Love Ranch: Starring Helen Mirren

Helen Mirren stars in "Love Ranch," directed by her husband-director Taylor Hackford (Ray). The film is released by E1 Entertainment on June 30.

“It was a rather beautifully written character which was why I wanted to play her,” recalls Helen Mirren, who won the 2006 Best Actress Oscar for "The Queen," about her reaction to the role of Grace on first reading. “She’s very tough at the beginning, very harsh and cynical,” she continues, “and in the process of the film she kind of reawakens. She re-finds her humanity in a way.”

 

“This one really appealed to me,” says Mirren before delineating the many levels of interest. “I love the subject matter, I love the milieu, I love the period — the 70s. Taylor has always loved boxing and it has a very strong boxing theme, and it’s got a great role for me. So it was the first script really that had come our way that really appealed to both of us.”

 

“She’s a very good Madame and a very successful Madame,” says Mirren about her character,  “But she’s coming to the end of her comfort zone within the world that she works in. She really has had enough of it.”

 

Working with Joe Pesci

 

“He’s an incredible professional,” says Mirren about her leading man Joe Pesci. “Joe’s also a wonderful musician, and of course he’s got that incredible body of film work. But the other great thing about Joe is that he’s also a kind of a loose cannon. He’s kept his approach to performance very alive, and very, very much of-the-moment. And I love working with that kind of person. It’s very inspiring, and it pushes you into a kind of spontaneity, which I really enjoy.”

 

Unknown co-star Sergio Peris-Mencheta

 

“He’s such an incredibly charismatic actor,” says Mirren in assessing her relatively unknown co-star. “He, like me, comes from a theater tradition, so we have that in common, which makes us both work in a certain way. I can’t wait to see his performance on the screen – he’s really extraordinary.”

 

Entertaining role

 

Says Mirren about watching the boxing sequences from ringside, “I was just so full of admiration for the two guys, Bo and Sergio, doing the boxing. They were absolute heroes through all of that. It was so hard; it was so exhausting for them. You know we shot in three days what a normal film would probably take two weeks to shoot, if not three to four weeks. And it was achieved in three days, and it was a monumental achievement. It exhausted everyone. But I did find it very exciting.”

 

American accent

 

“It’s very weird,” admits Mirren who is no stranger to the US. “I live in America, I have American stepsons, an American husband, and I find it so difficult. Once I knuckled down to it, and I made myself work at it — I had a great dialogue coach from here in Albuquerque — once I kind of got it I can slip in and out of it quite easily. But I was very self-conscious at first especially because Taylor and my stepsons would laugh at me because they’re not used to hearing me sound like that.“