Helen Mirren 'hopeless' at voice acting

'Monsters University' actor Dame Helen Mirren admits she is "hopeless" at voice acting and found it a challenge to put all her presence into her speech in the film

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Dame Helen Mirren

Dame Helen Mirren

Dame Helen Mirren is "hopeless" at voice acting.

The actress, who lends her voice to Dean Hardscrabble in Disney-Pixar's 'Monsters University', is known for her incredible presence on the stage and screen and found it a difficult challenge to express herself through just her speech in the new animated film.

She said: "I'm actually hopeless at voice acting. I'd loved to have been in the room with Billy [Crystal] and John [Goodman] and watched the masters at work and learned from them. Americans are brilliant at voiceovers. I don't think Brits are as good at it, weirdly."

The 67-year-old actress - who earned an Oscar for her powerful portrayal of Queen Elizabeth in 'The Queen' - credits the film's director, Dan Scanlon, for helping her perfect her vocal role as the hard-nosed university principal.

Speaking at the 'Monsters University' press conference in London, she said: "I had Dan guiding me, telling me what worked and what didn't work. It's a learning process. I did learn to be more present; just to put it in the voice is quite different from being expressive [with your body]."

'Monsters University' sees Crystal and Goodman reprise their roles as loveable monsters Mike and Sulley from 'Monsters, Inc.' and tells the story of how they first met at a special school for wannabe scarers - the creatures who frighten human children and use their screams to power the city of Monstropolis.

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