“That’s my kind of Western”: Helen Mirren Has Always Hated Western Movies But 1 Quentin Tarantino Movie Changed Her Outlook on the Genre

Helen Mirren found hope in Western films because of Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight

helen mirren and quentin tarantino


  • Helen Mirren despised Western films because of the way women are portrayed in such films.
  • Despite working on Taylor Sheridan's 1923, there is always one part of her who does not much like western films.
  • However, an exception to it all becomes Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight.
Show More
Featured Video

Even in Hollywood, there is a strong divide between Eastern and Western movies, one that Helen Mirren understands all too well. The classic films find themselves split into different genres, with the Western becoming one of its own. Mirren’s name is one associated with skill, talent, and sheer amount of grandeur as an actress, justifying her many accolades.

Helen Mirren in 1923
Helen Mirren in 1923

The actress has always found herself acknowledging as well as critiquing films that come and go. Some stand out for her while others don’t. Amongst the lot stands Western films, something the actress wanted to steer clear of. Ironic, one might consider it to be. Seeing that Mirren found herself starring in the Yellowstone spin-off alongside Harrison Ford. Her entire perspective towards such works was changed after watching one Quentin Tarantino Movie.

Helen Mirren’s Western Career Flipped Because of Quentin Tarantino

Helen Mirren, when talking about working with Taylor Sheridan for 1923 on Rolling Stone, expressed how there was a particular mindset that she despised. Although she sought to work with the Yellowstone creator for its spinoff, there is a certain category of Western iterations she despised with a passion.

Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren in 1923 ( image credit: Paramount Pictures)

“The kind that I don’t usually like. Which, I have to say, is an extremely old fashioned idea of a Western — the sort of 1950s version where the women were either teachers or madams at a brothel, and there was nothing in between. I knew 1923 wouldn’t be like that.”

She stated that particularly set in the 1950s, representation of women was limited to the era they were playing. Such a case made them not characters but objects to further continue the story. The way they were shown disgusted her, making Mirren stay away from such films altogether. While she always enjoyed Sheridan’s outlook, this one limitation always kept her away from getting into these films.

Despite her hesitation, there was one Quentin Tarantino movie that managed to change her perspective like no other, The Hateful Eight.

Helen Mirren Changed Her Mind

There is no doubt that Quentin Tarantino has the ability to impress anyone and everyone with his astonishing skills as a filmmaker. Whether it is the Kill Bill movies or One Upon a Time in… Hollywood, there is always something or the other to grip the audiences in the best possible way. Helen Mirren saw the same through The Hateful Eight.

The Hateful Eight
The Hateful Eight

“I thought it was fantastic. That’s my kind of Western, with characters that are incredibly flawed and interesting and violent. You know, the survivalist nature of The Hateful Eight, it’s just incredible.”

For someone who was so against Western ideologies and what the movies portrayed, it was, to no surprise, Quentin Tarantino’s work that brought her out of that outlook to see something entirely new. The way the film was gave everything Mirren desired.

Whether it is about the violence or the way characters were shown, nothing could top the way the film changed her outlook.

The Hateful Eight is available to watch on Netflix.

Adya Godboley

Written by Adya Godboley

Articles Published: 1629

An avid writer fluent in everything Marvel, Adya Godboley is an Assistant Anime Content Lead for FandomWire. She has rich experience in critically analyzing all that is said in between the lines. Hopelessly obsessed with Greek Mythology, she is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in English. Adya has written over 1400 articles on various topics expressing her passion and love for all things entertainment, from superheroes to anime and the occasional gacha games.