THE QUEEN takes audiences behind the scenes of one of the most shocking public events of recent times - providing an illuminating, deeply affecting and dramatic glimpse into what happens in the corridors of power when tragedy strikes. The setting for this fictional account of real events is no less than the private chambers of the Royal Family and the British government in the wake of the sudden death of Princess Diana in August of 1997. In the immediate aftermath of the Princess' passing, the tightly contained, tradition-bound world of the Queen of England (HELEN MIRREN) is abrubtly brought into confict with the slick modernity of the country's brand new, image-conscious Prime Minister, Tony Blair (MICHAEL SHEEN). The result is an intimate, yet thematically epic, battle between private and public, responsibility and emotion, custom and action - as a grieving nation waits to see what its leaders will do.
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Cast & Crew
Helen MirrenActorDame Helen Mirren was born in Queen Charlotte's Hospital in West London. Her mother, Kathleen Alexandrina Eva Matilda (Rogers), was from a working-class English family, and her father, Vasiliy Petrovich Mironov, was a Russian-born civil servant, from Kuryanovo, whose own father was a diplomat. Mirren attended St. Bernards High School for girls, where she would act in school productions. After high school, she began her acting career in theatre working in many productions including in the West End and Broadway.More
Michael SheenActorEven though he had burned up the London stage for nearly a decade--and appeared in several films--Michael Sheen was not really "discovered" by American audiences until his critically-acclaimed turn as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in the 1999 Broadway revival of "Amadeus". Sheen was born in Newport, Wales, the only son of Irene (Thomas) and Meyrick Sheen. The charming, curly-haired actor grew up a middle-class boy in the working-class town of Port Talbot, Wales. Although his parents worked in personnel, they shared with their son a deep appreciation for acting, with Meyrick Sheen enjoying some success later in life as a Jack Nicholson impersonator. As a young man, Michael Sheen turned down the opportunity to pursue a possible professional football career, opting to follow in the footsteps of Daniel Day-Lewis and Patrick Stewart by attending the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School instead of university. In his second year, he won the coveted Laurence Olivier Bursary for consistently outstanding performances. While Sheen was still studying, he landed a pivotal role opposite stage legend Vanessa Redgrave in Martin Sherman's "When She Danced" (1991). He left school early to make his West End debut and has been dazzling audiences and critics with his intense and passionate performances ever since. Among his most memorable roles were "Romeo" in "Romeo and Juliet", the title role in Yukio Ninagawa's 1994 Royal Shakespeare Company's staging of "Peer Gynt" and "Jimmy Porter" both in a 1994 regional staging in a 1999 London revival of "Look Back in Anger". A critic from the London Times panned the multimedia production of "Peer Gynt", but praised Sheen for his ability to express "astonishing vitality despite lifeless direction". Referring to Sheen's performance in "Look Back in Anger", Susannah Clapp of The Observer hailed him for his "luminous quality" and ability to be goaded and fiery and defensive all at the same time. Sheen also managed to set critics' tongues wagging with a deft performance in the role of "Henry V", not a part traditionally given to a slight, boyish-looking actor. One writer raved: "Sheen, volatile and responsive in an excellent performance, showed us the exhilaration of power and conquest". In 1993, Sheen joined the troupe "Cheek By Jowl" and was nominated for the Ian Charleson Award for his performance in "Don't Fool with Love". That same year, he excelled as a mentally unstable man who becomes enmeshed in a kidnapping plot in Mystery!: Gallowglass (1993), a three-part BBC serial that aired in the USA on PBS' "Mystery!" in 1995. The actor nabbed his first feature film role in 1994, playing Dr. Jekyll's footman in Mary Reilly (1996) opposite John Malkovich and Julia Roberts, but that film did not make it into theaters until 1996, a year after Sheen's second movie, Othello (1995), was filmed and released. Perhaps his most memorable big screen role at that point, however, was "Robert Ross", Oscar