Dame Helen Mirren has revealed her time as a young waitress prepared her well for a role in Brighton Rock.
The Oscar-winning actress plays Ida, a tea shop manager who becomes tangled up in the seaside town’s grim mobster scene in the new film, which also stars John Hurt, Sam Riley and Andrea Riseborough.
“I worked in a small hotel, my aunt’s hotel in Brighton. I knew this world very well. I was there in Brighton, not at the time of the mods and rockers, but around that time, so it was a world that I knew very well,” she said.
Dame Helen said she could particularly relate to Andrea’s character Rose, an innocent young girl who works in the tea shop.
“I was Rose, in many ways. I was 16 and working as a waitress in a little hotel,” she added.
For her own glamorous, flame-haired character, the veteran actress took inspiration from screen sirens of the past.
“Anna Magnani and Sophia Loren, a nice mixture of the two,” she explained.