She’s one of my favorite actresses — who knew she was descended from Russian aristocracy? Now Helen Mirren is starring in a film about Tolstoy’s wife.
Reports The Telegraph:
“In ‘The Last Station’, the Oscar-winning actress portrays the impassioned Sofya, Tolstoy’s wife of 48 years and the mother of his 13 children, who becomes involved in a ferocious tug of war with the zealous Chertkov over Tolstoy’s estate and legacy which Chertkov believed should be bestowed upon the Russian people while Sofya was determined it should pass to his family.
While they battle, Tolstoy, played by Christopher Plummer, makes a dramatic flight from his home to the tiny rail station at Astapovo, where, too ill to continue, he believes he is dying alone, while more than one hundred newspapermen camp outside awaiting hourly reports on his condition.
Mirren, 64, whose family was thrown off their country estate by the Bolsheviks in 1917, felt an immediate affinity with Sofya. “It’s in my blood,” she said. “My great great grandmother was a Russian countess and one side of my family was Russian aristocracy; the other was English working-class, so I’m a good contradiction.
“This is one of the great women’s roles in film. Sofya is a wonderfully tempestuous and passionate person.” Adapted from Jay Parini’s historical novel, the movie version of ‘The Last Station’ has been in the works for almost two decades.”