In Toronto for L’Oreal’s Women Of Worth event on Wednesday, Helen Mirren explained her unexpected laugh-out-loud Oscars moment.
During the awards telecast, host Jimmy Kimmel promised a jet ski to whichever winner delivered the shortest speech.
Unveiling the jet ski in true “The Price Is Right” fashion, a glamorous Mirren showed off the prize, later hopping on the back of the jet ski with the prize’s eventual winner, “Phantom Thread” costume designer Mark Bridges.
The Oscar-winning actress reveals all Kimmel had to do was ask and she was in for the joke.
“He said, ‘Helen would you do this? And I said ‘Yes’!” Mirren tells ET Canada’s Sangita Patel. “It was a couple of days before actually. But I thought, ‘how ridiculous, of course I’ll do that, it’s going to be so ridiculous.’ It was great, great fun, I can’t believe how effective it was.”
“I didn’t come with the jet ski,” she jokes. “Yes, Helen Mirren is not included.”
In addition to being a part of one of the night’s biggest jokes, Mirren says she was in awe of Jane Fonda as they presented the Best Actor nominees together.
“I mean, obviously Jane Fonda has been very much a part of my life for my whole life actually, and someone who was a huge star when I really wasn’t,” she says of their time together on stage. “And someone who was extraordinarily out there and courageous and formidable in so many ways. To find myself on stage with her I was very… I felt inadequate actually.”
When it came time to share the stage, Mirren says “I did turn to her… and I just said, ‘I just want to tell you how incredibly honoured I am to be here. It’s an amazing experience to be here because I have watched you and been impressed by you for my whole life, so it’s amazing for me to be standing here next to you.’ And she was unbelievably charming and sweet about it.”
Mirren is acting royalty and a Dame, so naturally she has some thoughts on royal bride-to-be Meghan Markle.
“I think she is so cool. She’s behaved, as I say, impeccably right from the beginning, right from when they started going out together,” Mirren says. “And he’s a lucky boy, he’s a lovely boy – young man I should say.”
The actress, who has met both Prince Harry and Prince William on occasion, is impressed with Markle.
“I think she’s exactly what’s wanted in the general sense,” she explains. “I think it’s a real love story the same way William and Kate are. I think we’re very lucky in Britain.”