Dame Helen Mirren rolled back the years as she abandoned her signature bob for long platinum waves in a flashback to her 70s heyday at the Berlin Golda premiere.
Helen, 77, certainly turned heads as she switched up her look at the 73rd Berlin International Film Festival in Germany on Monday, with the aid of hair extensions.
The actress looked every inch the glamorous screen siren as she wore a floor-length black dress with a low-cut neckline.
Her golden hair was styled into loose waves, with her tresses tumbling down across her shoulders and down her back.
Dame Helen’s long-sleeved frock featured a ruffled design on the shoulders and was gathered across the neckline.
She wore a pair of black high-heeled shoes to add a few inches to her stature and opted for a glamorous look with her make-up, including a bold red lip.
Rolling back the years: Dame Helen Mirren, 77, abandoned her signature bob for super-long platinum waves in a flashback to her 70s heyday at Berlin Golda premiere on Monday
Good hair day: Her golden hair was styled into loose waves, with her tresses tumbling down across her shoulders and down her back
Experimenting: Dame Helen is know for usually wearing her hair in a statement bob or even shorter but her longer hair makes her look incredible youthful – pictured in February 2022
Dame Helen plays Israel’s first female Prime Minister Golda Meir in director Guy Nattiv’s biopic movie.
The film chronicles the controversial decisions that the politician made during the height of the Yom Kippur War in 1973, which saw her country suffer huge losses in a battle with multiple Arab States.
Golda was written by Nicholas Martin, who previously penned the whimsical film Florence Foster Jenkins, and will be directed by Guy, who previously helmed the Oscar-winning short film Skin.
Dame Helen previously said of the role: ‘Golda Meir was a formidable, intransigent and powerful leader. It is a great challenge to portray her at the most difficult moment of her extraordinary life. I only hope I do her justice!’
Director Guy said: ‘I have long been an admirer of the great Helen Mirren. She has melted so brilliantly into Golda Meir’s character with incredible talent, intelligence, depth and emotion, doing justice to the richness and complexity of this incredible woman.’
However, Dame Helen’s appearance in the film has not come without controversy – she has been subjected to a torrent of abuse for portraying Israel’s only female leader.
Critics on social media described the production as ‘fascism’, ‘sick’ and ‘tasteless’.
One Twitter user, who said they were ‘Palestinian and proud’, wrote: ‘How sick making a biopic on criminal Golda Meir and yes no surprise Helen Mirren the racist is happy to portray the pure distorted version of a disgusting individual.’
Glitterati: The actress looked every inch the glamorous screen siren as she wore a floor-length black dress with a low-cut neckline during the European Shooting Stars 2023 ceremony
In style: Dame Helen’s long-sleeved frock featured a ruffled design on the shoulders and was gathered across the neckline
Fashion focus: She wore a pair of black high-heeled shoes to add a few inches to her stature and opted for a glamorous look with her make-up, including a bold red lip
Playing the part: Dame Helen plays Israel’s first female Prime Minister Golda Meir in director Guy Nattiv’s biopic movie
Another wrote: ‘Helen Mirren doing a film about the first female prime minister of Israel is a slap in the face to all the people of Palestine, they are literally celebrating taking over Palestine and taking families out of their homes, murdering children, families! Tasteless film!’
One social-media user said it was ‘hugely disappointing that Helen Mirren is volunteering for this role’, while another wrote: ‘More fascism to show how “wonderful” Israel is.’
However, Golda Meir’s grandson defended Dame Helen over her casting as the former Israeli Prime Minister, saying she would have ‘loved’ to have been played by the actress and it ‘doesn’t matter’ whether or not she is Jewish.
The Oscar-winning star was drawn into a ‘Jew face’ row after her casting as the iconic Israeli politician in the upcoming biopic ‘Golda’ was called into question by British actress Dame Maureen Lipman.
Speaking out: Dame Helen previously said of the role: ‘Golda Meir was a formidable, intransigent and powerful leader’
Her words: She added: ‘It is a great challenge to portray her at the most difficult moment of her extraordinary life. I only hope I do her justice!’
Greeting her public: Dame Helen waved to her fans at the event as she arrived in a white chauffeur driven car
Telling the tale: The film chronicles the controversial decisions that the politician made during the height of the Yom Kippur War in 1973
The Coronation Street star said she disagreed with the casting of Dame Helen, who is not Jewish, because the ‘Jewishness of (Meir’s) character is so integral’ to the role.
She later doubled down on her comments, saying Bette Midler and Barbara Streisand, both of whom are Jewish, should have been considered first.
Her comments sparked an online row, with comedian David Baddiel defending Dame Maureen, while others, including Maidenhead Rabbi Jonathan Romain, urged that ‘actors should act’.
Golda Meir’s grandson gave his verdict, saying ‘it doesn’t matter’ whether or not Dame Helen is Jewish.
