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Helen Mirren bravely opens up about mental health: 'those negative thoughts are always lurking'

She has spoken out for Mental Health Awareness Week

Fiona Ward
Acting Fashion and Beauty Editor
May 15, 2019
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Helen Mirren has spoken candidly about her insecurities and "negative thoughts", during a podcast shared to support Mental Health Awareness Week. Despite the actress' incredible success, she told the My Self Worth podcast that she sometimes feels "boring and not exciting enough", and often gets "incredibly intimidated" working with big stars on films and TV shows. The recording, in collaboration with The Prince's Trust and L'Oréal Paris, was launched in a bid to promote openness around mental health and confidence – and also features Katie Piper, Tom Daley and Iskra Lawrence.

helen mirren 2019

Helen pictured in April 2019

"Those negative thoughts are always lurking there under the surface… everybody feels this way, you aren't the only one," she says on the podcast. "What always comes up in my head is that 'I'm boring, I'm stupid, I'm not exciting enough'. Sometimes I lock myself in the loo to give myself a talking to. 'You can do it Helen, don't worry, you can do it!'"

Celebrities who have spoken out about mental health issues

Dame Helen became an ambassador for L'Oréal in 2014, at the age of 69, inspiring the brand's shoppers by appearing in stunning un-retouched adverts for its anti-aging range. Always speaking candidly, she has opened up about her insecurities in the past – even revealing she has a nifty trick for boosting her confidence on the red carpet amongst other famous stars.  

Meet the inspiring body positivity campaigners Duchess Meghan loves

The actress' shoe of choice at A-list event is always a sky-high platform heel! The 5'4" star told Woman and Home in 2017: "I always wear stripper shoes because it’s pretty intimidating to find yourself in a room full of incredibly beautiful women who are at least a foot taller than you."

helen mirren heels

Wowing in platform heels at the 2019 Oscars

Helen joins a number of other famous faces in speaking up about mental health struggles – the likes of Lady Gaga, Cara Delevingne and even royals including Prince Harry and Prince William have done so, too. "I have probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions when all sorts of grief and sort of lies and misconceptions and everything are coming to you from every angle," Prince Harry previously told Bryony Gordon's Mad World podcast. "The experience I have had is that once you start talking about it, you realise that actually you're part of quite a big club."

Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from 13-19 May in the UK. Join the conversation at

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