Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Life advice from Helen Mirren, “the nastiest of nasty women”

helen-mirren-awards-life-advice.jpg

You don’t need us to tell you that Helen Mirren is the best. She’s a supremely talented, patently intelligent queen who doesn’t take any crap from anyone, while also seeming like she’d make a great drinking buddy. (You just know Dame Helen has some great stories to share over a pint and a bag of crisps.)

But if our admiration for her was ever in doubt, it has just been well and truly cemented for ever and ever, amen.

Accepting the ‘Legend’ award at this week’s ELLE Women in Hollywood event in Los Angeles, Mirren first vowed to “be the nastiest of all nasty women” – referencing Donald Trump’s description of Hillary Clinton, which has since been reclaimed as a feminist battle cry.

She then launched into her “tips to get through life because obviously, you know, I'm quite old so I've lived quite a lot of life” – and they’re just as funny, smart and relevant as you’d expect.

helen mirren

Mirren with her husband, American director Taylor Hackford, who she married in 1997 at the age of 52.

According to Elle, Mirren’s words of wisdom are: 

1. “Never drink alcohol unless you are celebrating something, upset on something, or if it's a day that ends with the letter ‘Y’. And never drink when you are driving.”

2. “There are no rules about love – I don't believe – but don't be in a rush to get married, honestly. I married Taylor [Hackford] much later in my life and it's worked out just great. Give your partner the freedom and support to achieve their ambitions. Very important and that goes both ways, men and women.”


Read more: How to be a nasty woman: Stylist's 9-step guide


3. “At the blackjack table, always split aces, eights and nines. Believe me, it really improves the odds.”

4. “Connect with friends daily. I don’t mean on Facebook. Better to have three great friends than 300 friends on social media; friends you can really talk to.”

5. “And finally, ignore anyone who judges the way you look, especially if he or she is someone anonymous miserable creep, lurking on the Internet or is a bloated, small headed dinosaur-y handed candidate for president.”

mirren

Dream girls: Mirren with Lupita Nyongo at the ELLE Women in Hollywood event in Los Angeles.

Mirren, 71, who lives in Los Angeles with her American husband Taylor Hackford and has been a vocal supporter of Hillary Clinton, also shared how times have changed for women since she was a girl.

“When I was about 14 years old, I remember… I was sitting at this bus stop, wanting so desperately to be an actress,” she said. “I was convinced that a big, black car would drive by and it would screech to a halt next to the bus stop and this man would get out with a cigar in his mouth and he would say, ‘You’re the one! You’re the star! Come with me!’”


Read more: “The first thing I'd teach a girl of mine is the words ‘f*** off’”: Helen Mirren on the gender pay gap


That never happened, but Mirren observed: “The best of that whole story now is [another] 14-year-old is out there sitting on a bench just as I was. She’s out there, in 2016, feeling the same feelings I felt of wanting to be an actress.” 

But one thing has changed: “She’s hoping that a small electric car will screech to a halt beside her and out will get a woman.”

Dame Helen, we salute you. God Save the Queen. 

Images: Rex Features

Related

rexfeatures_5612175o.jpg

Dame Helen Mirren: Kim Kardashian has made women love their bums

RED CARPET REBELS.jpg

Red carpet rebels: the women making their own formal dress codes

helen mirren.jpg

Helen Mirren says actresses should audition for male roles

More

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Amanda Seyfried’s new abode to Jessica Chastain’s feline friend

by Nicola Colyer
17 Oct 2017

Jennifer Lawrence was forced into a naked line-up by a producer

In the name of weight-loss “inspiration”

by Amy Swales
17 Oct 2017

Abigail Breslin’s photo reveals how domestic abuse can stay with you

The actor has opened up about the realities of living with PTSD

17 Oct 2017

“Why Liar is proof that TV's depiction of rape is damaging to women”

The proliferation of rape in TV and film is a real problem for the representation of women

by Harriet Hall
17 Oct 2017

Nigella Lawson reveals why red is the ultimate foodie colour

As she tracks her gastronomic love affair with all things crimson

by Stylist
17 Oct 2017

Reese Witherspoon says she was sexually assaulted at 16 by a director

“Producers made me feel that silence was a condition of my employment”

by Amy Swales
17 Oct 2017

Courtney Love tried to warn us about Harvey Weinstein in 2005

This video shows her speaking out against Weinstein over a decade ago

by Susan Devaney
17 Oct 2017

Hillary Clinton praises NHS after receiving medical treatment in UK

Clinton spoke about the UK’s health service during an appearance on The Graham Norton Show

by Moya Crockett
17 Oct 2017

Maisie Williams’ response to Sophie Turner’s engagement is perfect

There’s a reason these two have been dubbed #BFFgoals, you know…

by Kayleigh Dray
17 Oct 2017

America Ferrera reveals she was sexually assaulted as a 9-year-old

‘I believed that I was somehow responsible for the actions of a grown man’

by Kayleigh Dray
17 Oct 2017