Helen Mirren: The way I look is irrelevant
December 8th, 2010
07:00 PM ET

Helen Mirren: The way I look is irrelevant

Halle Berry may have thought she was paying Helen Mirren a compliment when she called her "hot" at the Hollywood Reporter's December 7 Women in Entertainment breakfast, but her words might have left "The Tempest" star steaming.

Presenting the 65-year-old actress with the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award, Berry told her, "Helen, you have single-handedly, all by yourself, broken down that barrier because you can age, you can do films that are successful, and you can still be hot as hell!"

So what's the problem? "The Queen" star says she hates being hailed for her appearance. "We have to let go of this crap," Mirren tells the Hollywood Reporter, admitting that she feels "cross" when the media focuses on her sex appeal.

"It creates even more pressure on women, and I certainly don’t want to be a part of that," she explains. "I’m not beautiful; I clean up nice. Why don’t we talk about the fact, for example, that I just did 'Arthur,' and the cinematographer was a woman, the film operator was a woman, the whole camera team were women? That’s where we should be putting our attention. The fact that I look good at the age I am is bloody irrelevant."

That's not to say Mirren isn't aware of Hollywood's obsession with youth and with young men in particular.

"I resent in my life the survival of some very mediocre male actors and the professional demise of some very brilliant female ones," Mirren said when accepting her award from 44-year-old Berry. "However, with all due respect to you many brilliant and successful women in this room... really not too much has changed in the canon of Hollywood filmmaking that continues to worship at the altar of the 18- to 25-year-old male and his penis. Quite small, I always think."


soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. JDG

    Wow, yeah, I see what worries Helen Mirren . Of all the injustices in the world: Poverty, slavery, wars, corruption, deaths of innocent children- This Multi-millionaire actress is worried that she and her kind are not getting enough acting jobs!! REALLY?

    December 9, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. brhynn

    Geez, are y'all talking about Calendar Girls? She was in a lots of movies and plays before that. And her father changed the family's name to Mirren, but I guess a five year old could have protested Daddy's decision...

    December 9, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Valentine

      10 to 1 that her Publicist has people defending Helen in these articles!! you spin much?

      December 9, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  3. HansGruber

    When Helen Mirren was young she benefited from the point of view and culture of hollywood – She was young, gorgeous, and willing to expose her physical attributes. Now, that she is old – she wants to change the rules so she can stay on top. Has anyone notice that she is NOT advocating that talented but fat,non-handsome, or non- white actors get more roles??? No, she is just saying that she worked non-stop in her 20's,30's,and 40's and that in her 50's and now she is not getting enough roles- boo-hoo! 30 years of work!! LET SOMEONE else work ! Oh and for those that doubt her hypocrisy and self-interest -why is she supporting the fashion industry by wearing designer clothes from people that think women can only work in fashion as models only if they are from 12 years old to 22- oh cause she is not a model -right???

    December 9, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. arch

    Helen should remember how she got where she is now. She loved taking her clothes off and parading around showing her bush and boobs. She was a good looking woman and didn't mind showing off. Now she wants to act like that stuff doesn't matter! That is what got her the good jobs she has been getting for the past 15 or so years. I guess things have changed now. This has dropped and that is shaggy and so on. Well Helen you don't have to do those roles anymore so don't sweat it and just be polite and accept it when people give you a pat on the back!

    December 9, 2010 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Uh.

      I would imagine that the fact she had to show off her body to get jobs is what she takes issue with, in the first place.
      What does it say about Hollywood that she, a fine actress, had to go that route to be noticed?
      While there are some actresses who have succeeded with out relying on good looks, they are the exception, not the rule.

      December 9, 2010 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  5. SKY

    @B=DOG – TWO YEARS AGO AND WHEN DID SHE CHANGE HER NAME.(15YEARS AGO?)
    B-DOG PEOPLE CAN CHANGE OVER NIGHT.
    SAY IT AGAIN, SAY ALL YOU WANT ABOUT MY ACTING.
    LEAVE MY BODY OUT OF IT. BREAK THE TRADITION...
    STAND UP FOR TRUTH.

    December 8, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. B=Dog

    First of all... Halle Berry is full of it. She's hot as he** with a footnote, the same way Michelle Obama is hot with a footnote. She's hot *for being 65, just like Michelle Obama is hot *for a first lady.

    I'm a guy and I find it s*xist that women have to have their own banquet to recognize one of their own.... are they saying they can't compete with men in the industry?

    December 8, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinks2010

      No, they can complete with men just fine. Many men remain so male-centric in their thinking that they can't recognize that. Men have been honoring themselves for years. What's wrong with women honoring women?

      December 9, 2010 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
  7. SKY

    @Savoureus – IF WHAT YOU SAY IS TRUE..HOW WONDERFUL..SHE HAS CHANGED AND IS NOW
    TELLING THE TRUTH TO OTHER WHO COME AFTER HER, SHE IS BREAKING THE LOOP

    December 8, 2010 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • B-Dog

      Here is why Helen is full of it.

      A) If it's all about being yourself, and judged on ability.... why did she change her name? She was born Ilyena Lydia Vasilievna Mironov

      B) Her quote 2 years ago "Flesh sells. People don't want to see pictures of churches. They want to see naked bodies"

      December 8, 2010 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. susan powers

    well said my dear

    December 8, 2010 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
  9. SKY

    FACT: THINK ABOUT WHAT THIS WOMEN IS SAYING.....IT IS THE TRUTH.
    SHE TOOK A STAND FOR WHAT IS RIGHT AND SPOKE THE TRUTH.
    "AS HOLLYWOOD CONTINUES TO WORSHIP AT THE ALTAR
    18-25-p....IF YOU ARE A MALE AND HAVE GOOD LOOKS YOU
    WILL BE PUT ON A LIST OF THE "S" MEN ALIVE...OR MOST
    BEAUTIFUL WOMEN ALIVE..
    "CHARM MAY BE FALSE, AND A BEAUTY IN VAIN
    BUT THE WOMAN THAT FEARS THE LORD
    IS THE ONE THAT GETS PRAISE. . PROVERBS 31:30

    December 8, 2010 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Savoureux

      Helen MIrren became famous because she was the actor what would lose her clothes for any reason. If she were not hot she would not have had a career; so come off your high horse Helen and celebrate what you are!

      December 8, 2010 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |

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