Someone as awesome as Helen Mirren isn't exactly who comes to mind when you think of the title "dame." But the Hundred-Foot Journey star, who was appointed a dame in 2003, isn't stuffy or stern. Instead, the beautiful 69-year-old actress is humble, funny, and confident — still cool after all these years.
Here are a few of the reasons why:
1. She's all about making other women feel beautiful. Mirren remains so stunning that, in October, she was named a brand ambassador for L'Oreal Paris U.K. But don't try complimenting the star on her appearance, because that's not why she signed on with the company, reportedly with the stipulation that images of her aren't retouched. "I am not gorgeous," she said in a statement. "I never was, but I was OK-looking and I'm keen to stay that way. I hope I can inspire other women towards greater confidence by making the most of their natural good looks." And, of course, Mirren's too cool to do her commercial just like everyone else. Her spot features a twist on the cosmetics company's signature line, "I'm worth it." She asks, "So are we worth it?" and then answers, "More than ever."
2. She's more graceful when falling than most people are doing anything. Ever. The Brit fell up the stairs — probably because of her long, emerald green Dolce & Gabbana gown — at the premiere of her movie Woman in Gold at the Berlin Film Festival on Monday, and it was the kind of award-worthy performance audiences have come to expect from Mirren. As she fell, the always classy Mirren calmly grabbed the stairs and stood back up to continue working the cameras, with no wardrobe malfunction or anything.
3. She literally makes dreams come true. In 2013, a cancer-stricken, 10-year-old boy with Down syndrome named Oliver Burton had a wish to meet the queen of England for tea. After Queen Elizabeth II declined due to her busy schedule, Mirren, who won an Oscar for her portrayal of the queen in the 2006 movie of the same name, came to the rescue. Mirren invited Oliver and his family to her stage show of The Queen and met with him backstage over the traditional tea and cakes. Oliver's mother, Catherine, was grateful. "Dame Helen was brilliant," Catherine told the local Leicester Mercury. "She stayed in character the whole time and spent a lot of time talking to Oliver and drawing him out of himself. She signed his British flag, which he waves all the time." Oliver, who sadly passed away three months later, was far from the only beneficiary of Mirren's kindness. She's also active with the charities Oxfam and the U.K.'s Kids Company.
4. She can give Miley a run for her money in the twerking department. Who says women of a certain age should just sit around and knit? Or that Oscar winners should just stand on red carpets looking perfect all the time? Certainly not Mirren! She flashed her dancing skills on Live! With Kelly and Michael and... you just have to watch it for yourself.
5. She has the best tattoo. Uh-huh, really! Mirren doesn't seem the type to get inked, but she did, admittedly when she was young and "very, very drunk." Mirren has noted that she regrets her tattoo now that getting one has become such a mainstream thing to do, but the tasteful design still has a beautiful meaning. The tiny, interlocking Vs under her right thumb mean "love thy neighbor."
Everyone certainly loves her.