Watch: Helen Mirren natural sass can be seen in this old interview with Michael Parkinson
Helen Mirren has always been a feminist. Whether its her stance on body positivity or on how she is not interested in having children (in an interview with The Telegraph, she had said, "When people say, 'What? No children? Well, you'd better get on with it, old girl,' I'd say 'No! F— off!' ") Mirren really means business.
That’s why we knew we had hit gold when an 1975 interview between Helen Mirren and journalist Michael Parkinson resurfaced. The 41-year-old interview with Mirren, who was then in her late 20s, shows the actor give smart, measured answers to the iconic talk show host’s sexist line of questioning.
Mirren was called on the show to discuss her upcoming role as Lady Macbeth had an awkward start from the introduction, as Parkinson refers to Mirren as ‘a sex queen’ and quotes a theater critic saying Mirren is ‘especially telling in projecting sluttish eroticism.’
After walking out on-stage, Mirren made sure to make a quick quip on the remark and continued to call out Parkinson on his sexist remarks, with a polite smile on her face through out the interview.
Parkinson asks Mirren if her 'equipment' (her breasts) hindered her acting. “I’d like you to explain what you mean by my equipment ... in great detail,” she retorts. “Come on, spit it out. Serious actresses can’t have big bosoms, is that what you mean?”
Parkinson starts to argue about how big breasts can 'detract from a performance' Mirren gives it back to him saying that she hopes any performance she will give can overcome such a distraction — and from such 'boring questions.'
“Boring questions?” Parkinson asks.
“Pretty boring, in the end, yeah,” she says.
Watch the Oscar winning actress's interview here:
Helen Mirren referred to Parkinson as a 'sexist old fart' in a 2011 interview with The Telegraph. She says, “That’s the first talk show I’d ever done. I was terrified. I watched it and I actually thought, bloody hell! I did really well. I was so young and inexperienced. And he was such a f—— sexist old fart. He was. He denies it to this day that it was sexist, but of course he was.”
She even brought up her first interview when she appeared on Parkinson's show again. "I hated you" she tells him. Watch as the reminiscing starts at 5:00 minutes into the video: