Dame Helen Mirren likens Golda Meir to Queen Elizabeth I

Dame Helen Mirren likens Golda Meir to Queen Elizabeth I

Dame Helen Mirren found playing Golda Meir similar to portraying Queen Elizabeth I.

The Oscar-winning actress stars as the former Israeli Prime Minister in 'Golda' and compared the politician's "maternal" instinct to that of the Tudor monarch, who she played in the 2005 TV miniseries 'Elizabeth I'.

Helen, 77, told The Hollywood Reporter at the Berlin International Film Festival premiere of the biopic on Monday (20.02.23): "(Golda) was extraordinarily brave and her commitment to Israel was total.

"It was a bit like playing Elizabeth the first of England, in the sense (of) her commitment to her country and to her nation. She achieved it without being the sort of power mad dictator character.

"She was very maternal. She had that wonderful domestic side to her. She was happiest when she was on the kibbutz looking after the chickens, but life took her on a different path."

The movie is set during the 1973 Yom Kippur War and sees Meir – who had been diagnosed with cancer - leading Israel after the country is rocked by a surprise twin attack by Arab powers Syria and Egypt on the morning of the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur.

Israel had faced complete military defeat by Meir's effective war leadership helped the country to secure a surprise victory that changed the face of the Middle East and director Guy Nattiv took inspiration from the classic film 'Das Boot'.

He said: "In the sense that she is in the trenches, she is in one location and cannot leave, she's very alone in the mayhem of the war.

"This is a very tough and hard look at the war and every soldier that dies. So for me it was going in with my eyes open. Golda is not a super clear character in this movie. She had her faults, she made mistakes and she took responsibility, which leaders are not doing today."