Helen Mirren on Not-Motherhood: 'I Never Felt the Need for a Child'

Illustration for article titled Helen Mirren on Not-Motherhood: 'I Never Felt the Need for a Child'

Dame Helen Mirren looks absolutely radiant on the cover of the new issue of AARP The Magazine, and inside, she reveals that she doesn't regret that she never became a mother.


From David Hochman's profile of Oscar-winning actor:

Like [Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison, her character in Prime Suspect], Mirren spurned marriage and children for much of her career. "I never felt the need for a child and never felt the loss of it," she says today. "I'd always put my work before anything." She'd had several extended relationships, including a live-in stint in the early '80s with Liam Neeson, but Mirren insisted then that she had no desire for marriage, or as she called it, "voluntary imprisonment."

Of course, later she married director Taylor Hackford: "Both of us already had successes, we were well-traveled and experienced at life, and neither of us put up with much bullshit." She also explains why she hates social media:

"It reminds me of a stinky old pub. In the corner would be this slightly disgusting old man who sits there all day, every day. If you went up and talked to him, you'd get the kind of grumpy, horrible, moldy, old meaningless crap that you read on Twitter."

We also learn that she loves pomegranate trees, hates to cook and that her wedding outfit was "plucked from a sales rack, 70 percent off." Perfection.


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I appreciate it. It's a neglected narrative in our culture that some women never really feel the biological clock tick because we don't care that much about having kids. I mean, I'm in my 40s, I like kids a whole lot but my only urge to have one was born more out of societal pressures (how to fit in with peers) than a real need.