Helen Mirren attends UK premiere screening of Golda

Mirren, who plays Israel's first female PM in the biopic, walked down the red carpet with writer Nicholas Martin


Dame Helen Mirren has attended the UK premiere of Golda ahead of it's release in cinemas.

The actress, 78, plays Israel’s first female prime minister Golda Meir in the biopic, which is released on October 6.

The biopic is set during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, when Egyptian and Syrian forces launched an attack on Israel on the High Holy Day.

It examines the decisions the politician made during the height of the 19-day war, which saw 2,656 Israeli soldiers killed.

In an interview in Israel in July, Dame Helen described preparing for the role of playing Meir by reading her autobiography and watching footage of the former Israeli PM.

The actor added she “didn’t know a lot about Meir” but recalled “the feeling of triumph and satisfaction" that a woman had been elected to lead Israel for the first time.

Dame Helen's casting as Meir has reignited a debate about whether or nor non-Jewish actors should take on Jewish roles.

Commenting on the subject, the veteran performer, who is not Jewish, has said she does "believe it is a discussion that has to be had" and that questions about her playing Meir were "utterly legitimate."

Dame Helen has portrayed Jewish characters in the past, including in the 2023 war drama White Bird, in which she played a woman who survived Nazi-occupied France as a youngster with the help of a non-Jewish boy from her school and his family who sheltered her.

In the 2015 film Woman in Gold, she starred as Maria Altmann, a Jewish refugee living in California who fought the Austrian government to reclaim a painting of her aunt by famed Austrian painter Gustav Klimt.

Speaking of her Meir role, she added: “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!”

Golda was written by Nicholas Martin, who previously penned a biopic of American socialite Florence Foster Jenkins, and directed by Guy Nattiv who led Oscar-winning short film Skin.

Nativ 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.”

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