Helen Mirren: I’m a symbol of sexuality, not a sex symbol

Gorgeous 62 year-old Oscar winner Helen Mirren has a new interview in Hello! Magazine in which she’s asked if she thinks she’s a sex symbol. Photos came out last week of Mirren rocking a bikini and her curves were in all the right places and she looked hot for a woman even thirty to forty years younger. Mirren said she’s a “symbol of sexuality” but claims she’s not a sex symbol and has never been one despite her sexy image.

Early in your career, directors and casting agents looked upon you as the blonde bombshell, a sex symbol. Did you mind that?
“They weren’t treating me as sex symbol because I never was that. But visually, I fitted into that scenario. Also, I didn’t see any conflict in being a feminist and wearing sexy clothes, because I liked that. I love nice clothes, but my Bohemian version. And I didn’t see why I couldn’t be that and intelligent and articulate. But when you are younger, people don’t like you to be pert. It gets disturbing.”

But you are still a sex symbol…
“In another way, yes. In a more benign way. But perhaps not really a sex symbol. A symbol of sexuality.”

But you were seen as a wild child in your younger years…
“I wasn’t wild! I was always a good girl. I always showed up on time, I was never ever late. I never got drunk. I did drugs, but only on my own time, not when I was working. I only missed two of God knows how many performances in theatre and only because I had a very bad throat infection when I was on Broadway. And I was told I would lose my voice for good if I went on. To my detriment I was too much of a good girl. You only have to look what I was doing at that age. I was performing every night, rehearsing every day.”

[From Hello! Magazine, print edition, July 28, 2008]

I love how she says “I did drugs, but only on my time,” because when people admit to little indiscretions you can tell they’re not the type to tell bigger lies. When someone is talking about their strengths and they sheepishly own up to some small way they deviated from that I take it as a sign that they’re truthful.

Mirren also talked about her husband of 11 years, American director Taylor Hackford. They’ve been together for 22 years as they had a long courtship, and she said it works because they both trust each other and Taylor is “completely unjealous.” She also revealed that they don’t spend every night together and she’s not sure if she could do that. She made the strange comment that it’s better for their relationship the less they see of each other:

Why do you think your marriage with Taylor has worked out so well?
“It’s a challenge. Trust is very important and loyalty, those are incredibly important. They are a two-way street. It really helps if we don’t see each other too much. I love seeing Tayler, I love being with him. But if I had to be with him every night – and some people do, they need someone to be with them every night of their lives – I don’t know if I could handle that.

“It’s a great help that he is in a similar profession to mine. Taylor is a remarkable man, because he is completely unjealous. And that’s rare for men. He is very successful, and I have always respected and admired him, and I have not been jealous of his success either. But when it came to my turn to be successful, he was just so proud and not challenged by it, not even remotely jealous. He was proud and hapy for me.”

The reporter asked Mirren why she’s “so frank and open about [her] sexual relationships” and she said “I am open and I’m not really open… There are things that give you a commonality with other beings, if you know what I mean…

“In our sexuality we all deal with the same fears and insecurities, dramas, problems, passions, heartbreaks.”

Mirren calls herself lucky, though, to have found love four times in life, and she says she’s grateful for each relationship and that she’s still good friends with some of her exes.

This was one of the most intelligent and thought-provoking interviews I’ve read in a while, and I can’t help but think that Mirren deserves all the success she’s had. I look forward to seeing her in many more films.

Taylor Hackford and Helen Mirren are shown at the Enchanted premiere on 11/17/07. Credit: Starbux/WENN. Mirren is shown in the header at the event where Armani received the ‘Legion D’Honneur Award’ in Paris on 7/3/08, and at Fashion Week on 7/1/08 below. Credit: WENN

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31 Responses to “Helen Mirren: I’m a symbol of sexuality, not a sex symbol”

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  1. photo jojo says:

    She rocks. Period.

