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`Arthur` director intimidated by Helen Mirren

Updated: Apr 07, 2011, 09:39 AM IST

London: `Arthur` director Jason Winer was so intimidated by veteran actress Helen Mirren that he had to read about the etiquette of drinking tea before meeting her.

The Oscar-winning actress did not agree to sign for the remake of the classic Dudley Moore film starring Russell Brand until she met the filmmaker, something which caused him much distress, reports

"I definitely was intimidated by the prospect of working with Helen, in particular. Before Helen was on board officially, she was interested, she had read the script and she wanted to work with Russell, but she wanted to meet me, before she said yes, so I was sent to her house to have tea. It was nerve-wracking, to say the least," Winer told

"My agent was actually freaking out `cause he was like, `Have you ever had tea with a British person? There are rules! There is all sorts of etiquette. And, he forwarded me a link to a tea etiquette website, where I learned silly things like you`re supposed to stir the tea back and forth with the spoon, and not in a circle. That`s considered rude. There was crazy stuff like that."

However, he was happy because Mirren only appeared to be "regal" and was a lot easier to get on with than he expected.

"When I got to her house, not only did she immediately profess to be a big fan of `Modern Family`, which put me at ease, she also made us tea in mismatching mugs, with Lipton tea bags and water heated up from the microwave," he said.