Helen Mirren on Learning about Action from Bruce Willis: “I didn’t ask him for tips but I watched him. I watched him like a hawk”
I’ve been looking forward to Red 2 because I got a kick out of the first one. It was a lot of fun seeing older actors take a crack at action roles, especially the usually regal Helen Mirren. Mirren spoke to Moviefone about her roles in Red 2 and Monsters University and whether she learned anything about taking a few hits from Red series co-star Bruce Willis.
When asked if she ever expected that should be starring in two summer blockbusters in one year, she replies, “No, of course not. That’s the great fun of my job — you never know what’s around the corner. People always ask, ‘What do you want to do next?’ And I don’t know because I want the thing you do next to come out and surprise me. Three years ago I would have never thought that I would be in a Pixar movie or indeed Red — that came out of left field.”
While Red and Red 2 might be out of Mirren’s usual wheelhouse, it’s obviously the bread and butter for her co-star and Red series lead Willis. She reveals that while she didn’t ask him for advice, she made sure to keep her eyes on how he handled the action. She explains, “I didn’t ask him for tips but I watched him. I watched him like a hawk on the first and second. The action stuff takes care of itself — that’s constructed and planned and all you have to do is try and do whatever you have to do, efficiently and without looking too klutzy. But the tone of the performance in an action movie is terribly important and Bruce has that, I guess the word is insouciance. He has a wonderful, natural but intense [style] — it’s small and intense but incredibly relaxed.”