August 30th, 2015
10:59 AM ET

Dame Helen Mirren DBE: "The Queen is... I just do it. Hillary is much fiercer than that...she is a lioness - & Elizabeth Windsor is not"

Please credit any usage to “CNN’s FAREED ZAKARIA GPS”

The following transcript is of an interview by host Fareed Zakaria with Dame Helen Mirren DBE, Academy Award-winning actress. They discussed whether she would like to play Hillary Clinton one day and whether she would vote for Clinton if she could. Mirren also explained the struggle of landing roles for older women in Hollywood and gave her comparisons of Hillary Clinton and Queen Elizabeth II.

MANDATORY CREDIT for reference and usage: “CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS”

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

Dame Helen Mirren on playing Hillary Clinton

Mirren on older women in Hollywood

TEXT HIGHLIGHTS

Dame Helen Mirren on whether she would like to play Hillary Clinton some day: "She would be a wonderful person to play somewhere down the line. Someone will do a story, because she has had what an extraordinary trajectory and brilliance, brilliance at handling her world, and what unbelievable challenges she has had over the years."

Mirren on whether she would vote for Hillary Clinton if she could vote in the U.S.: "I wouldn't say that I would necessarily do that. I don't know. I would have to really see who - you know, what the whole picture is. But I'm just saying in terms of roles for women in drama, I'm being very self-interested at this point, it would be good - to have Hillary as a president, I think."

Mirren on the struggle of landing roles for older women in Hollywood: "It is more of a struggle. But – even Shakespeare did that to us. As you get older, even the Shakespeare roles become – that's why we have to start stealing the men's roles — doing like I did The Tempest, Prospera.  And it's great that a lot of women are doing Hamlet, doing the Henry V, and I'm sure there will be a female Othello soon. And I love that. I think it's absolutely great because, you know, why not? But um, but it's changing.  I've always said, don't worry about roles in drama - well, do moan and complain, and I do.  But really spend your energies on changing for roles women in real life, because as night follows day, as the roles for women in real life change, they will change in drama."

Mirren’s comparison of Hillary Clinton and Queen Elizabeth II: “...The Queen, Elizabeth Windsor, I call her, is a different… Hers is a just, pop my head down, I just do what I'm supposed to do, I do it as well as I can, and I don't argue and I don't complain, and I just do it. Hillary is much fiercer than that. You know, she is a lioness - And Elizabeth Windsor is not, - I don't know what animal she is. I have to think about that one.”

FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN GPS HOST:  Over the span of a 50 year career in acting, Helen Mirren has done a lot of things. She's done everything from high Shakespearean theater to the scandalous 70's film of Caligula...played everything from a queen to a Mossad agent...and won everything from an Oscar to a Tony to an Emmy. But one thing she’s never played is a Bond girl. Is she bitter? Not Dame Helen.

You said we've all sat and watched as James Bond has become more and more geriatric while his…

(LAUGHTER)

MIRREN:  Well, not the present one.

ZAKARIA: …girlfriends get…

MIRREN:  While his girlfriends get younger and younger.

ZAKARIA: …younger and younger.

MIRREN:  That was the case for a while, wasn't it? I mean, it was like embarrassing. I thought it was ridiculous.

ZAKARIA:  But do you think it's - I mean, is it a big problem in Hollywood that men get cast for roles well into their 60s and 70s, and for women it's more of a struggle?

MIRREN:  It is more of a struggle. But you know, even Shakespeare did that to us. As you get older, even the Shakespeare roles become - that's why we have to start stealing the men's roles, you know, doing like I did The Tempest, Prospera.  And it's great that a lot of women are doing Hamlet, doing the Henry V, and I'm sure there will be a female Othello soon. And I love that. I think it's absolutely great because, you know, why not?

But um, but it's changing.  I've always said, don't worry about roles in drama - well, do moan and complain, and I do.  But really spend your energies on changing for roles women in real life, because as night follows day, as the roles for women in real life change, they will change in drama. And I really hope that we're going to see a female president in the next - when are the elections?

ZAKARIA: 2016.

MIRREN: 2016.  Oh, not until then, oh, next year.  So I hope we see a female president next year. That would be absolutely fantastic. And that would make a huge difference to the understanding of what women can be.

ZAKARIA:  Do you think you could pull off the accent for Hillary Clinton?

(LAUGHTER)

MIRREN: She would be a wonderful person to play somewhere down the line. Someone will do a story, because she has had what an extraordinary trajectory and brilliance, brilliance at handling her world, and what unbelievable challenges she has had over the years.

ZAKARIA: If you were to compare the two, the Queen and Hillary, what is the defining character of Hillary Clinton that you, as somebody playing her - imagine you're play her - what would you be trying to capture?

MIRREN:  That's a very interesting question.  I mean, the enormous intelligence, the brain that I think is very, very, very fast-moving, and I think the incredible tenacity. The Queen, Elizabeth Windsor, I call her, is a different… Hers is a just, pop my head down, I just do what I'm supposed to do, I do it as well as I can, and I don't argue and I don't complain, and I just do it. Hillary is much fiercer than that. You know, she is a lioness of a kind, a lioness. And Elizabeth Windsor is not, you know. I don't know what animal she is. I have to think about that one.

(LAUGHTER)

ZAKARIA:  And I take it from the comment, if you had a vote in the United States, you would vote for Hillary.

MIRREN: I wouldn't say that I would necessarily do that. I don't know. I would have to really see who - you know, what the whole picture is.  But I'm just saying in terms of roles for women in drama, I'm being very self-interested at this point, it would be good for that, to have Hillary as a president, I think.

ZAKARIA:  Helen Mirren, just a pleasure to have you on.

MIRREN:  Thank you. Thank you very much.

###END INTERVIEW###


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