Dame Helen Mirren is to work with her husband, director Taylor Hackford, for the first time in more than 20 years.

The Oscar-winning actress will star opposite Goodfellas star Joe Pesci in the upcoming movie Love Ranch, a tale of Nevada's first legal brothel.

The Queen actress will begin filming the movie in New Mexico in January, reports Variety.

Hackford, last in the director's chair for the critically-acclaimed biopic Ray, told the trade newspaper that Dame Helen had to be coaxed into the role.

"I've developed this project for a long time, and one of the things that excited me most was the chance to work again with my wife," he said. "I had to beg; she's a very busy girl. We'd wanted to work together for some time, but she wouldn't agree unless it was a great role, and this is a great role."

While Mirren currently has four movies in the pipeline – including action sequel National Treasure: Book of Secrets and the cinema adaptation of BBC drama State of Play – Pesci has not starred in a movie since 1999's Lethal Weapon 4.

Hackford explained: "Joe didn't have any desire to work, but he was the first person I had in mind to play the husband, this former cab driver who dreamed of making prostitution legal and carved out a tiny county and convinced the local politicians,"

He added: "He's playing The Godfather of legalized prostitution, and it convinced Joe to jump back into the fire."

Mirren and Hackford last worked together on 1985's White Nights.

15/10/2007 09:20:00