The role: Dame Helen (right) is unrecognisable as Israel’s first female Prime Minister Golda Meir in a teaser image (left) from the Guy Nattiv’s upcoming biopic
Dramatic: Golda is a thriller chronicling the controversial decisions that the politician (pictured in 1970) made during the height of the Yom Kippur War in 1973
Who is Golda Meir?
Golda Meir was born in Ukraine in 1898 before moving to the US as a child, and in 1921 she emigrated to Palestine after her wedding.
She made history in 1969 when she became Israel’s first female Prime Minister and has been described as ‘The Iron Lady’ in the veil of Margaret Thatcher.
After being elected into office, Meir faced huge criticism when she failed to adequately prepare her country for the impending threat of war, despite receiving word that Syrian forces were gathering for an attack.
While she eventually approved the mobilising of forces, she opted against a preemptive strike, citing Israel’s need for foreign aid, and the fear that the US would be wary of intervening.
U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was later quoted as saying that if Meird had launched a preemptive strike, Israel would not have received ‘so much as a nail.’
Following the backlash for her handling of the war, Meir announced her resignation in 1974, and she eventually died on December 8, 1978, at the age of 80 after battling lymphatic cancer.
Speaking to the Jewish Chronicle, Shaul Rahabi, whose mother was the politician’s daughter, said: ‘I have no issue with Helen Mirren being Jewish or not Jewish playing my grandmother.
‘It doesn’t matter at all. I’m sure Helen Mirren is great.’
Dame Helen looked effortlessly stylish earlier in the day on Monday as she stepped out at the Berlin Film Festival.
The veteran actress cut a vibrant figure in a bright fuchsia wool-cashmere roll neck jumper from Chinti and Parker.
Dame Helen teamed the look with a pair of black straight legged trousers which donned a pink stripe down the leg matching her sweater.
Stunning: Dame Helen Mirren looked effortlessly stylish as she stepped out at the 73rd Berlin International Film Festival earlier in the day on Monday
She looked amazing as she flashed her smile to the cameras ahead of taking to the stage.
The film star donned a pair of crisp white chunky trainers and styled her long tresses pulled back in a neat ponytail from a center parting.
Dame Helen accessorised with a pair of pearl drop earrings and applied a flawless palette of makeup including a swipe of pink lipstick to match her outfit.
The star was joined by filming director Guy Nattiv who looked dapper in a navy suit and a black high necked jump.
Shocking: Meir came under huge criticism when she failed to prepare Israel for the threat of war, and resigned the following year (pictured with then- US President Nixon in 1969)
What is the Yom Kippur War?
The Yom Kippur War was fought by a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria against Israel from October 6 to 25, 1973.
It was given its name due to the fact that it began on the Jewish Holy Day of the same name.
The war began to try and force Israel to re-negotiate their relations with Arab countries over their acquired territories.
Egypt’s then-President Anwar Sadat had previously made agreements to reach a peaceful settlement if Israel would return the territories they’d captured, but the country rejected these terms.
It was just the latest in a long line of attacks in the wake of tension between Israel and Arab States, including the Six Day War in 1967.
At least 2,000 Israelis were killed during the conflict, while over 5,000 Egyptian citizens and 3,000 Syrians lost their lives.
Eventually both countries came to a peace agreement in 1979, which led to Israel’s full withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula.
Due to Israel’s huge losses, it’s Prime Minister Golda Meir came under huge criticism for how unprepared her country was, and she resigned the following year.
The pair also posed with Israeli actor Lior Ashkenazi and Nicholas Martin on the red carpet before Helen took to the stage to speak.
It comes after Helen remembered the Queen as the ‘nation’s leading star’ as she lead a special tribute to the late monarch at the Bafta film awards on Sunday.
She has portrayed the monarch on stage and screen, winning an Oscar and Bafta for her depiction in 2006’s biographical drama The Queen.
The late Queen had a close association with the Academy spanning 50 years which saw her donate to and support initiatives, as well as attend many events.
Taking to the stage at this year’s award ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall in front of Prince William and Kate Middleton, Bafta fellow Dame Helen said: ‘Bafta’s relationship with Her Majesty was longstanding and Bafta would not be what it is today without her loyal support.’
The Prince and Princess of Wales appeared touched by the tribute, and could be seen applauding as the actress concluded her speech.
‘In 1953, her coronation broadcast had the world watching. From that time, she was unquestionably the nation’s leading lady but as mysterious as a silent film star.
‘Who else could meet the world’s most famous singers, actors and performers and turn them into her supporting cast.
‘Throughout her 70-year reign, she met cinema’s greatest icons and witnessed the evolution of Hollywood’s golden age to the birth of the blockbuster. Her Majesty was front row for it all.’
The actress also referenced the more than 50 cultural organisations the late monarch supported during her lifetime and the honorary Bafta award she received in 2013 in recognition for her ‘outstanding patronage of the film and television industries’.
Dame Helen continued: ‘Cinema at its best, does what Her Majesty did effortlessly – bring us together and unite us in a story…
‘Your Majesty, you are our nation’s leading star. On behalf of Bafta, thank you for all that you have done for our film and television industry.’