Meryl Streep, Helen Mirren, Judi Dench and more embrace their wild sides

By Diana Pearl
Updated April 06, 2015 09:25 AM
Douglas Gorenstein/NBC

Age ain’t nothing but a number, and that’s certainly true for some of Hollywood’s greatest leading ladies. Though the 11 women below have storied careers and 12 Oscars between them, they also know how to have a little (or make that a lot) of fun off-screen. Don’t believe us? Just watch:

Helen Mirren Sucks Helium
Despite the number of times she’s portrayed her, Mirren insists that she’s not as posh as Queen Elizabeth II. And on a recent Tonight Show appearance she took the claim a step further by agreeing to answer Jimmy Fallon‘s questions after sucking on helium. Won’t see the Queen doing that!

Judi Dench Goes Clubbing
All right, so Dame Dench does admit she’s not (and never has been) a fan of the London club scene. But on an episode of The Graham Norton Show, she admitted to spending one night in Heaven – a.k.a. one of London’s best-known gay clubs. Fittingly, she was there for a Cher concert.

Emma Thompson Tosses Her Shoes at the Golden Globes, Drink in Hand
There are few Golden Globe attendees who can say they’ve never over-imbibed at Hollywood’s biggest party. But the majority of guests remain tucked away at their tables, so said overindulgence will never make the news. Not so for Thompson in 2014, who sauntered on stage, drink in hand, kicked off her Louboutins and later threw the shoes behind her.

Meryl Streep Is a Fan of Spontaneous Kisses
She may have three Oscars and eight Golden Globes, but it seems Streep also has a penchant for planting smooches on unsuspecting partners. But of course, when Streep does pretty much anything, she’s going to get applause. So that’s exactly what happened when she shared a kiss with Sandra Bullock at the 2010 Critics’ Choice Awards, and this year on The Graham Norton Show when she planted one on Mark Ruffalo.

Jessica Lange Rocks Her Tattoos
Anyone who’s ever considered getting some ink has heard the warning, “You don’t want to be a grandma or grandpa with tattoos you regret.” But take one look at IRL grandmother Jessica Lange, and suddenly that threat seems pretty empty: The American Horror Story actress showed off her sweet tats during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show last year.

Annette Bening Talks About Sex
If you’re going to take marriage advice from anyone in Hollywood, looking to Bening and husband Warren Beatty is a good place to start. And when you’ve been in a relationship for 22 years, like they have, nothing goes unsaid – not even in front of DeGeneres’s audience. When asked about the secret to her successful marriage, Bening credited the couple’s “fire,” with a knowing look in Ellen’s direction. Leave it to this lady to discuss sexual chemistry in the classiest way possible.

Maggie Smith Frequently Drops the F-Bomb
As the Dowager Countess on Downton Abbey, Smith is constantly doling out one-liners. And while Lady Grantham usually keeps her jabs PG, Smith admitted in an interview with 60 Minutes that she’s frequently dropped the f-word off-screen. “I don’t have any trouble saying it,” she said. “It’s a word that’s frequently sprung to mind.”

Susan Sarandon Takes ‘Herbal Tripping Drugs’ on a Road Trip
If you’ve ever needed proof that Sarandon is a complete badass, you’ll find it during her 2014 visit to the Late Show with David Letterman. With her dog in her lap, she told the host about a cross-country road trip she took with her sister that included a stop at the Grand Canyon to take some “ancient herbal tripping drugs.”

Goldie Hawn Is the Cinematographer for a Thanksgiving Instagram Dance Battle
With a mom-daughter duo like Hawn and Kate Hudson, holidays at home are bound to be a blast (not even Cara Delevingne can resist joining in). Proof: Last Thanksgiving, Hawn keep her family dancing in time to the beat of “Uptown Funk.”

Diane Keaton Drinks on TV – and Listens to Rap
Stage fright isn’t just for us mere mortals: Even stars get nervous appearing in front of crowds. Keaton deals with these anxieties with glass of wine or two – sometimes during the show. When the actress visited DeGeneres’s show in 2013, she poured herself a glass of red, and told the talk show host about her penchant for rap music. Later, she got around to discussing her film The Big Wedding (the reason she was there), but she ended up mostly talking about tantric sex, a favorite practice of her character in the film.

Glenn Close Has a Secret Talent for Making Baby Noises
She’s played a revenge-seeking lover (Fatal Attraction), a ruthless litigator (Damages) and an evil puppy hater (101 Dalmatians), but perhaps Close‘s greatest talent is her ability to make seriously lifelike baby noises. She used the skill in a play early on in her career, but shared her “cries” on an episode of The Graham Norton Show, much to the shock of her host.

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