Helen Mirren terrified about royal role

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Released almost a decade after the event, The Queen gives viewers an intimate behind-the-scenes look at the interaction between HRM Elizabeth II and newly-elected Prime Minister Tony Blair following the death of Princess Diana. The two public figures struggle to reach a compromise on the right reaction to the tragedy, with the Queen preferring to treat it as a private loss for the royal family while Blair wishes to answer the public's demand for an overt display of mourning.
June 9th, 2012

Dame Helen Mirren was terrified about playing Queen Elizabeth.

The actress - who was awarded a Best Actress Oscar in 2006 for her role as the monarch in 'The Queen' - claims she was ''very, very nervous'' about taking on the iconic role.

Helen told HELLO! magazine: ''She's an icon all over the world. Everybody knows what she looks and sounds like.

''I knew I had to get those things right, but I wanted to go beyond a simple impersonation. So yes, I was very, very nervous.''

Helen, 66 - who has received high praise for her roles in 'Calendar Girls', 'Gosford Park' and 'The Madness of King George' - has also confessed that the death of Princess Diana depicted in the film must have been very difficult for the royal family.

She commented: ''What business was it of mine? I can see they would have been conflicted, though, because as far as the royal family were concerned, Diana had presented a succession of difficult scenarios.

''And then her untimely death turned her into a martyr. So it must have been hard.''

It seems Elizabeth II herself was happy with Helen's performance.

Helen joked: ''She's never publically commented on it, but I know she didn't absolutely hate it because I have subsequently been invited to tea at Buckingham Palace.''

Helen is currently filming biopic 'Hitchcock' alongside Anthony Hopkins and Scarlett Johansson.