Helen Mirren talks about change at Women in Film pre-Oscars party

Producer Cathy Schulman, left, and actresses Lupita Nyong'o, June Squibb and Helen Mirren attend the Women in Film pre-Oscar cocktail party.
(Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images)

The event: Academy Award winners Helen Mirren and Cathy Schulman, president of Women in Film, cohosted a salute to the 2014 female Oscar nominees, presented by WIF’s board of directors and Perrier-Jouet Champagne. (Mirren won for best leading actress in “The Queen;” producer Schulman, for “Crash.”)

As Sunday’s nominees gathered Friday at the Fig & Olive restaurant in Los Angeles for formal congratulations from partygoers, Mirren quietly offered them tips for the big night. “Wear comfortable shoes and don’t wear a tight dress -- enjoy and have a laugh,” she said.

The crowd: Among others sipping Champagne and enjoying the hors d’oeuvres were actors Lupita Nyong’o and Sarah Paulson of “12 Years a Slave,” June Squibb of “Nebraska,” Elisabeth Rohm of “American Hustle,” Jaime King of “Sin City,” Lake Bell of “The Million Dollar Arm” and Gabourey Sidibe of “American Horror Story.”

There, too, were producers Jeremy Kleiner and Dede Gardner of “12 Years a Slave,” Emma Tillinger Koskoff and Joey McFarland of “The Wolf of Wall Street,” Rachel Winter and Robbie Brenner of “Dallas Buyers Club,” Michael De Luca of “Captain Phillips” and Gabrielle Tana of “Philomena;” writers Julie Delpy of “Before Midnight” and Melisa Wallack of “Dallas Buyers Club;” animated film producers Jennifer Lee of “Frozen” and Kristine Belson of “The Croods;” documentary producers Lydia Dean Pilcher of “Cutie and the Boxer,” Caitrin Rogers of “20 Feet from Stardom, Jehane Noujaim of “The Square,” Sara Ishaq of “Karama Has No Walls” and Signe Byrge Sorensen of The Act of Killing;” and many more.


Quotes of note: “It’s so important for us to bring the women who are both in front of the camera, behind the camera, above the line, and below the line together,” said Schulman, “because one thing we know as women in film … is that when women work together, more movies for women and about women occur.”

Taking her turn at the podium, Mirren said, “I don’t often wish that I’m younger because I think it’s pretty cool to be older,” owing, she said, to “that lovely I- don’t-give-a-[darn] kind of feeling.” She added, though, that on this night, after looking at the audience, she wished she were 40 years younger.

“It’s not that I want to have a better body or remember my husband’s name … or be able to dance all night, or any of those things,” she said. “When I first came into this industry, you walked onto a film set and it was all men … and, my God, how much things have changed. I’ve witnessed that change. It’s so exciting to see that change .… That’s why I want to live another 40 years, because I want to see what further changes are coming.”


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Ellen Olivier is founder of Society News LA.