Helen Mirren reveals the one thing she’s secretly struggled with all her life (and it might surprise you)


When it comes to iconic women, Dame Helen Mirren is up there with the best of them.

Never afraid to break the rules, the words fierce, fabulous and flawless spring to mind when describing this Oscar-winning actress.

But the L’Oreal Paris ambassador has revealed that she hasn’t always felt that way herself.

The star spoke to woman&home exclusively for our May issue, and told us that insecurity is something that she can very much relate to.

“Have I ever had moments of self-doubt? Oh, every day!” she said.“I used to be so terrified of parties and, although I’m much better than I used to be, I still have spells of massive insecurity.

"Sometimes it’s so extreme that I have to lock myself in the toilet to get myself together and talk myself into going out and dealing with what’s in front of me.”

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So, what’s her secret to managing it?

“I now know that the best way to deal with insecurity is to remember that you’re not the centre of the universe; you're part of a whole," she told us.

"And the likelihood is that everybody else is probably having their own moments of low confidence, or self-doubt, or difficulties at home.”

Woman & Home May 2018 - Helen Mirren

And while the Oscar-winning actress might always appear immaculate to us, she hasn’t always thought it herself.

“I look back at some photos of myself and think, ‘Oh my god, I look awful!’, she said.

“Ninety-nine per cent of time, it’s because I’ve been wearing too much make-up. I’m finding that as I get older, I wear less because make-up is so advanced now that you can do more with less, can’t you?

"And when I need a quick fix, I get out the red lipstick and a pair of sunglasses... The secret is very red lipstick andvery dark sunglasses!”

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One thing she credits to boosting her confidence is her recent decision to get her eyebrows tattooed.

“I was fed up of my brows barely being there, and when one of my girlfriends got it done, I thought they looked great”, she told us.

“They’re very lightly and delicately done, but it means that when I get up in the morning and I have no make-up on, at least I have eyebrows! It’s made a huge difference.”

We might just be trying that ourselves!

Dame Helen is supporting L’Oréal Paris and The Prince’s Trust’s “All Worth It” campaign, which helps young people overcome confidence issues.

Read our full interview with Helen Mirren in the May 2018 issue of woman&home, on sale now.

Nathalie Whittle

Natalie Whittle is a British journalist specialising in celebrity content in the women's lifestyle sector. She previously held the role of Celebrity Director at Woman & Home and has also worked at Prima, Red & Good Housekeeping.