SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – British actress Dame Helen Mirren recently sat down with Liam Mayclem to talk about her new film, “The Hundred-Foot Journey.”

Mirren plays Madame Mallory, owner of a critically acclaimed restaurant Le Saule Pleureur in the south of France. An uptight Mallory is up-in-arms when the recently displaced Kadam Family open up “Maison Mumbai,” an Indian restaurant directly one hundred feet across from Le Saule Pleureur. A bitter war between the dining establishments escalates until Maison Mumbai’s executive chef, Hassan Kadam’s (played by Manish Dayal) attention to Mallory’s sous chef Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon) grows. Opening up a cultivating alliance between the two restaurants and with each other.

The film tells how the power of food can bring different cultures together, not just in the sustainability sense, but the importance of its social place to bring together those from diverse backgrounds. Mirren talked (video above) about how her parents were drawn together by food. “My parents relationship was forged over food.” Mirren said. “Without spaghetti bolognese in Bertorelli Restaurant in London, I probably wouldn’t be here.”

Regards to her character, Madame Mallory, Mirren reveled in the role. “Now, I’ve always had this secret yearning to be a french actress.” Mirren said. “So this film just slotted perfectly. I could pretend I was a french actress!”

“The Hundred-Foot Journey” is directed by Lasse Hallström, best known for “Chocolat” and “The Cider House Rules” and is produced by Juliet Blake, Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey.

– R. Del Rosario

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