  2. Kolby says:

    I stared at her boobs in that silver dress for way too long.

  3. geronimo says:

    She’s both. All-round fabulousness.

  4. Jen (the other one) says:

    Love her, love her, love her.

  5. ri23 says:

    She is perfect.

  6. Lauri says:

    She is amazing. I definitely have a new respect for her. I was never a particular fan before, but I sure am now.

  7. daisy424 says:

    Class act period 😉

  8. CelebitchyFAN says:

    I love this woman…I want to be her when I grow up.

  9. vdantev says:

    I remember her in Excalibur, way back in the early 80’s. she played Morgan LeFay. She was a total hotty!

  10. xiaoecho says:

    You’re not a symbol of sexuality to ME sister. You presume too much

  11. Julia says:

    Well she IS a symbol of sexuality (and everything else positive) to me, so power to her.

  12. twaddle says:

    If she doesn’t stop looking so good, I might have to get into showbiz and chat her up…;)

  13. Lilah says:

    At any rate, she’s a symbol of AWESOME.

  14. Kaiser says:

    My God, I love her more with each passing day.

    Speaking of British broads that rock, has anyone seen the ads for the new Brideshead Revisited? Emma Thompson is in it, but she’s wearing a wig and she looks like a younger, taller version of Dame Helen. Good stuff. 🙂

  15. G. says:

    I want to look like that when i get to be that age. She makes me feel good about aging.

  16. Spoonman55 says:


    Get over yourself you old Hag!!!

    Looks like getting an Oscar has really made you delirious.

    That is great you have a husband and he still wants to have sex with you-but do we really need to hear the details???

  17. Kaiser says:

    Sigh. Spoonman, if you didn’t want to read it, why did you?

  18. Anon says:

    “She made the strange comment that it’s better for their relationship the less they see of each other”

    Not strange to me – (some) absence keeps desire and attraction going. Nothing like seeing each other slouch around every day (and hearing each other use the loo) to make people stop feeling and being romantic

  19. lola lola says:

    Not a sex symbol?!? “The Cook, the Thief, His wife and her Lover”… ‘nuf said.

  20. bros says:

    me too kolby, hah. I was like, whoa, hello roundness!

  21. Sue says:

    She is hot inside and out….I’d hit it!

  22. Sidlo says:

    Wasn’t she in Caligula back in the day? A hardcore porn film? I think she was a little wild. You go girl!!!

  23. KLaw says:

    I’m a straight female and I stared at her boobs, too. Amazing. I want a set of those! She’s my new role model for growing old. She’s a breathtaking symbol of sexuality amongst all that Hollywood plastic.

  24. Sidlo says:

    SEX SYMBOL EXTRAORDINAIRE!! Caligula, anyone? Look it up!!

  25. Dingles says:

    This woman is made of win.

  26. Sue says:

    Gotta say her breasts…WOW!!!!!

  27. paris herpes says:

    She has awesome boobs for a woman of 60! There’s like no saggage or anything. The white tights in the last pic are WRONG!

  28. Jessica says:

    Keep in mind that this woman has never had any childen so she obviously would not have any flaws. Plastic surgery does wonders too!!

  29. Phat girl says:

    Duh, duh duh, duh, duuuuuuuuuh. I’m lovin’ it. You go you sexy thing.

  30. JaneSays says:

    I hope she writes a book soon and reveal the secret to channeling one’s own inner Helen Mirren. She’s beautiful and sexy, and to now channel the inner pig in me, I must admit that I’d totally hit it!! 8)

  31. Brenda Norton says:

    I absolutely ADORE this woman and, have ever since I saw her in “Losing Chase” about 15 years ago.

    Not only a superb actress but, very intelligent and fascinating as a person. Not to mention she looks fantabulous in a bikini (better than I do and I’m not even HALF her age.)

    I have one minor snit: “I’m a symbol of sexuality not a sex symbol”

    Er, what’s the DIFFERENCE?