Helen Mirren wraps herself in the Union Jack for Esquire: hot?


Over the years, Esquire has had its ups and downs as far as quality is concerned, and the magazine has recently experienced a sharp downturn in terms of its main feature interviews, which have resulted in some unmistakable disservices done towards the likes of poor Bradley Cooper and Matthew McConaughey. However, Esquire is still churning out entertaining editions of its monthly “What I’ve Learned” column, which remains one of my favorite parts of the magazine to this date. Oh sure, there was a bit of a slip of a few years ago when they let Paris Hilton pretend that she knew a few things about life, but usually, the column still runs like a charm, especially when it comes to learning random pearls of wisdom from George Clooney, John Malkovich, and the hive mind of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. This month, Helen Mirren dispenses her own version of “What I’ve Learned,” and the 65-year old actress continues to charm our pants off, virtually speaking, with a series of quotes:

Whenever I see the queen, I always think, Oh, there I am!

Being the daughter of a cabbie, I really do appreciate a good back route.

The best compliment? Right after winning the Oscar, when everyone was going home, they let these little gold Oscary shapes flutter down from the ceiling. Leonardo DiCaprio came over, bowed down, and kissed my hand. It was the most fabulous moment — such a lovely gesture. He didn’t say anything.

We’re all idiots when we’re young. We don’t think we are, but we are. So we should be.

Shakespeare was writing at a time of great censorship. You couldn’t say certain things or you’d literally have your head chopped off. But within those parameters he found great freedom.

The whole thing of clothes is insane. You can spend a dollar on a jacket in a thrift store. And you can spend a thousand dollars on a jacket in a shop. And if you saw those two jackets walking down the street, you probably wouldn’t know which was which.

Chemistry is an absolute mystery. People who really don’t like each other can have fantastic chemistry onscreen. And people who adore each other can have absolutely no chemistry onscreen. It’s totally weird — lightning in a bottle.

The hardest period in life is one’s twenties. It’s a shame because you’re your most gorgeous and you’re physically in peak condition. But it’s actually when you’re most insecure and full of self-doubt. When you don’t know what’s going to happen, it’s frightening.

It would be wrong to think that you’re always right and correct and perfect and brilliant. Self-doubt is the thing that drives you to try to improve yourself.

I am quite spiritual. I believed in the fairies when I was a child. I still do sort of believe in the fairies. And the leprechauns. But I don’t believe in God.

It’s such a crapshoot, and very often the talented people get lost by the wayside and the people with less talent are successful, and you don’t know why. It’s all such a mysterious random thing, so it’s very hard to give people advice.

You don’t want to mislead people. They’ll say, “Oh, it’s my dream. I just have to believe in myself and it’ll happen.” It’s just not true. Some people throw away their lives following a dream and a dream is all it was. On the other hand, you do have to believe in yourself for anything to happen.

Some people are brilliant at dying. It’s hard to stop breathing, and inevitably you get an itchy nose or something. The trick of dying onstage is to make sure you do it behind the sofa or in a dark corner.

Helen is about as fabulous as they come, isn’t she? It’s nearly impossible to dislike anything about this woman, and — as clichéd as this sounds — she really does get better with age, much like a very sassy bottle of fine wine. That story about Leo is just amazing too because when I usually think about him, humility is not the first descriptor that comes to mind, but I guess he was probably just overwhelmed by the greatness of one Helen Mirren.




Photos courtesy of Esquire and WENN

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34 Responses to “Helen Mirren wraps herself in the Union Jack for Esquire: hot?”

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  1. Sandra says:

    So effing badass and hot and talented!!
    I want to be like her at her age!

  2. You don't say says:

    Dame Helen is really quite a DAME!!

  3. kibbles says:

    She looks amazing. I don’t know how she does it but I pray that I look half as good as her when I’m 65!

  4. Quest says:

    Just love Helen, she is like fine wine, love her. She is nothing short of fabulous.

  5. Chloe says:

    I wish I could grow old like her. So beautiful, inside and outside. I’m meh about the photo with the flag but she’s one awesome lady.

