Helen Mirren: 'Female spy roles are undervalued'

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Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren and Mary-Louise Parker star in the 2010 action-comedy that is "Red". After he's threatened by a high-tech assassin, former black-ops agent Frank Moses (Willis) reassembles his old crew to go after their longtime assailants. The movie's title (RED) stands for "Retired Extremely Dangerous".

August 31st, 2011

Dame Helen Mirren believes there should be more female spy roles.

The Oscar-winning actress - who has played an assassin in 'Red' and a retired Israeli secret service agent in 'The Debt' in recent years - thinks women are very "undervalued" in spy movies and claims they need to have more recognition.

She said: "I'm going to play a spy a little bit. It's kind of interesting.

"The role of women has always been undervalued in the spy world, always undermined in terms of recognition. It's a world that needs women."

Helen, 65, has previously expressed an enjoyment of taking herself out of her comfort zone with characters, and when playing sorcerer Prospera in an adaptation of William Shakespeare's 'The Tempest', she was happy to be denied the make-up so often associated with Hollywood movie stars.

She said: "The director Julie Taymor was an absolute demon about me wearing no make-up. And of course she was quite right. It would look ridiculous."