The final “Prime Suspect”? Please, Dame Helen, say it isn’t so (Misha Berson, 11/11/06, Seattle Times)
Dear Helen Mirren (or should I say Dame Helen?) —
What a year you have had!
After decades of terrific work, you just won a well-deserved Emmy Award for playing Elizabeth I (nearly asphyxiating yourself with all that white face powder, no doubt) in a juicy historical miniseries about “the virgin queen.”
You’re gathering a lot of Oscar buzz for your much-admired portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in the new movie “The Queen” — in which you handily master the art of making aristocratic dowdiness seem almost hip.
Everyone is writing about you, talking about you, snapping your pic. And though you decline to Botox your face into a living death mask like many of your post-menopausal acting peers, simply au naturel you make your present age (61) look like “the new 40.”
But Helen, this isn’t simply another gushing fan letter to a British thespian entering that privileged zone of perfection and adulation occupied by the likes of Maggie Smith and Judi Dench.
This is also the anguished plea of one who cannot quite imagine life without “Prime Suspect,” the splendid British TV program in which you’ve starred (off and on) since 1991.