Helen Mirren says she doesn't 'remotely deserve' Life Achievement Award—'I've done some pretty awful films'

Helen Mirren will accept the prestigious SAG award next week

Helen Mirren says she doesn't 'deserve' SAG award
(Image credit: Getty)

Dame Helen Mirren has revealed that she doesn't feel like she deserves her Life Achievement Award, adding that the honor took her 'by surprise, completely'. 

The legendary English actor may be a BAFTA, Oscar, and Tony winner—but that doesn't mean she never doubts her ability. 

Helen opened up about her experience of imposter syndrome in a recent interview, admitting that she doesn't believe she's worthy of her latest accolade. 

The 76-year-old has will be presented with the Life Achievement Award by LA’s Screen Actors Guild next week, an honor which has previously been given to fellow Hollywood heavyweights, Robert de Niro and Julie Andrews. The prestigious award was established by the SAG in 1962 to recognize "outstanding achievement in fostering the finest ideals of the acting profession"—an accomplishment that most people had already associated The Duke star with decades ago. 

Helen Mirren

Helen won an Oscar in 2007 for her performance in The Queen 

(Image credit: Getty)

However, Helen isn't so sure about her right to receive such a lofty prize. 

"It’s extraordinary," Helen told You magazine, in reference to the exciting news. "I genuinely do not feel I remotely deserve it, except that I’m still alive and working. I’ve done some wonderful films and I’ve done some pretty awful films. It took me by surprise, completely. A great honor." 

The London-born actor went on to admit she has "always" suffered from an "endless, niggling feeling" that she'll be "found out any minute now." 

"Because you can never be absolutely sure that you’re that good at what you do. It’s not like being a doctor or a surgeon or an architect or a gardener where you can look at your work and go: 'Oh yeah, that’s really good.' It’s a much more mutable thing, our job," she explained.

Helen will be presented with the award by her Collateral Beauty co-star, Kate Winslet, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica on 27 February. 

“I am honored to have been chosen to receive the SAG Life Achievement Award,” she said upon hearing the news in November 2021. “Since I was a young actor starting out, I have always been inspired by and learned from American screen acting, so this award is particularly meaningful for me.”

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.