Welcome to The Helen Mirren Archives, your premiere web resource on the British actress. Best known for her performances with the Royal Shakespeare Company, "Prime Suspect" and her Oscar-winning role in "The Queen", Helen Mirren is one of the world's most eminent actors today. This unofficial fansite provides you with all latest news, photos and videos on her past and present projects. Enjoy your stay.
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“I never feel beautiful,” says Dame Helen Mirren over Zoom from Los Angeles. “But sometimes I feel confident, professional, and that I can do things.”
The Academy Award-winning actor is taking a brief respite before she hits the stage at the L’Oréal Paris Women of Worth Awards—an event she admits is one of her favorite nights of the year (she has been a brand ambassador for nine years now). “It’s no longer this idea that if you’re a woman, your only job in life is to look really pretty,” says Mirren of the 18-year-long program that honors women nonprofit leaders with $25,000, mentorship, and a platform to share their mission. “It’s so needed because women are often forced to the edge of society and we’re not sufficiently given the central, leading role, so we find areas where help is needed.”
Mirren clearly remembers how harmful the beauty industry was for women as she was growing up. “You’re too young to be pissed off about it, but for so many years, the whole idea of beauty products included you being sold a face that was 15 years old,” she says. “And as a 30- or 40-year-old, being told this cream will make you look like that when you knew absolutely it would not. That was annoying. But also sort of ignoring women and putting us into a horrible, tiny, narrow, and unbreathable box where the only thing that mattered was to have absolutely flawless skin.”
The pressures on women are still very real and sometimes suffocating, but the advent of the comcept of self-care means there are now a wealth of options for anyone who wants to pour into themselves, instead of feeling like the beauty industry is simply extracting their self-esteem, time, and coins. “There’s a recognition now that women are many different things: different ages, sizes, genders, and we’re in the whole palette of humanity,” says Mirren. “Being a woman is incredibly varied and creative.”
It’s the little things that make Mirren feel her best, whether she’s getting full-on glam or keeping it low-key. “Sometimes a great pair of high heels can do it for me or a really comfortable pair of jogging pants and a sweatshirt, which make me feel like I can run down to the store,” she says. And she does in fact go to the store herself, because just like us, Mirren is product obsessed. “I love beauty products—the toners, moisturizers, and serums they have nowadays are fantastic,” she confesses. “I’m always trying out new lipsticks and eyeshadow. I love the whole process because it’s art to me, like painting. I’m very often seen in the makeup aisle of the CVS, seeing what’s out there.”
Mirren doesn’t overdo it with self-care and keeps it simple with two non-negotiable things: moving her body and eating healthily. “Exercise is very important—I do a little bit of yoga every day, anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes,” she says. “It isn’t a lot, but it’s just enough that I feel I can get mentally centered. I also try to eat as much fresh food as possible and stay away from processed food.”
At 78, the actor is still doing new things, like lending her legendary voice to the hit movie Barbie and to Audible’s fictional audio series, Moriarty: The Silent Order. Mirren feels lucky to be getting older in this era, and she has some strong advice for younger generations who have a fear of aging: getting older happens, so you just have to get on with it. “My mom did say something really wise to me when I was in my 30s,” she reveals. “She said never be worried about getting older because an amazing thing happens. When you’re 20, you hope turning 40 never happens. And then when you turn 40, you realize it’s great and you don’t want to be 20 again.”
In other words, the BAFTA winner continues, “At every age, you lose some things but you gain other things. That’s the kind of magic that happens, so deal with it. You either die young, or you get old. Enjoy the ride.”
There’s no doubt that Mirren surely is.