Mirren, 76, told Radio Times during her cover interview that she wrote the Queen a letter after realizing she’d be portraying a “profoundly painful part” of Her Majesty’s life in the film, which centred on the Queen’s handling of Princess Diana’s death.
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“I said, ‘We are doing this film. We are investigating a very difficult time in your life. I hope it’s not too awful for you,’” Mirren recalled writing. “I can’t remember how I put it. I just said that in my research I found myself with a growing respect for her, and I just wanted to say that.”
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“She didn’t write back, of course, but her secretary did,” Mirren continued. “You know, ‘Yours sincerely, da di da di da,’ on behalf of the Queen. I was very relieved subsequently that I had written that letter.”
Mirren’s film portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II won her her first Oscar.