When the Internet exploded this week with word topless photos of Dame Helen Mirren were published in New York magazine, the brouhaha might have had fans expecting the 64-year old Mirren to be stark naked, riding a unicorn side-saddle and eating a Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich with Elvis.
All that raucous was over a little flash of murky areola under water in a bathtub. What a snooze of a "controversy." At press day for her new film, "Love Ranch," Mirren scoffed at the free-for-all the photos had ignited.
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"I know. Please! Idiotic. What can you do?" she said with a dismissive wave of the hand before continuing.
"Those photographs were taken by a very great art photographer, one of the best in Europe. Whenever I work with a really good photographer, I try to give him or her their own artistic freedom because that's how you get the best work, or, at least, the most interesting work. I gave [photographer Juergen Teller] his freedom and that was the result. I like the photos because I thought they were naked in the proper sense of the word: I've got very little makeup, there's no elaborate lighting and it's simple and real. They weren't intended to be sexy. I think sex and nudity are two different things. People tend to get the two mixed up."
When asked if she felt that people were upset because the actress is willing to flaunt her body at an age beyond the Hollywood norm , she quietly replied, "Well, too bad," cracked a knowing smile and started to laugh.
Take that haters.
"Love Ranch" opens June 30.