  6. Praise St. Angie! says:

    g-damn, she looks SO good in that blue dress! I love what she said about seeing the queen, too.

  7. TQB says:


    I love her. Leo worshiping her makes me like him a bit more too.


  8. Blue says:

    She’s a hottie! She could teach these Hollyweird “starlets” a thing or two. She should teach a class.

  9. ladybert62 says:

    Ummm well dont like the union jack mess – dignity is better than hot – especially at her age.

  10. Hollowdoll says:

    She is amazing inside and out.

  11. madpoe says:

    OH Helen is brilliant! Loved her quotes, love her!

  12. arock says:

    grand dame. shes that impressive in person as well. we stayed at the same hotel and attended cocktail parties with her (as guests, not WITH her) when she was acting at the Shakespeare festival in dc. i was agape, such a wonderful lady. may i add that she drops the f-bomb on the reg and its absolutely melodic and charming when she does.

  13. Nanea says:

    Oh, those Chelsea Flower Show pics with that flesh-eating plant and Helen’s beautiful red coat!

    She is one of my forever-girlcrushes (+ Cate, Tilda, Monica B)and I fell in love with HM when she did White Nights with Misha B. She’s come a long way since then.

  14. Lee says:

    What riches today – Helen Mirren and Tilda Swinton in posts on the same day! Those two hold permanent spots on my absolute crush list. If Cate Blanchett shows up later we will have a perfect trifecta. Thanks Celebitchy!

  15. phlyfiremama says:

    Girl crush! I would love to spend 30 minutes drinking at a bar with her…:) I’ll bet she is just a hoot to be around.

  16. jello says:

    I love the flag photo! And of course I agree with everyone on her overall fabulousness. Wouldn’t it be a better a world if there were more women like Helen and Tilda flashing across the public screen? Please, please more of them and less of Kim, LeAnn, and company.

  17. kristen says:

    Regarding her comments on chemistry, who else thinks that was a reference to Russell Brand and the Arthur remake?

  18. xxodettexx says:

    there are days when she loses me but i loved everything she said in this interview

  19. Ann says:

    Older women are hot, girls! Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.

  20. Mary K says:

    Just love her! She’s witty, charming, classy, and just flipping amazing! I want to e all those things when I’m her age! She makes young Hollywood seem like Dlisters..oh wait most are anymore;)!

  21. Anne says:

    Helen Mirren is one of the reasons I’m not afraid of going grey or white haired.

  22. MourningTheDeathofMusic says:

    Dear Ms. Janice Dickinson, take note of Helen Mirren – That is how it is done.

  23. Stubbylove says:

    Yes. Helen is one hot bitch. LOVE

  24. Kim says:

    I like her but find it sad she still feels need to flaunt body and shout look at me im old but hot. Who cares. It takes away from her acting talent. I dont want to see it from anyone age 20 or 60.

  25. inthekitchen says:

    Not a fan of the flag picture. It looks a bit sloppy, for lack of a better word (disheveled, but not in a good way).

    But she looked amazing in those bikini pictures from a while back and looks great in the bottom red coat picture. And what a tiny waist/lovely figure in that blue dress.

    I hope I look like her and have such a great attitude about life when I am her age!


  26. Nymeria says:

    “Being the daughter of a cabbie, I really do appreciate a good back route.”


  27. Patricia says:

    She looks ridiculous in that flag but she is an AMAZING woman! I love the quotes! I love her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. forelithe says:

    Chief Inspector Jane Tennyson is iconic and so Is Dm. Helen, neither need the cheese cake, to be attractive and relevant.

  29. constance says:

    I like her. I just don’t see these images as flattering.

    I was also under the impression that the Union flag is only called a “Union Jack” when flown from a jack staff on a British Naval ship. So saying that Dame Helen is wearing a Union Jack is a kin to saying she is a warship. awkward…

  30. She’s hot and interesting; I like the energy she puts out there.

  31. S says:

    She is sensational. I want to know her and I want to be her. Fabulous bitch.

  32. C-DUB says:

    I PRAY that I still got it when I’m her age. She’s fabulous!