Dame Helen Mirren has said she does not believe there is such a thing as “binary sexuality”.
The 74-year-old said her views stem from her years in the acting world where the lines were blurred between what it meant to be a male or female.
She added that many of the great male “heart-throb” actors possessed strong feminine qualities, further explaining her take on whether binary sexuality – where gender is classified into two distinct and opposing forms, male and female – wholly exists.
Dame Helen told Radio Times magazine: “I came to the conclusion an awfully long time ago that there is black and there is white, and we’re all somewhere in the middle in a wonderful mix of male and female.
“There is no such thing as binary sexuality, when you’re male or female. I don’t believe that at all.”
She said she was “very lucky” to be in the world of acting and drama, “because I think an awful lot of actors have male and female in them”.
She added: “A lot of great actors, great, masculine actors, are actually very feminine. Great heart-throbs have a very present feminine side to them.
“A lot of very strong female actors have a very strong male side to them.”
Asked if she believes she has male qualities herself, Dame Helen said she does.
“I hate talking about my feelings, I never want to go to the doctor and I’m a brilliant map-reader,” she said.
“I have a lot of what people might call male qualities. But I certainly look like a woman.”
Dame Helen next appears in lavish Sky original period drama Catherine The Great, and said the 18th century Russian monarch was “terribly maligned”, even after she died, just because she was a woman.
The Oscar-winner said she was 13 when she first noticed the inequality between men and women and that, while she has enjoyed all her previous relationships with men, she feels that men are largely responsible for the “destruction caused in the world”, such as “war, repression, hatred of the other, everything that’s bad in our world”.
She added: “But then women are very often very complicit in that, so I’m not letting them off the hook, either.”
Radio Times magazine is on sale now.