Dame Helen Mirren; Academy Award winner, L’Oreal Ambassador and all round legend.
At 74 years of age the actress knows how to rock the red carpet with the best of them, never putting a fashionable foot wrong. But more than that the star of screen and stage gets it.
Addressing a group of US graduates at Tulane University’s Commencement in New Orleans, Louisiana back in 2017 the Londoner shared her top five pieces of advice. Among the pearls of wisdom was the advice not to get married too soon (Mirren married director Taylor Hackford at the age of 52 after more than a decade together), treat people like people and ignore anyone who judges the way you look: “especially if he or she is some anonymous creep lurking on the internet.”
She also urged students not to be afraid of fear and not to overcomplicate things.
In an interview with Campaign in 2017 she revealed: “My advice is be on time and don’t be an arsehole. Grab your opportunities when they come with both hands, give it your all and then fake it.”
When British Vogue asked Mirren if she could go back and do anything differently she answered without hesitation: “Being old is cool, but oh, how I wish I were 18 right now with the strength and courage to say ‘Fuck off.’ If I could go back and tell my younger self anything, it would be this: “Darling, learn these two words: Fuck. Off. All my life I never learnt to say those words, I just learnt to be nice, to play along.”
And this isn’t the first time Dame Helen has dropped the f-bomb
Speaking to the New York Daily News in 2015 she revealed: “Unfortunately, at least for my generation, growing up (we didn’t say [fuck off]) and I love the fact that girls are so much more confident and outspoken than my generation were.”
“We were sort of brought up to be polite and sometimes politeness, in certain circumstances, is not what’s required.”
Adding: “You’ve got to have the courage to stand up for yourself occasionally when it’s needed.”