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Helen Mirren Traces Her Regal Russian Roots

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Actress Helen Mirren has played countless royals — Cleopatra, Queen Charlotte, Queen Elizabeth I and II.

It's no coincidence. Aristocracy is in the blood, she tells Renee Montagne. Even the working class women in her family were "queenly."

Her new memoir, In the Frame: My Life in Words and Pictures, outlines her aristocratic beginnings, from a time before the Mirren family was known as such, until she found a very special "religion" — the theater.

No matter how perfectly she may play a queen, however, she admits that she still gets intimidated when she gets a script and sees the "enormous number of lines" she has to learn.

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