Helen Mirren is ‘blown away’ by those who act and direct at the same time

Helen Mirren struggled to concentrate on acting when she appeared in a scene in her 2001 short film.

Helen Mirren doesn’t understand how anyone can act in and direct the same movie.

The 78-year-old actress directed the short film Happy Birthday, which appeared in the 2001 TV movie On the Edge, and it inspired her to make features. However, she hasn’t directed a project since because she found it too difficult to act and direct at the same time and doesn’t want to give up acting.

“At my heart, I’m an actress. To become a director, I’d have to stop acting, and I didn’t want to give up my acting career. I’m blown away by people who act and direct. I don’t know how they do it,” she said in an interview with DuJour magazine.

Recalling the one scene she acted in for Happy Birthday, the Oscar-winning star admitted, “I found it almost impossible to concentrate on acting, which takes all of your imagination, while at the same time being practical about where the camera is. I couldn’t do it.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Mirren noted that being married to director Taylor Hackford since 1997 has helped her better understand a filmmaker’s perspective on a movie set.

“It’s put me very much on the director’s side, doing my absolute utmost to make the director’s life bearable and to fulfill my actor’s end of the bargain,” she shared. “I have a much greater sense of patience.”

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