Helen Mirren 'unsure' over reprising her portrayal of the Queen
Dame Helen Mirren has admitted she felt "very unsure" about reprising her Oscar-winning role as The Queen in an upcoming West End play.
"I don't like going back to things," the 67-year-old said. "I like to go forward."
But she was won over, she went on, by the "extraordinary team of artists who are putting the play together".
The actress was speaking at the European Film Awards in Malta, where she received an honorary award.
Written by Peter Morgan, who also wrote The Queen, The Audience examines the monarch's relationship with the Prime Ministers who served during her reign.
"The play's not really about the Queen," said Dame Helen. "It's more about Britain in the 20th Century.
"It's an extraordinary way of looking at the history of Britain."
Directed by Stephen Daldry, The Audience opens in February at the Gielgud Theatre in London's West End.
Dame Helen's comments came as she spoke to reporters after accepting an award for European Achievement in World Cinema.
Her screen portrayal of Elizabeth II in 2006 also won her a slew of prizes, among them a best actress prize at the European Film Awards.
Yet she still expressed surprise at receiving a standing ovation from the audience at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in the Maltese capital, Valletta.
"You get praise for some things you do, and for others you get kicked in the teeth," said the actress, who received her prize from friend and sometime co-star Sir Michael Gambon.
"So when something like that happens it's so unexpected. It was an amazing moment.â€