Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren weighed in on both Hollywood politics and American politics in a recent interview, saying that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences should not be blamed for the renewed Oscars race controversy while simultaneously suggesting that a President Donald Trump would be “the end of America as a great country.”
In an interview with England’s Channel 4 News to discuss her performance in the Cold War-era drama Trumbo, Mirren said that the people who were paranoid about Communism in the 50s are the same people rallying around Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz in 2016.
“I suspect actually more Ted Cruz, in a way, than Donald Trump,” the Queen actress told Channel 4’s Jon Snow. “I think the people who support Ted Cruz think Donald Trump is a little bit of a liberal. I think Donald Trump has a populist voice, massively populist, and that sort of slightly demagogue populist voice, but I think Ted Cruz is more of the really old-school extreme right conservative.”
Mirren added that Cruz is not as “noisy” as Trump, but that it would be bad for America if either were to win the presidency.
“I think that there is an extraordinary, extreme right wing voice in America, extreme, and if that does get into power, fully, in the Congress, in the Senate, in the White House, and has all the power that it wants, I can’t imagine how the world would look,” she said.
“I think it’s a very frightening idea myself,” she continued. “And this whole idea of ‘making America great,’ it seems to me that it would actually sort of be the end of America as a great country.”
Mirren, a four-time Oscar nominee who won Best Actress in 2007 for playing Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen, also defended the Academy from the renewed #OscarsSoWhite controversy, saying it was “unfair” to blame the organization for the lack of diversity among this year’s acting nominees.
“It just so happened this year, it went that way,” she told Channel 4. “And one of the reasons it went that way: [Beasts of No Nation‘s] Idris Elba absolutely would have been nominated for an Oscar. He wasn’t because not enough people saw, or wanted to see, a film about child soldiers.”
“The issue we need to be looking at is what happens before the film gets to the Oscars, what kind of films are made and the way in which they’re cast, and go all the way back to the writing of the scripts,” she added. “It’s those things that are much more influential, ultimately, than who stands there with an Oscar.”
Check out Mirren’s interview with Channel 4’s Jon Snow above.