While appearing as a presenter at the 2021 Screen Actors Guild Awards, Helen Mirren revealed that she confronted a bear on her property while quarantining in Nevada.

“I did have a bit of a meeting with a bear,” the 75-year-old actress said. “I was so excited to see bear but then, of course, you can’t allow bears to get too familiar with human beings because they are wild animals. So I chased him away.”

“I shooed the bear away. I told him he was a naughty bear. He was a young bear so I just said, ‘No, naughty bear, go on, go on, off you go!'” she added. “You’re supposed to make yourself as big as possible and say, ‘Bad bear! Bad bear!’ Cause it was not a big bear — it was a smaller bear — so I just said, ‘You naughty bear, go on. Go away!’.”

Miren has always had a love of animals and wildlife. In 2020, she voiced a 90-minute documentary, Escape from Extinction. The film’s official synopsis says that it “examines the work of the major zoological organizations that are racing against the clock to preserve the millions of species disappearing in today’s Sixth Mass Extinction.”

In an October 2020 interview with AARP, Mirren shared that she does not visit zoos, as they make her “uncomfortable.” She also revealed that she was “in a state of ignorance about how radically certain zoos have changed and how many species have become extinct in my lifetime.”

“Do your homework and find out what kind of zoo it is that you are visiting,” she added. “Is it accredited? See if the zoo is doing the kind of work and the animals are living in a way you feel is righteous. Never go to the kind of zoo where you’re there to have your photo taken with a wild animal. That is unconscionable.”

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