Politics

Helen Mirren Slams Trump In Commencement Speech

| by Michael Doherty

Actress Helen Mirren took a jab at President Donald Trump in a commencement speech she delivered to the graduates at Tulane University on May 20.

The 71-year-old British actress spoke about feminism and her "top five rules for a happy life," HuffPost reports. She also made a few jokes at the expense of the president in the speech.

"Whether you're in the French Quarter or the Oval Office, no good can ever come from tweeting at 3 a.m.," said Mirren, making a reference to the president's tendency to tweet at strange hours of the night.

She also talked about her journey to calling herself a feminist -- while Mirren said she had always thought women were "as capable and as energetic and as inspiring as men," she had initially written off the label of "feminist" because it seemed "too political."

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She said that she changed her mind after having the realization that feminism was "not an abstract idea."

"It's a necessity if we -- and really by 'we,' I mean you guys -- are to move us forward and not backward into ignorance and fearful jealousy," Mirren told the students. "Never again allow a group of old, rather grumpy, rich white men define the health care of a country that is 50.8 percent women and 37 percent other races."

The commencement address is not the first time Mirren has spoken her mind about Trump. In October, the actress was asked about Trump at a film luncheon, where she responded that Trump had an "enormous body" and a "small head," according to Vanity Fair.

"I think it's dinosaurs," said Mirren of the then-Republican presidential candidate. "I think they're dying out ... there are a few old dinosaurs left, and I think Mr. Trump is one of them."

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At the same luncheon, Mirren spoke about her optimism about progress and young women, adding that she had witnessed an "amazing shift" in ideas about gender within the film industry.

The movie the luncheon was celebrating, "Eye in The Sky," featured Mirren in a role that was originally written for a man. Director Gavin Hood made the decision to cast Oscar-winner Mirren in the role instead, saying, "I frankly just didn't see anyone else in the role, male or female, other than Helen."

"Men tend to write for men, I guess, and I think we have to start to think differently," added Hood.

"Ten years ago, I don’t think I would have been cast in this movie," said Mirren. "Gavin is a very special person, and I think he's always thought like this."

"But he probably wouldn’t have been allowed to think like this 10 years ago by his investors in the film, or his distributors," she said. "So there’s been a real change."

In February 2016, Mirren said Trump's "making America great" would be the "end of America as a great country," Breitbart reports.

"I think that there is an extraordinary, extreme right wing voice in America, extreme, and if that does get into power, fully, in the Congress, in the Senate, in the White House, and has all the power that it wants, I can’t imagine how the world would look." 

Sources: HuffPost, Vanity Fair, Breitbart / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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