The star opens up about aging, beauty, and what she finds sexy in Allure's September issue.

By Jillian Ruffo
August 14, 2017 12:24 PM

Dame Helen Mirren just celebrated her 72nd birthday. And while she embraces the aging process, she will not be defined by a number. The legendary actress is opening up about beauty, confidence and why we need to stop saying “anti-aging” in this month’s issue of Allure.

“This word ‘anti-aging’ — we know we’re getting older,” the new L’Oréal face says in Allure‘s September issue, in which the magazine shares its initiative to ban the descriptor from its coverage. “You just want to look and feel as great as you can on a daily basis. ”

Which is why, manners aside, she doesn’t want you treating her like she’s 72.

“If people treat me like the age I am, I get absolutely insulted, really cross,” she adds. “I hate when people give up their seat for me. No, no, no. I don’t want your seat.”

Now, she’s an icon both on the screen, and off — in fashion and beauty. But looking back, the star sees why she was seen to have sex appeal in her twenties.

“I could see why — when I got far enough back from my young self — they called me sexy in those days,” she says. “I fell into the cliché of sexiness: blonde hair, tits, waist, which I hated at the time because it was not fashionable. You had to be thin and have a cigarette and only wear black. And I just never fit into that look.”

And when it comes to the stars she considers sexy today, two names comes to her mind: Jessica Chastain and Natalie Portman, both of whose intelligence she finds to add to their sexiness.

“It’s not necessarily to do with confidence because I’m sure if [Jessica were] sitting here, she’d say, ‘Oh, God, I’m not confident at all,” Mirren says. “It’s an interior power that comes from her intelligence. When intelligence is combined with beauty, it’s extraordinary…[like] Natalie Portman.”

For more from Mirren, head over to Allure. And tell us: what are your thoughts about her take on aging?