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If you have a question or comment for me, click on the Ask Helen button and fill out the form. Whilst it is not always possible to answer all your questions directly, I will endeavour to answer as many as possible. Jess, who looks after my fan club, will also answer questions - a selection of which will appear on this page.

Helen

Ask Helen link


Mark from Melbourne, Australia asks

Do you have a natural gift for learning and remembering your lines or do you employ a technique or method?

Helen replies

As time goes on you learn how to learn lines, I find it's mainly a question of repetition. However different methods work for different people.


Amy from the UK asks

I watched Peter Greenaway’s film, The Cook The Thief His Wife and Her Lover. It's taken me a few times to come to really like such a masterpiece.  I was wondering though, did you enjoy playing Georgina Spica and what made you perform?

Helen replies

I loved doing this film and it as made more fun as my fellow actors were such good company, we laughed non-stop!  Making the film was not nearly as harrowing as watching it!


Teresa from Barcelona, Spain asks

On behalf of the Spanish ‘Mirreners’ as their spokeswoman, we wonder if it would be possible to know when and where "The Door" will be released. We are launching a campaign for you being awarded with the Donosti Prize-2013, exciting. XOXO.

Helen replies

Hopefully The Door will be released this year (2012), as an independent production it is always harder to get a release . Thanks for your campaign for The Donosti prize.  I have been to the San Sebastian Film Festival, it's highly respected and I'd love to go again, so here's hoping!


Veena Soma from Auckland, New Zealand asks

Helen, have you ever been to NZ and do you plan to come here to visit?

Helen replies

I've never visited New Zealand.  Unfortunately Peter Jackson has never asked me to be in any of his movies!  It's a place I'd really love to visit.


Ava asks

How do you keep yourself in such good shape?  What have you found that helps you, personally, to stay healthy and strong?
Please tell all. As I age, I want 96 to feel like 66.  Thanks, with heartfelt wishes for a long magical life!

Helen replies

Thanks for your good wishes and also a good time to think about keeping healthy and strong.  I have two recommendations.
1 ) Don't smoke and if you do give it up.
2 ) Don't do anything to excess (including exercise!)


Evangelia Bitari from Thessaloniki, Greece asks

What were your emotions and thoughts before, during and after your performance as Phaedra in Ancient Theater of Epidaurus? I was one of the 11000 viewers and I can still hear your voice as Phaedra confesses her darkest desires. Thank you for your talent!

Helen replies

Performing at Epidaurus was one of the highlights of my career. An incredible and exhausting experience. I have no secret theatrical desires. I like to be surprised.


Redonna Gochanour from Puyallup, USA asks

Have you considered a clothing line? Specifically swimwear? I am a 43 year old mother of two small boys and find you inspiring!

Helen replies

If I did a clothing line it would definately not be swimwear. That is the hardest thing to get right.


Danielle Palumbo, New York asks

Did you ever become nervous during a performance on the stage or screen?..How did you handle it?

Helen replies

I am always nervous on first nights. You just have to deal with it.


Debbie from Edmonton, Canada asks

I wonder if you would share any funny bloopers that may have happened while performing live on stage. I love the theatre and belong to a small,well rehearsed community theatre group and we have had our share of unplanned humorous 'mishaps'!

Helen replies

There have been many mishaps, both small and big. The funniest one [which did not happen to me but in a play I was in] was that the cutain caught the edge of a table cloth as it went up and a whole tea service, sugar, milk, sandwiches ect. clattered onto the floor. The actors had to spend the first 3 pages of dialogue scrabbling around on the floor picking it all up.


Year 4 pupils, St Aidans Primary School, Billinge, England asks

At school we are learning French and we would like to know if you think learning a foreign language has been helpful for you or could be helpful in your career? We know that you are very busy but we hope you will be able to write back to us.