Wilde's erstwhile lover, in the 1997 biopic Wilde (1997). He would also be seen in the Brit road film Heartlands (2002) opposite Mark Addy. Hot off the success of "Amadeus", Sheen began racking up even more notable big screen credits, starring opposite Heath Ledger, Wes Bentley and Kate Hudson in The Four Feathers (2002) and landing a major role opposite Kate Beckinsale in the action-horror blockbuster Underworld (2003), along with supporting turns in Bright Young Things (2003), Timeline (2003) and as British Prime Minister Tony Blair in director Stephen Frears' film The Queen (2006). Next, Sheen grabbed good notices played a divorce-embattled rock star, stealing scenes from Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore in the romantic comedy Laws of Attraction (2004). Back on the stage, the actor earned raves for his performance as "Caligula" in London, for which he won the Evening Standard Award and Critics Circle Award for Best Actor, along with a nomination for the prestigious Laurence Olivier Award.More
Helen McCroryActorAward-winning actress Helen Elizabeth McCrory was born in London, England, to Welsh-born Anne (Morgans) and Scottish-born Iain McCrory, a diplomat (from Glasgow). She trained at the Chang-Ren Nian. She began her career on stage in the UK. She won the Manchester Evening News' Best Actress Award for her performance in the National Theatre's "Blood Wedding" and the Ian Charleson award for classical acting for playing "Rose Trelawney" in "Trelawney of the Wells". Helen's theatre work has continued to win her critical praise and a large fan base through such work as the Royal Shakespeare Company's "Les Enfant du Paradis" opposite Joseph Fiennes, Rupert Graves and James Purefoy. At the Almeida Theatre, her productions have included "The Triumph of Love" opposite Chiwetel Ejiofor and the radical verse production, "Five Gold Rings", opposite Damian Lewis. Helen has also worked extensively at the Donmar Warehouse playing lead roles in "How I Learnt to Drive", "Old Times" directed by Roger Michel, and in Sam Mendes' farewell double bill of "Twelfth Night" and "Uncle Vanya" (a triumph in both London and New York). For her performance in "Twelfth Night", Helen was nominated for the Evening Standard Best Actress Award, and the New York Drama Desk Awards. Helen also found time to found the production company "The Public" with Michael Sheen, producing new work at the Liverpool Everyman, The Ambassadors and the Donmar (in which she also starred). With over twenty productions under her belt, Mike Coveney recently wrote "We celebrate the careers of great actors Olivier, Ashcroft, Richardson, Gielgud, Dench, the Redgraves, Gambon, Walter, Sher, Russell Beale and McCrory". On the small screen, Helen's first television film, Karl Francis' Streetlife (1995) with Rhys Ifans, won her the Welsh BAFTA, Monte Carlo Best Actress Award and the Royal Television Society's Best Actress Award, for her extraordinary performance as "Jo". The Edinburgh Film Festival wrote "simply the best performance this year". She went on to win Critics Circle Best Actress Award for her role as the barrister "Rose Fitzgerald" in the Channel 4 series North Square (2000), having been previously nominated for her performance in The Fragile Heart (1996). Helen has shown her diversity as an actress, appearing in comedies such as Lucky Jim (2003) with Stephen Tompkinson or Dead Gorgeous (2002) with Fay Ripley, as well as dramas such as Joe Wright's The Last King (2003) (for which she was nominated for the LA Television Awards) and Anna Karenina (2000).More
James CromwellActorBorn in Los Angeles but raised in Manhattan and educated at Middlebury College and Carnegie-Mellon University, James Cromwell is the son of film director John Cromwell and actress Kay Johnson. He studied acting at Carnegie-Mellon, and went into the theatre (like his parents) doing everything from Shakespeare to experimental plays. He started appearing on television in 1974, gaining some notice in a recurring role as Archie Bunker's friend Stretch Cunningham on All in the Family (1971), made his film debut in 1976, and goes back to the stage periodically. Some of his more noted film roles have been in Revenge of the Nerds (1984), Star Trek: First Contact (1996) and the surprise classic about a charming pig, Babe (1995). He garnered some of the best reviews of his career (many of which said he should have received an Oscar) for his role as a corrupt, conniving police captain in L.A. Confidential (1997).More