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Dame Helen Mirren is Perfectly Happy With Her ‘Radical’ Long Hair

Photo Credit: Daniele Venturelli / Getty Images for Paramount+
Photo Credit: Daniele Venturelli / Getty Images for Paramount+

Helen Mirren has more than earned her reputation. From the classical stage to the silver screen, she has captivated audiences with her remarkable talent and undeniable presence. With a career spanning over five decades, this iconic British actress earned her a place as a Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. She is a captivating figure whose bold red carpet looks turn heads. Her latest fashion statement, however, is a “radical” hairstyle that defies ageist norms.

A Hollywood legend

Mirren’s acting career is a testament to her exceptional range and versatility. She began her journey on the stage, honing her craft in classical theater productions and earning critical acclaim for her portrayals of Shakespearean heroines. Her success saw her transition seamlessly to the big screen, where she showcased her remarkable talent in diverse roles, everything from the seductive temptress in The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover to the regal Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen.

Helen Mirren posing on the red carpet in a long sleeve black dress with numerous photographers behind her.
Helen Mirren attends the Golda premiere and European Shooting Stars 2023 red carpet at the 73rd Berlinale International Film Festival, February 20, 2023. (Photo Credit: Stephane Cardinale/ Corbis Entertainment/ Getty Images)

For the latter, she won an Academy Award, a BAFTA, and a Golden Globe. She also saw significant success with her role as Detective Jane Tennison in the BBC series Prime Suspect for which she won three consecutive BAFTA TV awards. Although she has been acting since the 1960s, she is nowhere near done. In 2021 she played the villain in Shazam! Fury of the Gods, and in 2023 she played the title role in the biopic Golda. Ever a surprise, she also took a 2022 role in a Kendrick Lamar music video.

Her ‘radical’ hair

Always one for bold fashion statements, Mirren made another one at the February 2023 red carpet premiere of Golda when she showed off her long silver locks. This might not seem like anything too wild, but she spoke about her decision in an interview on LorraineShe said, “You’re not supposed to have longer hair after a certain age. But during COVID, I started growing my hair and I hadn’t actually had long hair since I was in my 20s (…) I couldn’t be bothered to cut it, basically.”

Helen Mirren holding a fan in a blue dress with her hair dyed a matching color of blue.
Helen Mirren attends the Jeanne du Barry screening and opening ceremony red carpet at the 76th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals, May 16, 2023. (Photo Credit: Marc Piasecki/ FilmMagic/ Getty Images)

She continued, “And then I thought, do you know what, it’s pretty cool, I think I’ll stick with it for a little while. It will come off eventually. But I’m kind of enjoying it, it’s quite radical.” What may have started as a COVID haircut has actually turned out to be a “pretty cool” way to defy ageist norms. This really doesn’t come as much of a surprise, as Mirren has been vocal about aging gracefully, as have many other actresses like Jamie Lee Curtis.

Thoughts on aging

In the same interview, she touched on her thoughts again, saying that after 60, “Life doesn’t stop, creativity doesn’t stop, passion doesn’t stop, and energy doesn’t stop, unless you decide to stop it.” She has made some other poignant statements about aging as well. In a People interview, she said, “Getting older. It happens. Other people call it growing older, but I call it growing up. And one of the advantages is that you literally get to be wiser. Life is a constant process of learning.”

Helen Mirren holding out her arms while wearing a long brown jacket.
Helen Mirren attends the Shazam! Fury of the Gods photocall at Savoy Place, March 06, 2023. (Photo Credit: Dave J. Hogan/ Getty Images)

In another interview, she slapped back at the very concept of ‘anti-aging’ because it’s something that just happens: “It’s a part of the human condition. So to talk about ‘anti-aging’ is like saying ‘anti-human,’ ‘anti-real,’ ‘anti-wisdom,’ ‘anti-experience,’ and so on, you know?”

More from us: Costume Designer Discusses Carrie Fisher’s Iconic Golden Bikini

Needless to say, this Dame will be enjoying her long hair, regardless of what others think.

Rosemary Giles

Rosemary Giles is a history content writer with Hive Media. She received both her bachelor of arts degree in history, and her master of arts degree in history from Western University. Her research focused on military, environmental, and Canadian history with a specific focus on the Second World War. As a student, she worked in a variety of research positions, including as an archivist. She also worked as a teaching assistant in the History Department.

Since completing her degrees, she has decided to take a step back from academia to focus her career on writing and sharing history in a more accessible way. With a passion for historical learning and historical education, her writing interests include social history, and war history, especially researching obscure facts about the Second World War. In her spare time, Rosemary enjoys spending time with her partner, her cats, and her horse, or sitting down to read a good book.