Helen Mirren believes her sex symbol status will follow her to the grave.
Despite being 71, the actress remains one of the most lusted after stars in Hollywood – by all generations. And regardless of trying to shed the label, Helen doesn’t believe the day will ever come where she’s not linked to that title.
“I think it’s probably going to follow me to my grave,” she sighed of the description during an interview with Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper.
Helen started acting when she was just 13, and has gone on to receive critical acclaim for her roles in films such as The Queen, Calendar Girls and Woman in Gold. With this respect has come a celebrity status – something Helen wasn’t keen on when she started out on the stage.
“I didn’t want to be rich and famous,” she says. “I wanted to be thought of as a great actress and the only way I could see to do that was through theatre. I wanted to be recognised as a great theatre actress.”
Despite this, Helen, who made her name on television in the iconic role of Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison in the Prime Suspect series, couldn’t avoid the fame that comes with her work, and is now considered a doyenne of both movies and theatre.
However, the actress admits she has made an “endless litany of mistakes and missteps” during her life.
“I’ve made many, many mistakes in my life, you know,” she continued. “I turned down projects I should have said yes to, done projects I should have said no to, had relationships with people that I shouldn’t have had relationships with, got drunk at times that I shouldn’t have got drunk. There’s been an endless litany of mistakes and missteps, but somehow I’ve stumbled into being in the right place at the right time.”
One thing Helen has always struggled with is mastering an American accent for roles – despite having an American husband in Taylor Hackford. While she has succeeded in passing herself off as other nationalities, she has never managed to successfully adopt an American lilt.
“My husband’s American and I’ve lived in America, yet it’s so difficult for me,” she vented. “I can do German, I can do South African, I can do Australian, I can do French, I can do Italian, kind of. But American is really hard for me. I’m so bad, it’s ridiculous.”
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