It was a day of queens at the Venice Film Festival on Sunday — a real British monarch on the screen and two queens of acting, Judi Dench and Helen Mirren, on the red carpet.
Dench plays long-reigning Queen Victoria in Stephen Frears' "Victoria & Abdul," which charts the relationship between the monarch and Abdul Karim, an Indian man who became her servant and teacher.
Ahead of the film's gala premiere, Dench said she owes her movie career to Victoria, who reigned from 1837 to 1901. The actress, 82, told reporters "I had no film career really to speak of" before playing Victoria in the 1997 drama "Mrs. Brown," which gained Dench the first of her seven Academy Awards nominations.
She said revisiting the role and working again with Frears — who directed her to an Oscar nomination in "Philomena" — was "an irresistible proposition."
If Dench needs any advice on playing royalty, she could turn to Mirren, in Venice Sunday with Paolo Virzi's road-trip movie "The Leisure Seeker." Mirren has played Britain's current monarch, Queen Elizabeth, in the movie "The Queen" and play "The Audience." "It's good to be queen," Mirren said. "You always get very nice costumes when you're the queen, and you usually get quite a lot of lines. Or if you don't get a lot of lines you have very few lines but everybody looks at you."
Japanese princess to wed
Japanese Emperor Akihito's oldest grandchild, Princess Mako, said Sunday she is getting married to a university classmate who won her heart with bright smiles and sincerity. Mako and fiancé Kei Komuro, both 25, said that their relationship started when the princess sat behind him at a campus meeting five years ago at Tokyo's International Christian University, where they graduated. Details of their wedding have not been decided; palace officials say the ceremony is expected sometime around autumn next year after a series of rituals, including one that authorizes the engagement.
Pop star princess releases new song
Taylor Swift wants to know if we're "...Ready For It ?" The pop star released the pulsating new song off her upcoming album "reputation" on Sunday after previewing it during a college football game on ESPN Saturday night. The song quickly became a trending topic on Twitter. Swift previously released the somewhat divisive single "Look What You Made Me Do" and a self-aware music video in anticipation of the new album. "Reputation" will mark her sixth studio effort following the album "1989," which was released in 2014. It will be available on Nov. 10.
Box Office: In a slow weekend, the R-rated action movie "The Hitman's Bodyguard" topped the charts for a third weekend with $10.3 million. In second place was the horror spinoff "Annabelle: Creation," from Warner Bros., which added $7.3 million.