Helen Mirren criticises female body count in TV dramas

Dame Helen Mirren has criticised the number of dead female bodies shown on British TV dramas today.

Speaking to the Observer, ahead of receiving a Bafta fellowship – the British film industry’s highest honour – Mirren acknowledged the rising level of violence on TV.

She said she agreed with the British playwright Sir David Hare who also recently slammed the body count in “contemporary drama”.

Terribly upset

Referring to the gender imbalance of corpses shown on British TV, Mirren added that “most of those bodies are young women”.

While filming action film Red 2, Mirren reportedly told the director to avoid any depictions of her killing people with guns.

“I do get terribly upset when I see films where people are just randomly shot. I think they all have families to go to, children at home”, she explained.


Last week, Hare questioned the need for dramas to portray a high body count.

He has just finished a TV espionage drama in which none of the characters fire a gun.

“Nobody is seen with a gun because in intelligence work not many people carry guns. It’s trying to be realistic and prove that you can be just as entertaining without guns as with”, Hare explained.

“I’ve seen films in which 150 people have been killed and the next day the Mayor of New York just says ‘people are very angry about this’. And I just go ‘at what level of reality is this meant to be happening?’

“I can’t personally stand the body count in contemporary drama. I just think it’s ridiculous”, he said.