Helen says that after getting to wear such opulent costumes as Queen Elizabeth I in the Golden Globe award-winning Elizabeth I, seeing all the sensible shoes, padded knickers and tweed skirts in her wardrobe for The Queen made her think, "I can't do this."
"When I got into her, I realized that this is a woman without vanity. It was a woman who was very, very beautiful as a young girl—I mean, as beautiful as Elizabeth Taylor. She was gorgeous. But she's a woman without vanity, and that's a sort of an extraordinary thing to have let go of that kind of vanity," Helen says. Aside from the wardrobe, Helen says watching videos of the queen and reading about her helped her to perfect her performance.
Helen—who has been nominated two times before—admits that the moment the winner is announced is "terrifying"—but she says she is always happy for the winner, even if it's not her. "The whole thing is about celebration, actually. It's not about a competition. It's not about racehorses racing to their finish. It's about celebration. And I think this year in particular, one can truly celebrate all of our performances," Helen says.