Helen Mirren: ‘Do I feel beautiful? I hate that word’ – Sali Hughes

Helen Mirren hates the Guardian, and she hates female journalists. Before I meet her, I am told this a lot, by colleagues; she’s also hinted at it in previous interviews. This is somewhat unnerving and, it turns out, mostly rubbish: when I meet her at a hotel in London, it soon transpires that Mirren (who no longer looks at her own press) reads the Guardian every day and follows my Weekend magazine column “religiously”. (She says this twice. I intend to be buried with the tapes.) She is extremely warm, funny and impeccably mannered, just an hour after trending on Twitter for swearing live on breakfast TV (“It pissed with rain,” she said of a camping trip, and looked amazed when the presenters turned to camera to apologise).

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