SMOKE AND MIRREN
WINCHESTER | Dame Helen builds a haunted house…
“Helen Mirren’s never done a horror movie,” says Michael Spierig. “Well, unless you count The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover!” Peter Greenaway’s cult culinary classic aside, then, the great dame will be popping her genre cherry with the Spierig brothers’ post-Jigsaw project Winchester. “It’s a really creepy haunted-house movie about the great legend of the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose,” continues Michael. Mirren plays Sarah Winchester, a super-wealthy 19th Century firearms heiress who, following the sudden deaths of her husband and child, consults a medium and proceeds to build and renovate a mammoth mansion… for the next 38 years.
The real-life Sarah believed herself haunted by the ghosts of all those killed by Winchester rifles; plenty of psychological – and possibly supernatural – meat for Mirren to chew on, then. “She’s so good. So good. And Jason Clarke [who plays
a sceptical shrink] too – we’ve been very fortunate.” The cast also includes Sarah Snook, who stunned in the Spierigs’ sci-thriller Predestination.
“Helen saw [our film] and said,
‘I want that girl in Winchester!’ She’s wonderful,” raves Peter Spierig. And next for the bros? “A holiday!” laughs Peter. “We went straight from Jigsaw to Winchester, which was pretty tiring. But we’ll be back to work soon.” ML
ETA | 2 MARCH 2018 / WINCHESTER OPENS NEXT YEAR.