‘Fast & Furious’ Star Honored With SAG Life Achievement Award

by TK Sanders
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The Screen Actors Guild recently announced its newest recipient of the Life Achievement Award. The accolade dates back to 1962 (long before the SAG Awards officially began in 1995), with Eddie cantor receiving the inaugural award. Since then, the likes of Robert De Niro, Sidney Poitier and Rita Moreno have all won the prestigious award, which salutes an entire body of work for an actor or actress of the screen. This year’s recipient is the talented and versatile Helen Mirren.

Mirren boasts a talent on-screen that few possess: she can as easily deliver lines of Shakespeare as she can step in to a big-budget, Hollywood action romp like The Fate of the Furious without missing a beat. In fact, fans seemed to think she was perfectly cast as the mother of Jason Statham’s Deckard and Luke Evans’ Owen; and fans of any beloved series like Fast & Furious will certainly let their feelings be known if they are disappointed.

Mirren recently spoke about the honor, which actors hold especially dear because it is voted on by fellow thespians.

Why the famous actress became an American citizen

“It was a total surprise to me!” Mirren said. “I think especially coming from an American organization. I mean, America has always been really generous to me, which is one of the beautiful qualities of America in general.”

In past interviews, Mirren spoke fondly of her time in America, and said that living in NYC during 9/11 spurred her to become a dual-citizen in both Great Britain and the United States.

“[Becoming a citizen] was a big moment in my life,” she notes. “I don’t know why I hadn’t done it before, I think I hadn’t fully grasped that I could have dual citizenship.

“I mean it’s so exciting. You come in with your American passport for the first time and they hand it to you and say, ‘Welcome home.’ It was such a lovely thing to hear those words. And in a way, I feel my SAG achievement award is another sort of welcome.”

Mirren is close to EGOT status, but still loves the SAG Awards

Mirren, 76, enjoys a very full trophy case at home. In addition to her three SAG Awards (two for Gosford Park in 2001, and one for The Queen in 2006), Mirren has won an Oscar, a Tony, and multiple Emmy awards. All that’s left is the elusive Grammy, but Mirren says she’s open to the challenge.

“I would love to get a Grammy, that would be the coolest thing ever,” she said with a laugh. “The problem is, I can’t sing. It would have to be a spoken word album.”

As for her favorite statue in the trophy case? Mirren admits she’s in love with the look of the “beautiful” SAG Award.

“The SAG Award is very pretty,” she says. “I mean, a lot of awards are not so pretty. Some of them are positively awful. But the SAG Award is lovely.”

The 28th annual SAG Awards will return live Feb. 27, at the Barker Hangar at the Santa Monica Airport. The show will air on TNT and TBS beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

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