Helen Mirren Shuts Down Sexist Host In Unearthed 1975 Interview
A video of Helen Mirren outwitting a sexist interviewer in 1975 has recently gone viral.
Helen Mirren Deals With Sexism In 1975
Mirren, who was 30-years-old in 1975, sat down with British talk show host Michael Parkinson to discuss her acting. However, Parkinson, straight from introduction, steered the conversation towards her sexuality and what he called her “equipment.”
Before Mirren walked out to the stage, Parkinson called her the “sex queen” of the Royal Shakespeare Company, he also quoted a critic who dubbed her an “amorous boa constrictor” and another who said that “she’s especially telling in projecting sluttish eroticism.”
After making her way to the stage, Mirren asked Parkinson, “Was that sluttishly erotic for you?” She then admitted that the coverage of her sexuality doesn’t have an effect on her. “Not in the slightest, in any direction whatsoever,” she said.
Parkinson went on to start a question by saying, “You are in quotes a serious actress,” to which Mirren responded, “In quotes? What do you mean in quotes? How dare you.”
Undeterred in pursuing his offensive line of questioning, Parkinson asked about whether Mirren’s “equipment” made it hard for her to be taken seriously as an actress.
“I would like you to explain what you mean by my equipment, in great detail,” Mirren responded. When he clarified with, “Your physical attributes,” Mirren did not relent, asking, “You mean my fingers?”
After Parkinson further clarified by stating that he was referring to her figure, Mirren answered thusly, “Because serious actress’s can’t have big bosoms, is that what you mean?” adding, “I can’t think that can necessarily be true. I mean what a crummy performance if people are obsessed with the size of your bosoms more than anything else. I would hope that the performance and the play and the living relationship between all the people on the stage and all the people in the audience overcome such boring questions.”
In the same interview, Mirren was asked to comment on her nudity in film and on the stage, and explain why she refused to to pose for Playboy. Mirren was on the show to discuss her new role as Lady Macbeth with the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Macbeth.