Helen Mirren on Men With Big Guns: “It’s Probably Penis Envy!”
The ‘RED’ star opens up about her personal life and looking sexy in her sixties.
Sometimes she experiences an identity crisis. Helen Mirren says that she can’t go to any Gap store without being recognized as a big screen meanie. “I go into the Gap to buy my T-shirts and these teens take my credit card, look up and say, ‘Oh my God, it’s Mrs. Tingle.’ I’ll say, ‘I’m not really Mrs. Tingle. I’m a very nice person!’”
Mirren played the teacher from hell, the Queen of England and now is a former CIA agent on the run for her life in the action film RED where she co-stars opposite Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman and John Malkovich. She’s a stunning action dame who can even pick off snipers in a ball gown.
You wear so many delicious, over-the-top outfits in RED. Any favorites?
I loved my white dress. It was a brilliant dress and so comfortable, so chic and lovely plus it worked for the scenes. I also loved my snow camouflage thing as well. I didn’t realize something like that existed.
This movie is a lot of men holding big guns. What is that all about in real life?
It’s probably penis envy!
Who did you base this character on?
Martha Stewart. She combined the perfect sweetness, kindness and unbelievable efficiency with this laser-like ability to get the job done. I had a picture of Martha up in my trailer and in the makeup room. Everyday I could look at her and be inspired. Obviously, I didn’t try to imitate her. It was getting inside of Martha.
Have you ever met Martha?
I have been on her show. The woman is amazing. I watch her shows and I’m sitting there with a notepaper thinking to myself, “Oh, that’s how you clean windows. You turn the gloves inside out?” It’s such lovely domestic information that I love. When I was on her show, we repotted something. I do love to garden and know quite a bit about it. But to repot with Martha was a dream come true.
What advice do you have for young women about dealing with their stressful lives?
I think life is constantly about conquering your own fears. You put yourself in these ridiculous situations to challenge your own feelings of fear. You just have to do it.