to say that."

Helen Mirren never got a reply, but she did get something better

According to Yahoo!, Helen Mirren never got a response from Queen Elizabeth, only her secretary. But the publication says that she was "very relieved subsequently" that she decided to write the letter in the first place. The actress did get something arguably a little better than a response though. Mirren won an Oscar for her performance in "The Queen."

Mirren actually went as far to thank Queen Elizabeth in her Oscars acceptance speech, saying, "She's weathered many many storms, and I salute her courage and consistency. ... If it weren't for her I certainly wouldn't be here. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the queen."

That wasn't Mirren's first run-in with Queen Elizabeth, either. Back in 2003 Helen Mirren was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. The role is the second highest rank in the country and is given to a person "in recognition of outstanding public service," according Forces War Records. So Mirren already had a much respected title from Her Majesty herself three years before she landed the award-winning role. 

Something tells us that Queen Elizabeth was very pleased with Mirren's performance.