Helen Mirren on the best thing about being 71 and why she loves playing monarchs

Helen Mirrenis shaking off her sex symbol status. “I'm not ‘sexy,’” the 71-year-old said on Monday at an AARP luncheon held in her honor. “If you see a painting you love, one that speaks to you, you can say, ‘Oh my god, that painting is sexy. When [people say] I’m a sexual object, I'd argue - I'm so not that. It's just something that gets hung on your back and you can never quite get it off.”

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Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for AARP

While she is distancing herself from her ‘sexy’ label, Helen has embraced aging in Hollywood. "The best thing about being over 70 is being over 70,” she told AARP The Magazine in their December/January Issue. “Certainly when I was 45, the idea of being 70 was like, ‘Arghhh!’ But you only have two options in life: Die young or get old. There is nothing else.”

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The Collateral Beauty star added, “The idea of dying young when you're 25 is kind of cool — a bit romantic, like James Dean. But then you realize that life is too much fun to do that. It's fascinating and wonderful and emotional. So you just have to find a way of negotiating getting old psychologically and physically."

Photo: Taylor Hill/WireImage

Though she’s over 70, The Queen actress has no plans of slowing down any time soon. Helen, who earned an Academy award for her portrayal as Queen Elizabeth, admitted to the publication that she is not done playing the role of monarchs. She said, “Queens are good; it's good to be queen. I'm preparing to do a piece about Catherine the Great of Russia, an amazing monarch. I mean, the reason certain queens are great to play is because they're powerful."

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Like the British monarch, the Hollywood actress shares a fondness for dogs. During her five-hour AARP The Magazine photo shoot, the AARP cover girl was treated to an adorable surprise when a dozen pups of different breeds rushed at her. "Look at my little doggies!” she laughed. “What an unbelievable treat!" Helen, who loves the “spirituality” of dogs, said in the clip, “The smallest dog can be the one who leads the pack.”

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