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British icon Helen Mirren’s post-9/11 epiphany: ‘I’m an American’

Helen Mirren has earned an acclaimed, lucrative acting career for herself in both the US of A and her native United Kingdom. However, he Oscar winner, 76, has now revealed that a grand “epiphany” inspired her to become a full-fledged American citizen — following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. ”The Queen” actress holds dual American and British citizenships, becoming a USA passport holder in 2017. “My husband [Taylor Hackford] is American. My stepchildren are obviously American. My nephew lived in America, worked in America,” she told People in a revealing new profile. “So I had certainly been an American resident for a very long time.” The outspoken Dame went on to recount that she was in New York City during the 9/11 devastation, rehearsing the Broadway play “Dance of Death” with fellow Brit Ian McKellen at the time. Mirren recalled that she actually saw the second tower fall. After the traumatic event, she said she had an ” epiphany,” adding, ”I realized where my allegiance and my heart and my intellect lay in that confrontation between extremism, religiosity — all those things and everything that America represents.” “And I thought, ‘I’m an American,’ ” Mirren said. “I got an American flag, and I put it outside my window.” see also The “F9” star continued, “When I understood, which I hadn’t quite grasped before, that I could be a British citizen and an American citizen — because I would not like to give up my British citizenship — then I thought, ‘Well, that’s great. That’s the perfect world.’ “ Mirren noted that it was “so moving” when she finally received her American citizenship. “I didn’t realize how profound a feeling it would be,” she explained. “It brought up feelings of patriotism that I didn’t think I had. I think it was to do with the intrinsic generosity of America.” The L’Oréal spokeswoman will next be seen in the upcoming biopic about former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir. “Golda” is set to premiere later this year and will chronicle her role as Prime Minister during the Yom Kippur War in 1973. Mirren discussed backlash over her casting as the political figure after she was called out by fellow actress Maureen Lipman in January. Lipman asserted at the time that a Jewish actress should play the role of Meir. Mirren is not of Jewish descent and discussed the criticism with the Daily Mail earlier this month that the ethnicity question was brought up during casting. “It was certainly a question that I had, before I accepted the role,” Mirren said, adding that she spoke with “Golda” director Guy Nattiv about the issue and said she would step back from the film if needed. “I do believe it is a discussion that has to be had – it’s utterly legitimate. You know, if someone who’s not Jewish can’t play Jewish, does someone who’s Jewish play someone who’s not Jewish?” the “Gosford Park” star asked. “There’s a lot of terrible unfairness in my profession.”

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