In a Tuesday interview, Dame Helen Mirren claimed she doesn't believe in binary definitions of gender or sexuality. She told the Radio Times, a British weekly magazine, that "we're all somewhere in the middle in a wonderful mix of male and female."
"There is no such thing as binary sexuality, when you're male or female," the 74-year-old Oscar-winner said. "I don't believe that at all."
Mirren said she came to that conclusion through her years as an acclaimed actress working in television and film, which began with the Royal Shakespeare Company in the late 1960s. From early on, she observed that "an awful lot of actors have male and female in them," which helped transform her view of gender and sexuality.
"A lot of great actors, great masculine actors, are actually very feminine," she said. "Great heart-throbs have a very present feminine side to them. A lot of very strong female actors, have a very strong male side to them."
The comments are well-timed, with Mirren's latest film, The Good Liar, set to hit theaters in November. While the film doesn't appear to be queer-themed, just about every major name in its cast and crew is LGBTQ+. Director Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters) is gay, as are costars Russell Tovey (Looking) and Ian McKellen (X-Men).
While Mirren hasn't played many queer roles throughout her career, one of her most iconic characters -- Jane Tennison of the U.K. dramaPrime Suspect -- was based on a real-life lesbian cop, Jackie Malton.
"She's a lesbian, living with a very attractive partner," she said. "Happier than she's ever been, but still not entirely content. She gave up the drinking the moment she left office and never went back to it. She does yoga. I would imagine she's still working, either advising or lecturing, I don't think she can stop -- she's too driven."
"The police retire quite young, so she's still got a life ahead of her," the actress added. "There are limitless opportunities for Jane."
But for those who wonder why Mirren hasn't already been cast in a Carol sequel, she's ready. While hosting Saturday Night Live in 2011, she played former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt in a fake documentary that saw her lock lips with Marilyn Monroe (as played by Nasim Pedrad). The makeout may not be historically accurate, but we'd definitely watch the Netflix miniseries.