‘I’m not worthy’: Helen Mirren to receive Screen Actor’s Guild Lifetime Achievement Award

Feb 27, 2022
Mirren has been nominated for an SAG Award 13 times throughout her career. Source: Getty

Talented English actress Dame Helen Mirren has been chosen to receive the next Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Life Achievement Award at this year’s SAG Award ceremony at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica on February 27, 2022.

The award Mirren will receive has been deemed by the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA – a labour union representing actors, singers, and performers) as their most esteemed honour; however, Mirren admits she doesn’t “feel worthy” of the remarkable privilege.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Mirren explained she doesn’t feel she’s done enough to deserve the esteemed award. Despite this, the award will mark her as the 57th recipient of the ‘Life’ honour which has been granted to worthy recipients since 1962.

“Without sounding fakely humble, there is a sort of ‘I am not worthy’ kind of feeling,” she said.

“Like, me? No, you’re kidding. Surely. I mean, why? I haven’t done enough, or I’ve done a lot but haven’t done it well enough, or you know, it just sort of brought up a wealth of weird criticism but at the same time, an incredible feeling of kind of acceptance by your fellow actors and that’s the most important thing to me.”



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Despite Mirren’s denial of her own greatness, the award will mark her as the 57th recipient of the ‘Life’ honour which has been granted to worthy recipients since 1962. The news of Mirren’s achievement was announced last year, however, due to Covid-19 restrictions, the SAG Awards were unable to go forward with their annual ceremony.

According to SAG, “the SAG Life Achievement Award is bestowed for outstanding achievement in fostering the finest ideals of the acting profession” which is “nominated and voted on by the union’s National Honors and Tributes Committee.”

The bestowing of the award will take place on Sunday, during the 28th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards ceremony.

President of SAG-AFTRA, Fran Drescher, admired Mirren for her talent and ability to play such versatile acting roles throughout her career.

“Her work runs the gamut of characters from a not-so-retired CIA super-killer and a ruthless Russian spy handler to a Hungarian cleaning lady and the most exquisite Elizabeth II”, said Drescher.

“She has set the bar very high for all actors and, in role after role, she exceeds even her own extraordinary performances.”

Amongst the many past esteemed recipients of the SAG Life Achievement Award, Mirren will join well-known winners including Robert DeNiro, Alan Alda, Morgan Freeman, Lily Tomlin, Carol Burnett, and Debbie Reynolds. The award will mark Mirren as the first British actor to receive the award since Julie Andrews in 2006.

Mirren is well known for her outstanding performances in The Queen, Trumbo, Eye in the Skye and Calendar Girls, amongst many other hit films.


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Throughout her career, Mirren has been nominated for different SAG awards a total of 13 times, winning five. And if this wasn’t already enough of an honour, the actress has received a long list of other esteemed acting awards over the years including an Oscar, three Emmy Awards, multiple BAFTA Awards, a Tony and the Film Society at Lincoln Center’s Chaplin Award. In the Queen’s 2003 birthday honors, Mirren was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for her services to drama.

The actress is currently filming for Golda, a historic thriller on the bold and risky decisions Israeli PM Golda Meir made during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Later this month she will host the Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses series for television networks TBS and Cartoon Network.

Do you believe the talented actress deserves the esteemed award?

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