Helen Mirren: Starring in 'Golda' like playing British monarch

February 21, 2023 8:37 am

Helen Mirren. [Source: Reuters]

For Helen Mirren, playing Israel’s only female prime minister, Golda Meir, was not unlike a role as a British monarch.

That year, Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 6, during the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur, threatening to overwhelm the country. Israel launched a massive counter-offensive before a ceasefire took hold.

Mirren is nearly unrecognizable as Meir thanks to prosthetics and a make-up regimen that took hours, re-creating the Israeli leader’s nicotine-stained fingers and swollen ankles.

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Over the course of the movie, the chain-smoking leader, who is also secretly being treated for lymphoma, is increasingly laden with grief as the gravity of Israel’s losses weighs on her, something that director Guy Nattiv had wanted to highlight.

Nattiv also explained his decision to cast Mirren even though she is not Jewish, saying that besides being an excellent actor, she felt like a family member. “For me, other than the fact that I adore Helen … I just found her very authentic.”