Helen Mirren is playing another queen, this time for HBO


Oscar-winner Helen Mirren is playing yet another of history’s great queens, this time for an HBO miniseries about Catherine the Great.

Helen Mirren is one of those actors you always think of as playing royalty. She played the Roman empress Milonia Caesonia in Caligula back in 1979. She won an Oscar for Best Actress for playing Queen Elizabeth II in 2006’s The Queen, and that was right after she played Queen Elizabeth I in a 2005 miniseries. She even voiced the Snow Queen in the movie The Snow Queen, although apparently that mostly involved yelling:

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Knowing that, it’s not surprising to learn that Mirren will be playing Catherine the Great in an eponymous miniseries for HBO and Sky, per Deadline. “We are jubilant about having Helen Mirren back on HBO, playing the iconic Russian empress and joining this distinguished team of British filmmakers,” said HBO executive Kary Antholis. Well yeah, you’d have to be.

The four-part miniseries will focus on Catherine the Great’s passionate affair with nobleman Grigory Potemkin, with whom she worked to rule Russia without opposition for the second half of the 18th century, turning it into one of the great powers of Europe.

Catherine was famously strong-willed, intelligent, and promiscuous, all things that should make for a good TV series. Cameron Roach, a Sky executive, promised the show will be a “definitive landmark drama,” to use Deadline’s words. With this kind of talent and story, it could happen.

Catherine the Great, chilling.

Mirren is executive producing the project herself and originally came up with the idea. “I am very excited by the possibility of embodying a woman from history who grabbed and then wielded great power,” she said. “She rewrote the rules of governance by a woman and succeeded to the extent of having the word ‘Great’ attached to her name.”

She’s clearly excited about it. I’m excited about it. Are you excited about it? Sound off!

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Also, if you’re wondering, no, that rumor about Catherine the Great having sex with a horse is not true. But isn’t the person who inspires that kind of rumor interesting enough for their own TV show?