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Helen Mirren received a career tribute at the Gotham Awards Monday – and revealed what playing Queen Elizabeth II did for her love life

By Jodi Guglielmi and Kathy Ehrich Dowd
Updated December 01, 2015 11:00 AM
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Credit: Jemal Countess/Getty

Never say senior citizens can’t keep things sizzling.

Helen Mirren did not demure after Robert De Niro delivered a career tribute to the star at the 25th annual Gotham Independent Film Awards in New York City on Monday. The fellow Oscar winners locked lips during a steamy moment at the awards show.

During his introduction, De Niro, 72, slyly explained how her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in 2006’s The Queen made him look at the royal in a whole new light.

“The Queen … was not a majesty I would like to … well let’s just say she wasn’t my royal milf. That was before I saw her played by Helen Mirren.”

Mirren, 70, kept things equally racy during her acceptance speech, sharing what her Oscar-winning portrayal of the monarch did for her love life with husband Taylor Hackford.

“I have to tell you story about f—ing the queen,” she said. “When the film was first screened in Venice, I had never seen it before and neither had my husband Taylor. And the first shot is me … with the wig and everything. And I turn and look at the camera, and there’s silence in the cinema, and my husband lets out this huge laugh ’cause he’s never seen me dressed as the queen before. So I lean over to him and I say, ‘Darling, do you think you’ll ever f— me again?’ Between you and me, he has.”

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The pair joined a slew of fellow stars at the awards show sponsored by euphoria by Calvin Klein.

Julianne Moore, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Robert Redford, Blythe Danner, Mark Ruffalo and more stepped out to attend the awards ceremony.

And while the event honored various independent films including Diary of a Teenage Girl, which earned four nomination, as well as Carol and Tangerine, the standout winner was Spotlight. The acclaimed film, which exposes sexual abuses in the Catholic Church, was named the best feature, capping an evening of wins for what could be a string of awards for Tom McCarthy’s newsroom drama.

Spotlight was also honored for its screenplay by McCarthy and Josh Singer, and was given a special award for its ensemble cast featuring McAdams, Keaton and Ruffalo.

Other notable wins included Paul Dano for best actor in his performance as the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson in Love & Mercy, and British actress Bel Powley took home the award for best actress for The Diary of a Teenage Girl.

Redford, who recently portrayed Dan Rather in Truth, also received a career tribute alongside Mirren.

As Redford took the stage to accept his award, which was presented Rather, he told a story about how he learned to stay humble in the face of his growing success.

“Just at the moment when I was beginning to think, ‘Yeah, maybe I am a big deal,’ I was crossing Wilshire Boulevard and was just about to step off the curb and a car with a bunch of teenagers came roaring towards me,” Redford recalled. “I see them going ‘Robert Redford! Robert Redford!’ And then they go, ‘You are such an a—hole!’ And from then on I realized where my place was.”

Reporting by MAGGIE PARKER