Oscar-winning Dame Helen Mirren dishes on how she keeps herself feeling young at heart!
“[The ’60s] was the time of Twiggy, and I did not look like a twig,” says Helen, here in 1980.
If you see Dame Helen Mirren on a bus or a subway, don’t offer her your seat! “I hate when people give up their seat for me,” says the 72-yearold acting legend. “If people treat me like the age I am, I get absolutely insulted, really cross.” But that’s all part of Helen’s youthful outlook on life.
The Oscar winner positively refuses to act her age. “You only have two options in life: die young or get old,” she says. “Life is too much fun. So you just have to find a way of negotiating getting old psychologically and physically.”
One way she’s fought the normal expectations of what it is to be an older woman is by taking on action-packed roles, like a machine-gun toting secret agent in Red, and she even asked Vin Diesel for a cameo spot in The Fate of the Furious. “I’m so tired of movies about Alzheimer’s and cancer,” she complains. But then she laughs, “Actually, I’ve just done a movie [The Leisure Seeker] where I have cancer and he has Alzheimer’s. But that’s it — done and dusted.”
Her theory, she notes, is to work toward “look[ing] and feel[ing] as great as you can on a daily basis.” And Helen does, now that she’s come to terms with her curvy figure after believing in her youth, “My cheeks were too fat, legs were too short, breasts were too big.”
At 72, she’s happy with her looks and life, and even admits to a childlike wonder when she meets actors she admires: “I’m always starstruck. I’m paralyzed. I say, ‘Right, Helen, just be natural, just be yourself.’” Those are words she lives by.