Dame Helen Mirren has revealed the inspiration behind her head-turning pink hairdo at the Baftas – the reality TV show America’s Next Top Model.
The Oscar-winning actress revealed an unlikely appreciation for the hit show, presented by Tyra Banks, during an interview about her role in the stage play The Audience, in which she will again play the Queen.
She said: “I’d been watching America’s Top Model, which I’m obsessed by. This girl had pink hair and I noticed, because it came out really quickly. There she is with really pink hair and then five days later, it’s all gone. So I thought that would be cool, I might have a go at that”.
Dame Helen, who played the lead role in the 2006 film The Queen, had vowed not to play the monarch again.
She said: “I didn’t want to become the actress who plays the Queen, if you know what I mean, I don’t think that’s very nice for me and it’s not very nice for the Queen”.
But she added that after meeting the cast for the play – which runs in the West End until June – she knew she would have been “an idiot” to turn the job down.
The Audience is based on the weekly meetings between the Queen and the prime minister of the day and features Haydn Gwynne as Margaret Thatcher and Edward Fox as Winston Churchill.
Dame Helen said playing the Queen had changed her from a republican to “a constitutional monarchist”.
She added: “People say that the class system doesn’t exist. It actually does, I think quite secretively, but I think it still does, that’s what I really don’t like.”