Helen Mirren has been shutting down sexism since the 1970s

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/09/07/helen-mirren-has-been-shutting.html

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Helen Mirren is number one on my list.


for the curious:

  1. Helen Mirren
  2. Bette Midler
  3. Nikki Minaj (just to break things up)
  4. Bette Midler
  5. Helen Mirren

Helen laid some verbal kung fu on that mofo.


Seriously? The leading question is about “sluttish eroticism”? Fucking hell.

“‘Big bosoms’ might detract from [Mirren’s] performance…”

I suppose Parkinson would want to open with the titillating and then move to the worthwhile stuff, but Mirren showed admirable restraint in answering stupid questions nicely and without violence.


She reminds me of Michelle Obama’s comment about what she and Barack sometimes say to each other: “When they go low, we go high.”


Hahahaha, she’s amazing. Helen Mirren for Dictator of Earth!


This is going to up my Friends-quoting game significantly. My wife will be…ambivalent.

And, at the very least, Parkinson gave her space to call out the stupid in his questions without being one of the more combative talking heads we’re all sadly familiar with. That said, I still can’t get past that idiotic opener, “sluttish eroticism”.

And because I’m an 'Merican, which American actresses hold their own in this regard? [I mean, I don’t wanna shut down the Mirren love or anything–just curious]


Parkinson was above the pack compared to most interviewers…but when he was a douche, he was an extreme douche.

Hopefully the next one will suck less.


OK, having watched the two-parter (a significant time commitment on a weekday, might I add), I think I need to pull rank here: as a woman who lived through this era (I was in high school when this interview happened) and was active in feminism at the time thanks to a politically active mother, this was not a “shockingly sexist” interview, especially not for the times.

He starts out by calling attention to all the sexist ways she was referenced in the media at the time, and it’s true he was uncomfortable at first because she was so willing to openly talk about things like her “bosom” on TV – which would have been shocking at the time – but his questions gave her the latitude to answer them as she saw fit, and the two of them together built up a strong, complex explication of her as a serious actor. If anything, I would say this interview stands out as being unusually NON-sexist for the time.


Now I really need to listen. Tonight.


I totally agree with you. He asks good questions to answer, and she does and gets the room to do. And does!
She’s great, love here like you can love a person you not really know.



What, you ain’t know?

Dame Helen has been a BAMF since time out of mind.

WERK, mama!


“It’s just not important (looks, or/and how people talk about it).” Love these words.

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Love her.


Yup. And yes.

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Helen Mirren is my hero. Can we team her up with Margaret Atwood creating a movie script for her? And then could like Tilda Swinton star in that movie, too? And then could we have Spike Lee’s cinematographer come in for the camera work? And also can it be somehow futuristic, but from a female perspective instead of like talking fly cars and stuff? It should have some totally bad ass costumes too. Let’s throw in some Emma Thompson, too. I think she could be the bad guy. I’d like to see her play that role.


She should be there real Queen. She is worthy.

Agreed. For the era, this was a comparatively respectful, intelligent interview. Those who think otherwise need to watch a few hours of Johnny Carson or even Dick Cavett plying their trade c. 1972. The entertainment industry at that time was soaked in slimy sex obsession. It was creepy, pervasive and probably in part responsible for the societal backlash that emerged over the course of the decade.

The stagy, overdone Puritanism of Reagan era America was born out of the boozy, crude lasciviousness of the early 70s.