October 2, 2019
Article taken from The Oprah Magazine.
Dame Helen Mirren appears to be the very portrait of joie de vivre. For a quick reference, feast your eyes on the below snap of the 74-year-old bouncing barefoot down a Paris Fashion Week runway. But it’s not just her seemingly endless energy that makes this photo so appealing. It embodies her apparent gives-no-effs attitude (well, in a polite, British sort of way). The Fast and the Furious star has always been outspoken—about aging, Harrison Ford’s kissing technique, that bikini snap, her relationship with Liam Neeson—and now, while promoting a U.K. production of Catherine the Great (she of course plays the Empress) Mirren is treating us to even more sage words, particularly about maturing.
“My mother once said, ‘Never worry about getting older. I know the thought of you being 45 when you’re 25 is, Oh, my god! Who wants to be 45? But it’s amazing because when you get to be 45, you’ll realize it’s actually very cool and you don’t want to be 25 again,'” she told Vogue. “And I have to say, she was absolutely right. With every age comes advantages and disadvantages. And you tend to find that you don’t want to go back. You want to be exactly where you are with everything you’ve experienced.”
She added, “It’s much better to age disgracefully! Take it on the chin, and roll with it. You die young, or you get older. There is nothing in between! You may as well enjoy it.”
Unlike age, Mirren, says sexuality and gender do not exclusively exist in a binary. “I came to the conclusion an awfully long time ago that there is black and there is white, and we’re all somewhere in the middle in a wonderful mix of male and female,” Mirren told Radio Times Magazine.
“There is no such thing as binary sexuality, when you’re male or female. I don’t believe that at all,” she said, adding, “Great heart-throbs have a very present feminine side to them. A lot of very strong female actors, have a very strong male side to them.”
Mirren, who isn’t one to shy away from talking all things carnal, also shared while referencing her portrayal of Catherine the Great, a woman known for having a “healthy appetite,” that she herself proudly owns her sexuality.
“I felt it was my right to have affairs, and be in love with people, and to live with them. I’m a bit like Catherine,” she told the Daily Mail.
Mirren, who has been married to director Taylor Hackford for 22 years, said, “I’ve had probably three or four serious lovers.” (Notably, one was Liam Neeson.) I was serially monogamous until I met my husband. And now I’m just monogamous.”
Okay, so it’s not exactly any of our business, but we do appreciate when a seasoned woman tells it like it is.