Star Image of Helen Mirren

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The concept of the "star" was largely developed in the Nineteenth Century through the creation of larger-than-life "personalities" on the stage and music-hall who transcended their actual ability to become something more than the constituency of their parts.


This analysis will concentrate on two specific points in Helen Mirren's career. First, her arrival on the scene at the height of the sexual revolution and how sexuality became a major part of her star image, and second, her recent renaissance as a sexual object near the end of her career. It is thus only partly ironic that Helen Mirren was recently voted the world's sexiest OAP; she is surely the oldest woman to pose naked on the front of the normally staid Radio Times. From youthful, bohemian sexuality in her early films and theatre roles onto a more mature, developed and confident seductiveness in films such as The Long Good Friday, Mirren has succeeded in being "sexual" without seeming to lose her identity as an autonomous female.
Helen Mirren came to prominence at the height of the sexual revolution in the mid 1960's She auditioned for the National Youth Theatre at the eight of eighteen (in 1963) and at the age of twenty was already starring at the Old Vic Theatre. Her early roles reflected a sexuality that was perhaps beyond what most might expect of a young woman of her age. ...
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