Helen Mirren

Guns, ghosts and guilt: Helen Mirren portrays the widow whose Winchester Mystery House defies logic

Guns, ghosts and guilt: Helen Mirren portrays the widow whose Winchester Mystery House defies logic

It’s not mysterious, but it is a little strange to be sitting across from Helen Mirren in the not-so-grand “grand ballroom” of the Winchester Mystery House, a famously rambling and chaotic Victorian architectural marvel that is the antithesis of the sleek Silicon Valley aesthetic that has grown up around it.

Mirren is about to wrap shooting on “Winchester,” an Australian-made feature film in which she portrays Sarah Winchester, heir to the magnificent rifle fortune. Most of the filming was done in Melbourne, but the crew is here for some critical exterior shots. Winchester spent decades creating this extraordinary mansion, which, upon her death in 1922, became one of...

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