Helen Mirren was inked in her youth but there were no tramp stamps for this lady; Her tattoo is clearly visible, front and center on her left hand. Gangster! In the US, the actress is best known for her portrayal of Her Royal Highness. Mirren even thinks Elizabeth II saw her film The Queen, which is entirely possible given that the late monarch was an avid viewer of The Crown, according to royal historian Robert Lacey (via British Heritage). But despite her regal presence on camera and her closeness to the late Queen, Mirren turns out to be quite a dark horse.
Her tattoo isn’t the only surprising thing about her. There is, for example, the bizarre relationship between Russell Brand and Mirren. They’ve had a decidedly unusual and unconventional connection since they met on “The Tempest” in 2009, per IMDb. In fact, Brand dedicated chapter 18 of his second autobiography, Booky Wook 2, to Mummy Helen. Meanwhile, Mirren claims Brand got her juices flowing when she met him. “[He] just totally seduced me like he does,” she admitted to Collider. Mirren challenged anyone to “spend two hours with Russell and not be totally smitten.”
Then there’s the fact that Mirren starred in a nude threesome when she was younger for the porn movie Caligula. Mirren told the Daily Mail: “The film was like being on an LSD trip. He has his good moments and he has his bad moments.” So there’s no doubt that the special meaning behind Mirren’s tattoo will confuse you too.
Helen Mirren was inspired by the ancient Mayan civilization
Helen Mirren spilled tea about the special meaning behind her tattoo during her inaugural speech at Tulane University in 2017 (via CNBC). “I know it’s hard to believe Dame Helen Mirren has a tattoo,” she told students. “I got my tattoo when only Hells Angels, sailors and convicted felons got them.”
Mirren shared that in the early 1970s she was searching for spiritual meaning around the world. “East, west and everywhere,” she said. Mirren finally found the answer she was looking for in the far south of North America. The actor was inspired by the ancient Mayan civilization that controlled Mesoamerica for more than 3,000 years, according to History on the Net. Mirren then gained so much insight from the Mayan claim “in La’kesh” that she had the ancient symbol tattooed on her left hand. “In La’Kesh it means ‘You are my other self. We are one. I am another myself,'” she explained.
Per SanDiego.gov, Chicano playwright Luis Valdes expanded on its meaning in his poem “Pensamiento Serpentino.” The English translation is: “You are my other self. When I harm you. I harm myself. When I love and respect you. I love and respect myself.”
Helen Mirren has learned that without pain there is no gain
Helen Mirren learned an important lesson after getting her first tattoo — it’s hard to stop once you start. The grande dame of British television and international cinema claimed that it’s easy to get addicted to tatts and that she wants to put more ink on her epidermis in the future. During an interview with Today, Savannah Guthrie admitted that she found Mirren less intimidating and more likeable than she had imagined because she had read that the actor has a tattoo.
“It’s a bit addictive,” Mirren admitted. “I think as I get older I’m going to get more tattoos.” Guthrie was visibly thrilled when she said that the fact that Mirren has a tattoo makes her “cool and acceptable.” The hostess even considered getting one for herself now. Well, she had better brace herself first because it’s true that getting a tattoo hurts; there is no way around.
Mirren admitted she felt distinct discomfort getting her tiny hand tattoo, even though she was wasted at the time. “I got very drunk on a reservation,” Mirren told reporters at the Cannes Film Festival (via The Independent). “Does anyone ever get a tattoo when they’re not drunk?” Mirren explained the unconventional method used. “It was done with a safety pin; it was so painful. Oh my God. Like a prison tattoo.” However, Mirren conceded that no ink is extracted without pain and that it was worth the physical agony as her tattoo “is a very beautiful idea”.