Dame Helen Mirren has been a sex symbol for years, but she’s now spoken out to say she’s glad the label is “finally fading.”
The 72-year-old, who has been a role model for women for decades, suggested being recognized for her looks hasn’t always been a blessing as she spoke to United Airlines’ magazine Rhapsody.
She said: “I’ve had to come to terms with it [sex symbol status] over a long periods of time. Luckily it’s fading now.”
Mirren, who looked years younger than her age in an accompanying photoshoot, added: “[It’s] finally fading. And what does it mean really? You know, what does it mean? Does it mean that people want to f*** you? Because that’s rather ghastly, isn’t it, the thought of all those weird strangers? I’ve always found it a very tacky and unpleasant tag, but it’s one I had to kind of grit my teeth and bear for a long, long time.”
The beloved actress went on to call the ’60s and ’70s a “hideous” time because women were seen as sexual objects.
Mirren admitted, “I do wish I was 30 now. Not because I wish I was 30! Not that. But I want to have more of my life in the world we’re going to have for the next 40 or 50 years, for women.”
She added: “I just want to experience this world as a younger person. I had to go through the ‘60s and ‘70s, which was hideous. It was a hideous time for women, really because the impact of birth control and the so-called sexual explosion, which was actually dreadful for girls and women,” she continued. “It was the Hugh Hefner attitude — girls and women became sexual objects. I hated Hugh Hefner and everything he represented.”
The wide-ranging chat also saw Mirren admit she decided “quite early in my career, I made a decision to be as open and as forthright as I could be,” before she gave readers some incredible advice, insisting: “Don’t be too up your own bum.”
Read more from Mirren’s interview here.