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Helen Mirren On Oscars Diversity: ‘Idris Wasn’t Nominated Because Not Enough People Wanted To See A Film About Child Soldiers In Somalia’

Helen Mirren has definitely had a long and illustrious career in Great Britain and Hollywood. Now, she has her eye on the up and coming stars. The Irish Examiner reports that Helen Mirren is particularly smitten with Saoirse Ronan. According to Mirren, they should just give Ronan the Oscar now.

“Just give her the Oscar already. Because oh my word, Saoirse was absolutely astounding in that film. She’s outstanding in whatever she does. I’m a big fan. It’s incredible to have that much power and vulnerability and wisdom at her age, so, so young. It’s really remarkable.”

Wow! That is some pretty high praise coming from Helen Mirren. But Mirren is a very outspoken person in general, which means she has had no qualms saying it like it is when it comes to the Oscar diversity issue.

The Guardian reports that Mirren sat down with Channel 4 News and laid it all out.

“I think it’s unfair to attack the Academy. It just so happened this year it went that way. He [Idris] wasn’t nominated because not enough people saw, or wanted to see, a film about child soldiers in Somalia or the Congo or somewhere like that. They just couldn’t face watching that movie and so not enough people saw that movie. It wasn’t in the cinema for long enough. The thing is all of these things count, people don’t really realise how much these things matter. And because of all of that he wasn’t nominated – which he absolutely should have been. And if he’d been nominated we wouldn’t be having this discussion, but we should be having this discussion.”

She also said she agrees there is a conversation that needs to be had, but that the conversation needs to be about what happens to a film before it gets to the Oscars.

“The conversation is incredibly important. It forced the conversation. I’m saying that the issue we need to be looking at is what happens before the film gets to the Oscars. What kind of films are made, and the way in which they’re cast, and the scripts… So it’s those things that are much more influential ultimately than who stands there with an Oscar.”

Helen Mirren’s outspoken nature also made her the perfect person to do a PSA against drunk driving, which will air during the Super Bowl. People reports that the commercial is from Budweiser and is part of the Budweiser #GiveADamn campaign.

Hollywood Life divulges a large chunk of the script that Helen Mirren recites in the commercial and it’s pretty funny and clever.

“Hello. I’m Helen Mirren, a notoriously frank and uncensored British person. Simply Put. If you drive drunk, you — simply put — are a short sighted, utterly useless, oxygen wasting, human form of pollution. A Darwin-award deserving, selfish coward. If your brain was donated to science, science would return it. We can all agree that driving drunk is a very bad idea, yet people still do it. If we’re able to make one person think twice and not get behind the wheel, then this campaign has done its job.”

Well said, Helen Mirren! She is sassy and looks fabulous for her age. In fact, Entertainment Tonight reports that when Mirren was at the Screen Actors Guild awards, she was accompanied by her 45-year-old stepson, who was mistaken for her 71-year-old husband. It’s safe to say that Helen Mirren was well-accompanied and would have been regardless of which handsome man was on her arm that night. Helen Mirren is one classy lady!

[Photo by John Sciulli / Getty Images]