ONE of Southend’s most famous names has been talking about the fun she had making her new movie, Red 2.

Dame Helen Mirren, who reprises her role as deadly assassin Victoria in the action-movie sequel, was joined at the film’s London premiere in Leicester Square, by co-stars Bruce Willis and Mary-Louise Parker.


Dame Helen, 67, who grew up in Leigh, said it had been “marvellous” to return to the role.

She confessed: “I love this character.Ilove the clothes I get to wear and the guns, I’m afraid.”

The Oscar-winning actress, who attended St Bernards High School in Westcliff, wore a red, beaded longsleeved dress and Christian Louboutin heels.

She added: “It was wonderful reuniting with the others and also reuniting with Anthony Hopkins for the second time in a year.


“He’s one of the greatest actors working today, so it was an incredible honour to see him and to kind of work with him, though not as much as I did in Hitchcock.”

Willis, who plays former CIA agent Frank in the film, said: “It was great, fun, easy and funny all the time. We have some newcomers this time like Sir Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones, David Thewlis and Byung Hun Lee.

That was very good.”

The comic-book sequel, directed by Dean Parisot, brings retired black-ops agents back together to track down a missing portable device and save the world.


The original film, and many of the characters in the sequel, were based on the graphic novel, Red, created by Warren Ellis, who lives in Southend.

Red 2 opens in cinemas on August 2.