photo: Getty

The Internet recently had the pleasure of being reminded that Helen Mirren has been shutting down sexism like a total boss dame for decades.

On Saturday (August 20), a video clip from 1975 was posted to Facebook showing a 30-year-old Mirren being interviewed by British talk show host Michael Parkinson — and his questions were abysmally sexist.

"You are in quotes a serious actress," Parkinson began, only to be immediately shut down by Mirren: "In quotes? What do you mean in quotes? How dare you."

Things only got worse from there, as he went on to imply that her breasts — or her "equipment," as he put it — were prohibiting her from having her work being taken seriously. And her take-down (including the line "Because serious actresses can't have big bosoms, is that what you mean?") was on point, especially considering this was her first-ever talk show appearance. 

I can’t think that can necessarily be true. I mean what a crummy performance if people are obsessed with the size of your bosoms more than anything else. I would hope that the performance and the play and the living relationship between all the people on the stage and all the people in the audience overcome such boring questions.

YAAASS, dame! You tell him!

In honor of Mirren's sheer boss-like brilliance, we've compiled a ranking of her other most priceless woke moments. Here are 11 times Mirren was the feminist hero the world needed.

1

When she twerked on stage at Harvard (you read that right).

Mirren was being honored by Harvard's Hasty Pudding Theatricals, America's oldest undergraduate drama troupe, as their Woman of the Year, when she was asked to twerk. Gamely, she obliged, thus dethroning Miley Cyrus as the year's Twerking Queen.

2

And then again on "Live With Kelly and Michael."

During this same 2014 appearance, Mirren also had some thoughts on "Fifty Shades of Grey" to share: "Whips and chains are not my style, but who doesn’t like a jolly good spanking once in a while?" 

3

When she spoke about her love of "stripper shoes."

Mirren has called them her "secret weapon," saying, "I used only to be able to get them in stripper shops, but now you can buy them everywhere."

4

When she fronted a L'Oreal campaign featuring completely un-retouched images.

When L'Oreal approached her about becoming their new U.K. ambassador at age 69, Mirren agreed on one condition — that her pictures not be retouched.

“I am not gorgeous, I never was, but I was always OK-looking and I'm keen to stay that way," she told InStyle in 2014. "I hope I can inspire other women towards greater confidence by making the most of their natural good looks."

The photos are stunning, and a bold appeal for women to embrace their natural beauty, no matter their age.
5

And when she revealed "fuck off" would have been the first words she taught a daughter.

A photo posted by @femislay on

She had this to say as part of an interview with The Daily Mail in 2013 about industry sexism, and how she would've taught a daughter to respond to it.

6

When she posed topless for New York Magazine at 65, proving sex appeal doesn't have an expiration date.

A photo posted by Adam (@950126_) on

7

When she expertly defended her decision not to have children.

Mirren — who, much like Jennifer Aniston, has been subjected to her share of scrutiny on the subject — has time and again slammed the taboo society places on women who choose not to have children.


8

When she supported Kim Kardashian.

It's no surprise Mirren would be in favor of Kardashian's empowering statements made via nude selfies. In a recent interview with The Telegraph, she spoke about loving women who are unapologetic about their sexuality.

When I was growing up, it was thought to be unbelievably sluttish to even have a bra strap showing. Everything was about women conforming. I love shameless women. Shameless and proud! Women were controlled by being shamed, so I love women who have claimed their own bodies: Madonna, Chrissie Hynde, Joan Jett, Bonnie Raitt. I love Pussy Riot more than anything in the world. They all raise their middle fingers to this epithet of 'slut.' They wear what they want to wear, behave as they want to behave.

9

When she dyed her hair pink, demonstrating that the ability to take style risks is ageless.

Mirren told Jay Leno on "The Tonight Show that the dye job was "just for fun" and had been inspired by an "American's Next Top Model" contestant.

10

When she shared a smooch with Rachel McAdams and "liked it."

It's well known Mirren (who's been married to husband Taylor Hackford since 1997) has inspired feelings of love and lust in more than one Hollywood star, including McAdams. The two women, who co-starred in the 2009 film "State of Play," even shared an unscripted on-screen smooch, according to McAdams.

"I don't know what happened. The character was just so happy, everything had worked out, it was the end of the movie — but she was my boss, and I just went up to her (and kissed her)," she said. "Yeah that was really weird, it was like something had taken over me.... she said she liked it! But I apologized. She said, 'No, don't apologize!'"
11

And when she had this to say about modern-day feminism.

A photo posted by Leah Short (@leahpocalypse) on

Mirren has long been a very vocal feminist. She shared the above opinion in a recent Marie Claire interview, and has also previously said that, to her, feminism is "just fucking obvious."