Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
June 18, 2015 06:05 PM

Helen Mirren is sticking up for fellow actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, and all women for that matter.

Mirren said it’s “f—ing outrageous” that Gyllenhaal was recently told she was too old (at 37!) to play the lover of a 55-year-old man.

Speaking on a panel at The Wrap’s Power Women Breakfast in New York on Tuesday, a special event that celebrates influential women in the public eye, Mirren expressed her discomfort. “It made me feel bad, and then it made feel angry, and then it made me laugh,” said the 69-year-old, who feels judging people on age and gender is ridiculous.

“Honestly. It’s so annoying. And ’twas ever thus. We all watched James Bond as he got more and more geriatric, and his girlfriends got younger and younger. It’s so annoying,” she said.

While she said she’s been lucky, she also said it’s difficult for women to earn a living in showbusiness, regardless of their talent.

Although she’s considered a sex symbol, Mirren said it’s not her favorite label. “I don’t like the word sexual. There are people who are sexual, and who are less sexual. But there’s got to be another word. Sexual is so limiting,” the actress said.

When asked if she likes being called hot, she said she prefers “hot and cool.”

“Being powerful is so much more interesting than being beautiful,” she added.

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