Having a celebrity crush is nothing to be ashamed of. Then again, when you’re a successful Hollywood actor like Edward Norton and say that Helen Mirren used to be on your “bucket list”, things can get awkward really fast!
Norton appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and admitted he was absolutely smitten with his Collateral Beauty co-star Mirren as a young man, especially after seeing her play Morgana in the 1981 film Excalibur.
“She was on my bucket list for a lot of reasons,’’ he said before gushing over Mirren. “Probably one of my first erotic experiences in the world was as a kid watching Excalibur on HBO… It burned itself into my brain.”
The actor did get to meet her at 26, when he stayed at a guest house on hers and her husband’s property, and that’s when he thought anything was possible! The actress invited him over for tea, which he apparently mistook for a romantic cue – but it obviously wasn’t…
“She said: ‘Oh, come over for tea’ and I thought: ‘This is gonna happen!’,” Norton explained. “Helen was known for, you know… Many great young actors were in her past, and I thought I am about to join a long succession of great things… And nothing happened.”
Well, even though Norton’s love for Mirren remained unrequited (and they’ve both been happily married to other people), it will still be a pleasure seeing them act together, alongside Will Smith, Kate Winslet and Keira Knightley.
* Collateral Beauty hits UK theatres on December 30.