English actress Helen Mirren arrives for the screening of the film 'Girls of the Sun (Les Filles du Soleil) in competition at the 71st Cannes Film Festival, France on May 12, 2018
Photo by Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

8 Roles that Prove Helen Mirren Can Play a Strong Dutton Woman


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Fans were shocked when they realized that Yellowstone fan favorite Beth Dutton was actually played by a British actress. Kelly Reilly has made the role iconic, effortlessly sporting an American accent to bring the fascinating character to life. Fellow Brit Helen Mirren has just signed on to join the Yellowstone universe as another strong Dutton woman, and to say we're excited is an understatement. She will be playing Beth's ancestor in the upcoming prequel series 1923, and though this will be her first western series, it's certainly not the first time she's played a powerful woman.

Prime Suspect (1991)

Despite being an Oscar-nominated actress, one of Mirren's most beloved roles is playing DCI Jane Tennison on the various seasons and TV movies of Prime Suspect. She's a woman in a man's world, holding her own as she investigates a series of murders while dealing with her sexist co-workers. But no one should underestimate Jane because she is no-nonsense and smart, getting the job done and eventually rising to the rank of Detective Superintendent. If there's one thing the Dutton women can relate to it's holding their own among the many men who underestimate their strength.

Red and Red 2 (2010 & 2013)

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This is technically the same character in two different movies, but I don't care because Mirren is a total badass playing Victoria, a retired MI6 assassin who gets back in the action to help an old friend. She's shooting guns with some of the best-retired agents in the world, rather convincingly I might add. The first Red may have been the first time Mirren had been in a true action film of that kind, but she nailed it and has gone on to appear in more action-packed blockbusters like Fast and the Furious 8.

Excalibur (1981)

Helen Mirren as the ultimate King Arthur villain Morgana Le Fay speaks for itself. The British icon was perfect to play the legendary enchantress who happens to also be King Arthur's half-sister, with a sinister plan to bring him down. She's captivating, calculated, and definitely uses her sexuality to her advantage. Does that sound like any Dutton women we know?

Eye in the Sky (2015)

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She can play a sniper, she can play a villain, and in Eye in the Sky, Mirren convincingly portrays British intelligence officer Colonel Katherine Powell. It's not every day that you get to see a woman as the star of a war film. Talk about a woman holding her own in a man's world. Mirren portrays Powell as a strong and smart...she'd have to be in order to run a top-secret drone mission.

Hitchcock (2012)

Not all characters are overly strong and powerful. Some exude a quiet strength that can be equally compelling as is the case here. Famed director Alfred Hitchcock was not the easiest man to work with, let alone be married to. But his wife Alma was his ongoing support system throughout his rise to top, seeing a different side to him than the rest of the world. She was also smarter than people might have realized at the time, a frequent collaborator on her husband's projects behind the scenes. Mirren's portrayal of Alma was really at the heart of the entire film, earning her a BAFTA, Golden Globe, and SAG Award nomination.

The Queen (2006)

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Nothing says 'pillar of strength' like playing one of the longest-reigning monarchs of all time. The film follows the days following the tragic death of Princess Diana, one of the biggest media frenzies the royal family had ever endured. Queen Elizabeth II had to be stronger than ever to face not only the public following Diana's death but also the new prime minister who wanted to modernize the British government. Sure, playing a queen doesn't have much to do with playing a woman in the Wild West. But it's a role that showed not only Mirren's range as an actress but her ability to be poised and resilient, earning her nearly every award under the sun including the Oscar and Golden Globe.

The Mosquito Coast (1986)

One thing all of the Dutton women have in common is they are forced to protect the dreams of their husbands, no matter the cost. That is certainly the case for Margot "Mother" Fox in The Mosquito Coast. Her husband Allie (Harrison Ford) drags their entire family to Central America to lead a simpler existence, but it's not what they dreamed of. Mother has to be the voice of reason in her family, ultimately helping her husband and children escape the horrors they have found in the jungle before it's too late. She's a woman out of her element, but her perseverance and strength see her through to the end of the film as the ultimate hero.

Gosford Park (2001)

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Before Downtown Abbey, Julian Fellowes wrote the Oscar-winning film, Gosford Park. In the movie, Mirren plays the head housekeeper Mrs. Wilson, who has quite a job in store for her. She has to continue to maintain business as usual in the house after a murder takes place at a respected English country house. She literally runs the show, despite being one of the "downstairs" folks, showing up for work and managing the massive staff despite all of the hysteria around the murder. If that doesn't seem like a strong woman then I don't know what does.

READ MORE: Kelly Reilly and Helen Mirren Are Connected Outside the 'Yellowstone' Universe

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