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'The Queen' and Helen Mirren

Actress Helen Mirren has been nominated for three Golden Globes this year. For her roles in the TV mini-series Prime Suspect and Elizabeth I, and for her work in the film The Queen. Mirren has performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and in the films Gosford Park, The Comfort of Strangers, The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, Age of Consent, The Long Good Friday and Excalibur. This interview originally aired on Apr. 18, 2006.


Mirren's Royal Efforts

British actress Helen Mirren, perhaps best known for her long-running role as Det. Supt. Jane Tennison on TV's Prime Suspect, has had two quite closely related roles recently. She plays Elizabeth I in a new HBO four-part miniseries premiering April 22; then she appears as Elizabeth II in The Queen, a film from Stephen Frears.


Playwright Tony Kushner

Kushner adapted his epic Tony-award winning play Angels in America into a screenplay for HBO (broadcast this month in two three-hour parts). The play is set in New York in the mid-1980s during the midst of the AIDS epidemic. The HBO film is directed by Mike Nichols and stars Al Pacino, Meryl Streep and Emma Thompson. Kushner also has a new semi-autobiographical musical Caroline, or Change at the Public Theater in New York.


British actress Brenda Blethyn

She co-stars in the TV mini series Anne Frank. It airs this Sunday and Monday on ABC. Her film, Saving Grace is out on video. The British comedy is about a middle aged widow whose irresponsible husband left her in huge debt. She decides to start growing marijuana in her greenhouse instead of orchids. Blethyns other films include Mike Leighs Secrets and Lies (she was nominated for an Oscar) and Little Voice.


"From the Earth to the Moon."

Actor, director and producer Tom Hanks and writer Andrew Chaikin talk with Terry Gross about HBO's 12 part mini-series "From Earth to the Moon" which begins this Sunday. Hanks was the executive producer for the project. Chaikin, a consultant on the series, wrote the book "A Man on the Moon" which program is largely based on. Hanks also starred in the film "Apollo 13". Hanks received Academy Awards for his roles in "Forrest Gump," and "Philadelphia."

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