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Dame Helen: Why I went pink
10:09am Tuesday 5th March 2013 in Echo News
Dame Helen Mirren has revealed the inspiration behind her head-turning pink hairdo at the Baftas - US reality show America's Next Top Model.
The Oscar-winning actress who hails from south Essex revealed an unlikely appreciation for the hit show, presented by Tyra Banks, during an interview about her role in the stage play The Audience where she will again play Queen Elizabeth II.
She told BBC Breakfast today: "I'd been watching America's Top Model which I'm obsessed by...this girl had her pink hair and I noticed because it came out really quickly so 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 previously played the Queen in the 2006 film, 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.
It is based on the weekly meetings between the Queen and the serving prime minister of the day and features Haydn Gwynne as Margaret Thatcher and Edward Fox as Winston Churchill after the previously cast Robert Hardy pulled out when he fell and cracked his ribs.
Mirren said her performances as the Queen had changed her view of the monarchy and that having previously been a self-declared republican she was now "a constitutional monarchist", She said: "I dont know that the scale of the monarchy in Britain will survive, the sort of monumental scale of it.
"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".