At 73, Helen Mirren has learnt a few things about life… finding power in insecurity, why marriage is ultimately the right choice and the joy of a good charity job. With her return to television imminent – playing Catherine the Great in a new miniseries – Emma Clifton looks at the wisdom, worries and loves of the illustrous star.
Helen Mirren often makes headlines, and because she’s Helen Mirren, there’s always a feisty coolness to the story behind the news. Recently, there was one such moment when she was asked if she had any regrets about how she has been treated as a young actress. “Being old is cool, but, oh, how I wish I were 18 now with the strength and courage to say ‘Fuck Off,” she said. “If I could go back and tell my younger self anything, it would be this: “Darling, learn these two words: Fuck. Off. All my life I never learnt to say those words, I just learned to be nice, to play along”.