Helen replies

Dear Year 4 pupils
I've always loved France and the French language, infact my very first boyfriend Jean Louis was French. At one stage I tried to be a French actress but unfortunately it was not to be. There is nothing quite so wonderful as being able to speak a foreign language and France is very close to us, so learning French is a great thing to do.
Keep it up and 'Bon chance'!


Fay from America asks

"Did you play in a movie with Cubin Jr, where you were a spy and raised him as your son? I saw that movie but not sure it was you. I really would like the name of that movie so I can watch it again..."

Helen replies

"Yes I know the movie you are talking about, it's called Shadowboxer and was directed by Lee Daniels who also made Precious which was nominated for Best Film (and many other categories) at the Academy Awards this year. Lee is an extraordinary film maker and it was a special experience making Shadowboxer, I hope you enjoy watching it again."


Jennifer from Halifax, NS says

"A special thank you to Taylor for the fantastic production info he's shared during recent interviews. I've really enjoyed hearing about the making of Love Ranch and I hope all of your hard work pays off at the box office. I can't wait to see it!!!"

Helen replies

"Thanks for the great comments to Taylor, I know he'll aprreciate them and I'll make sure he sees your email. Thanks also for your encouraging words on Love Ranch - we all hope it goes down well in the cinemas."


Joe Stoddart from New York writes

"How nice it was to see you both via streaming whilst at the NY Times 2 weeks back and then in person last night at the Y. Ah! my shirt rather matched your orangish shoes. We've not been the same here since Prime Suspect hit us!! I garden too!"


Tracey Ann from Northamptonshire, England asks

"Just wanted to know if there are any stage projects for the UK in the pipeline. I have been a fan of yours since 1984.
P.S. If you do get to make a movie with Tarantino please let me know if there are any roles going for extras :) x"

Helen replies

"As you know I did perform on stage last year when I did Phedre by Racine at the National Theatre, London and then in Washington DC. I hope that an opportunity come up for me to appear on stage again in the not too distant future, but it wont be for at least another year......so watch this space.
PS Glad you're a Tarantino as well!"


Peter from Melbourne, Australia asks

"What was the best moment for you when you were looking into your family's history?"

Helen replies

"The most amazing moment for me, I think, was to see for the first time the land upon which my father and grandfather were born. I had heard so much about it from my grandfather but never imagined I would actually stand on it."


Joanna from New York, USA asks

"You seem to have a very hectic schedule. How do you relax and spend your spare time?"

Helen replies

"For relaxing I like to garden or dressmake. Both activities are very frustrating, but creative and meditative."


Lucy from England writes

"I'm a big fan of your work and I think you are fantastic in every role you play. I was lucky enough to see you in Phedre which was the most amazing experience i'll never forget. Thank you for being so committed to your work. Long may it continue."


 

Belen from Spain writes

"My Dearest Helen, first I want to tell you that I love your official site, for your fans it´s the best present. Second thank you for sharing your memories, I love your book. I hope that someday you´re going to write another book about sex & sensuality."


Jenni from Winsconsin, USA writes

"I will always remember seeing Phedre in both London and DC. Thank you for the signed pictures and the note you sent. It was an amazing gift. I look at them often and hope some day to see you again and say more than "hi". All the best! - Jenni"


Laura from South Wales asks

"Have you any plans to return to television drama?"

Helen replies

"I have no plans right now of returning to Television drama, but if something great came along, I would jump at it!"


Elizabeth from Nottingham, England writes

"I'm 83 and I've been wanting to write to you for a number of years. I first saw you on television in Cousin Bette and have enjoyed everything I've since seen you in. I really wanted to say thank you for giving me so much pleasure over the years - you always put a smile on my face."


Holly from South Wales asks

"If you could work with anyone (director, actor etc...), who would it be and why?"

Helen replies

"I would love to work with Quentin Tarantino as I think he is a masterful film maker and creates such wonderful characters with great dialogue."


Neil from Bletchley, England writes

"I have long been a fan of your most excellent and entertaining work. I hope sincerely that your career continues to prosper for many more years."