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LOS ANGELES — Helen Mirren is oddly absent from the Harry Potter film franchise that proved close to a full-employment act for Britain’s acting greats. But she’s found her own path into its magical world.
Dame Helen, as the Oscar, Emmy and Tony-winning actor is properly addressed, makes her debut as a quiz host with “Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses.” The weekly, four-part series begins 8 p.m. EST Sunday on TBS and Cartoon Network.
In episode one, contestants representing the Gryffindor and Hufflepuff houses field trivia questions about J.K. Rowling’s novels-turned-films in a bid to claim a championship trophy and prizes.
Mirren left the cramming to the players and is unworried about being a novice game show emcee.
“I can certainly play a strict host,” she said, drolly, in an interview with the Associated Press.
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This image released by Turner Entertainment shows Helen Mirren hosting the quiz show “Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses.” The weekly, four-part series debuts 8 p.m. EST Sundays on TBS and Cartoon Network.Mirren’s willingness to take on something different shouldn’t raise eyebrows. She’s celebrated for her regal roles — including “The Queen,” “Elizabeth I” and “Catherine the Great” — but also counts the Fast & the Furious movie franchise among her varied credits.
Her return to a comic book-based project is upcoming: She plays a mythological goddess in “Shazam! Fury of the Gods.” Mirren’s baptism in the genre came with the film “Red” and its sequel.
Mirren’s admiration for the Harry Potter series rings true.
“I’m always up for a bit of an adventure. Also, of course, it’s a wonderful subject and at a great moment, the 20th anniversary (of “The Sorcerer’s Stone,” the first Potter film),” she said. “And the very fact I was never in any Harry Potter movies — much to my chagrin, I might add. It was a great way to to be able to participate in the whole extraordinary phenomena that is Harry Potter.”
Mirren has been open about her feelings about never being apart of the film franchise. “I never actually got to play in the ‘Harry Potter’ films. I don’t know why,” Mirren told Access Online earlier this week, jokingly adding, “I’m rather upset about it quite honestly.”
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HBO Max announces ‘Harry Potter’ reunion:Star Emma Watson celebrates first film’s 20th anniversary
Hermione (Emma Watson, far left), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) have a very dangerous second year at Hogwarts in in “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.”The franchise’s first film “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” which premiered in the U.S. Nov. 16, 2001, recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. Stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Tom Felton and more of the Hogwarts gang will travel back to the magical school with filmmaker Chris Columbus for an HBO Max special to celebrate the magical milestone.
HBO Max announced the retrospective special, “Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts,” last week, corresponding with the anniversary. The special will arrive Jan. 1 and feature in-depth interviews and cast conversations and give a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the franchise, according to a press release.
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