This is why we love Helen Mirren.
In 1975 the then up and coming actress sat down with renowned interviewer Michael Parkinson for her first ever chat show.
After being introduced with an opening monologue that referenced Helen as a "sex queen" and her "sluttish eroticism," there were open remarks about her figure, more comments about her sex appeal, and even one instance where Parkinson dismissively insinuated she couldn't act at all.
All the while Mirren, who was gearing up to play Lady Macbeth, batted him away and called him out on his chauvinism.
"You are, in quotes, a serious actress," said Parkinson.
A poised Mirren protested, "In quotes?...What do you mean in quotes? How dare you."
"Do you find it to be fact that, what could be best described as your equipment hinders you in that pursuit [of being considered a serious actress]?"
Gracefully Mirren questioned him back, "I'd like you to explain what you mean by my equipment in greater detail."
"Your physical attributes," Parkinson sheepishly clarified.
"You mean my fingers?" Mirren probed as the audience laughed.
Parkinson finally conceded to meaning the actress's "figure," and Mirren asked him, "because serious actresses can't have big bosoms, is that what you mean?"
"I think it might detract from the performance," Parkinson fudged, "if you know what I mean."
"I can't say that would necessarily be true," Mirren replied. "I mean what a crummy performance if people are obsessed with the size of your bosom over anything else. I would hope that the performance and the play and the living relationship between all the people on the stage and all the people in the audience would overcome such . . . boring questions, really."
Boring questions, indeed.
Decades later Mirren said she watched the interview again and told The Telegraph she thought she did rather well, considering she was so nervous and it was her first chat ever chat show.
"That's the first talk show I'd ever done," Mirren said. "I was terrified. I watched it and I actually thought, bloody hell! I did really well. I was so young and inexperienced. And he was such a fucking sexist old fart. He was. He denies it to this day that it was sexist, but of course he was."
Parkinson and Mirren have chatted since, and while the legendary interviewer tried to palm off the allegations of sexism, Oscar-winner Helen wanted him to know he was out of line – whether he would ever admit it or not.
"I hated you," Mirren announced. "I thought you were a sexist person for mentioning my breasts."
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