EW Staff
November 24, 2006 AT 05:00 AM EST

Helen is very authentic. Very autonomous. What she inspires in me is to hew to the truth and trust that it will come through. I so admire that she refuses to make anything up and yet will bravely explore theatricality. In The Queen, she is regal. She got the walk. She did her voice patterns, which are so specific. She looked like her. [Her Queen Elizabeth II] was a cold woman who was somewhat out of touch with her subjects. But because Helen brings a humanity to it, you just love her. You’re rooting for her. With the smallest gesture — the way she scratches her eyebrows or waves her hands — she’s humanized. She’s one of us. I hadn’t met Helen until she and her husband [director Taylor Hackford] came to dinner after she shot Door to Door [costarring my husband, William H. Macy]. Of course, she was charming and lovely at dinner. But at the Emmys — where there are so many people — she was so kind to me. And I so appreciated it. She’s so powerful and centered and really comes from herself, but she’s also so feminine and sexy. Sometimes you have to sacrifice one for the other — and she hasn’t. She’s amazingly classy.

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