Helen Mirren has three pieces of career advice for young women everywhere

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Kayleigh Dray
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Helen Mirren is, without a doubt, an absolute queen – and not just because she brought Elizabeth II to life on the silver screen.

We’re sure you don’t need us to tell you that Dame Helen is phenomenally talented, ridiculously intelligent, and fiercely funny. Better still, she doesn’t take any crap from anyone – and she’s always prepared to call out misogynist bullshit when she sees it.

Her infamous battle with Michael Parkinson is, obviously, a case in point.

But one of the things we love most about Mirren is that she’s always willing to support the sisterhood – and lift up women everywhere whenever she can. Which is why we weren’t surprised to see that she recently dished out some seriously ballsy career advice for young women everywhere to follow.

Speaking to Refinery 29, Mirren said: “Be on time.

“And don't be an asshole.”

Most important of all, however, was the 71-year-old’s advice about what to do with all your hard-earned salary cheques.

“Work toward financial independence, if that's possible, because it gives you a freedom,” she said firmly. “It's a difficult thing to do, I know, but save your own money. I think that's very important."

Mirren has, naturally, enjoyed a lengthy and successful career; she’s currently on the promotional tour for Collateral Beauty – which is her 121st acting project.

She also has another four films on the way very soon, including Fast & Furious 8.

Throw in all of those gongs and accolades (the woman has 25 in total, including an Oscar, a handful of BAFTAs, and a SAG Award or five, too), and you have a woman who’s firmly in control of her own destiny.

Her words echo those of Chelsea Handler, who recently discussed fulfilling her dreams of becoming financially independent in an interview with People.

“I didn’t ever want to rely on a man to provide for me,” Handler, 41, explained. “I wanted to create something that was completely and utterly mine. And I didn’t want anybody in my life dictating what I do.”

Handler threw herself into her work, resulting in a successful chat show, Chelsea, of her own, and says it’s the only thing “going on” in her life: “It’s not like I’m married or have babies, so the show is like a dream come true for me. Work hard, play hard.”

Now, and only now, that she has the career and lifestyle that she always wanted, Handler says she is open to a relationship – but if she doesn’t meet someone, is absolutely happy to remain single rather than have a relationship just for the sake of it.

And, let’s face it, there are some perks to staying single. “I don’t really have anyone to answer to,” she said. “That’s nice for work and it’s nice for life!”

All hail the badass women of Hollywood for championing the ‘Fuck Off Fund’ as a form of financial self-defence; we’re off to go give our bank balance some TLC…


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.