Helen Mirren – dialling down the glitz

 Helen Mirren is the unlikely choice to play Golda Meir, Israel’s ‘Grandmother’, who was prime minister during the Yom Kippur War in 1973. Reviews have been “mixed or average” in what is described as a passable history lesson in biopic form. Mirren had to undergo a dramatic physical transformation including a fake nose, other facial prosthetics and a fat suit in order to portray the chain-smoking Golda Meir, Israel’s only female prime minister who was the original Iron Lady.

  Helen Mirren was born 26 July 1945 2am London, with a working class English mother who was the 13th of 14 children and an exiled Russian father from an aristocratic family. She started acting at school, went into the Royal Shakespeare Company aged 20 and has never looked back. Her award-strewn career has covered stage, screen and television with highlights in The Long Good Friday, Prime Suspect (TV), Fast & Furious and playing Queen Elizabeth 1 as well as 11 in different productions.

  She has a quick-witted, outspoken and determined Sun Pluto conjunction in Leo in her 3rd house and an Aquarius Moon on her Midheaven, suiting her for a career in the public eye. Her creative Neptune sits on the cusp of her performing 5th house trine a 12th house Mars. She also has Uranus Venus in Gemini conjunct her Ascendant from the 12th. Her Moon is quincunx Saturn.  Although she has Jupiter in her 4th house of home and family she was always better designed for a a busy, varied, working life. At 78 she is still looking fabulous and sprightly with no indication that her career will wind down anytime soon.

 Golda Meir, 14 May 1898 11.58 pm Kiev, Ukraine, moved with her family to the USA when she was eight and then emigrated to Palestine in 1921 with her husband, steadily moving up the political chain to become one of the signatories of the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948. She became Prime Minister in 1969, and travelled widely to promote her vision of peace in the Middle East. The outbreak of the Yom Kippur War in 1973 caught the nation off guard and inflicted severe early losses on the Israelis. It damaged her reputation and she resigned the following year. She died in 1978 of cancer.

  She had a Taurus Sun conjunct the Israel Taurus Sun on her IC, tying her into her roots and her Sun opposed Chiron on her Scorpio Midheaven. Not an easy life but one in which she clearly tried to act as a healer/helper in her career. She had the signature Neptune Pluto conjunction of her generation in Gemini conjunct Venus all in her 5th house so she would appreciate being in the spotlight with an audience. Though with Saturn opposition Pluto and Venus and trine Mars she obviously sacrificed a good deal to build her career.

  There are not too many cross overs with Helen Mirren except for the three Gemini planets which both have – and perhaps Mirren’s émigré background suggested a link.

4 thoughts on “Helen Mirren – dialling down the glitz

  1. I remember seeing Ingrid Bergman playing Golda Meir in what I remember as a mini series. Leonard Nimoy played her husband. I only remember that as I had only seen him in Mission Impossible and the Star Trek series and films. Ingrid was of course wonderful!

  2. Helen Mirren is one of my all-time favorite actresses of contemporary times. I’ve enjoyed every film and television series I’ve ever seen her in including: Prime Suspect, The Queen, Gosford Park, and many others. So, I can’t wait to see the film Golda.

    I have a sneaking suspicion that much of the mixed reviews of the film have little to do with Helen Mirren’s performace and more to do with people’s opinions of the late Golda Meir. After all, Golda Meir is regarded as a controversial historical figure because of the many hard-line domestic and foreign policy positions she took as Prime Minister of Israel. Meir isn’t remembered warmly by many Palestinians nor is she greatly admired by many secular and progressive Israelis. However, whether one agrees or disagrees with Golda Meir’s politics (I personally am not a fan of her policies), she definitely did break the glass ceiling and she was one of the most powerful and influential women of the 20th century (right along with Indira Ghandi, Margaret Thatcher, Sirimavo Bandaranaike, and Eleanor Roosevelt). I just hope the biopic stays as historically correct as possible (I hate historical revisionism).

    Anyway, I can’t imagine not enjoying this film; Helen Mirren’s acting is always superb and I’m counting on her giving an excellent performance as Golda Meir. I will definitely watch the film.

  3. Her performance as Maria Altman in Woman in Gold may have swayed the casting director in her favour, plus her bankability as a superstar and phenomenal actress, of course. I think it’s nonsense that actors should only be cast in roles close to their own ethnicity/orientation, etc. The great skill and challenge in acting is to observe people and play roles that are far removed from oneself. You also learn so much about yourself that way. I am curious to see the film.

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