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Helen Mirren: Hotter Than Ever

Dame Helen Mirren’s infamous red bikini picture is again in the spotlight, as she astonishingly celebrates her 69th birthday.

Helen Mirren isn’t your average 69 year old. Not even close.

I don’t remember the last time I let someone take a picture of me in a bikini—college comes to mind. Yet between Instagram and Facebook, I’m finding out that I might be somewhat in the minority on that. I recently pointed this out to a friend, and she deadpanned, “I don’t remember the last time I willingly posed for any photo—let alone in a bikini!”

And so, considering my own bikini photo aversion, the most famous bikini photo in recent history stays singed in my memory. You know the one: Dame Helen Mirren, shading her eyes from the sun as she strikes a perfect pose on a rocky stretch of Italian coast, flaunting a flab-less hourglass figure in a red-hot bikini.

It was perfect, though the Oscar-winner apparently hates it to this day.

Mirren says the photo will “haunt” her forever. But I for one was delighted that, as she toasts her 69th birthday, the infamous 2008 photo is once again in the spotlight.

“I’m not very fit at all actually,” she admitted to Hello! this week, as she gears up for her birthday. How is she celebrating? By restarting her fitness routine, which she says consists of a 12-minute series of exercises that was created in the 1950s. “It’s the exercise I have done off and on my whole life,” she said. “It just very gently gets you fit. Two weeks of doing that and you think: ‘Yeah, I could go to the gym now.’”

And thus, a sexpot was born, reluctant or otherwise. She’s such an amazing actress (I’ve already shared how eager I am to see her summer film The 100-Foot Journey, out August 8), so she’s right in that she shouldn’t have to have something as silly as a bikini pic hanging over her. She has even humbly insisted that it was just a flattering photo—she doesn’t look like that. Yeah, right.

All I know is this: If I looked that good in a bikini, I’d wear one to the grocery store. Happy birthday, Dame Helen—you’re certainly one of a kind.

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