Dame Helen was named Woman of the Year by Harvard University's Hasty Pudding Theatricals

By Megan Johnson
Updated January 30, 2014 07:30 PM
Credit: AP

Helen Mirren headed to the hallowed halls of Harvard University on Thursday to receive the 2014 Hasty Pudding Award from the Hasty Pudding Theatricals, the university’s prominent theater troop, and she really got into the spirit of the occasion.

The Oscar-winner was paraded around the streets of Cambridge, Mass., in a convertible alongside Hasty Pudding members dressed in drag, but there was one thing she probably didn’t to be asked to do: Twerk.

The actress, 68, said she had “tried in my bedroom. It was absolutely humiliating.” But Mirren was a good sport, and had no problem bending over and shaking her bum for the crowd (check it out in the video below).

Dame Helen also fielded a number of interesting questions including being asked who was the hottest actor she’d ever worked with – Harrison Ford; what her spirit animal is – a sloth; and who would win in a fight between her and Meryl Streep. “Meryl would win, definitely,” Mirren said. “She’s bigger, stronger and mentally stronger than I am.”

The Red 2 star also revealed that she’s a big fan of Beyoncé.

“I thinks she’s quite extraordinary. I had the great opportunity to be on the same stage as her, not on the same time, but I was in the wings, at the Kennedy Center Honors, and she was performing, and I was kind of watching her prepare,” said Mirren.

“She had this incredible sense of concentration and energy and preparation. I was very impressed by that. Standing in the wings watching her was this explosion of energy. Quite spectacular.”

When asked what her advice was for “all the single ladies” out there, Mirren said the best thing to do is to relish your independence.

“My advice to single women probably is to stay single as long as you can,” she said, turning to her husband, Taylor Hackford. “I love you darling. And you know a relationship is a wonderful thing, but it’s not necessary to be happy and successful in life.”

After arriving in town on Wednesday night, Mirren and Hackford checked into the Charles Hotel and had a romantic dinner of grilled oysters and slow-roasted Long Island duck at Rialto.

“She looked gorgeous, but casual,” said a bystander. “She was wearing all black.”