Helen Mirren was trying to “look good” for her husband when she was papped in a red bikini on an Italian beach in 2008.
A picture of the then 63-year-old looking stunning in a two-piece went viral after it surfaced and saw the star inundated with offers to promote swimwear.
In an interview with KTLA’s Sam Rubin, the actress, 74, recalled the moment, explaining she was just trying to pose for a photo being taken by her director husband Taylor Hackford.
“So, we were there (Italian beach), swimming a little bit, lying in the sun, and Taylor said, ‘Stand up, I want to take a picture of you,'” she recalled. “So I stood up, and sucked my tummy in because my husband was taking my photo. I tried to suck my cheeks in. I tried to look… good.”
However, the Fast and Furious star noticed a paparazzi flash in the distance but her husband wasn’t convinced.
“He said, ‘No, there isn’t, don’t be ridiculous! How can they be up there, that’s absolutely absurd. You’re paranoid!’ Of course, three days later, that shot came out!” she said.
The Oscar winner’s screenwriter nephew Simon Mirren told The Times in 2016 his aunt, a L’Oreal ambassador, refused to cash in on the business opportunities she was offered at the time.
“I begged her to turn us all into millionaires by marketing bikinis after everyone went wild over her fit bikini body but she said: ‘Absolutely no’. She’s not interested,” he said.
Speaking about the snap previously, Helen said: “In and of itself, it is a lie because I don’t actually look like that and I know that that is going to haunt me forever and I’ll be forever trying to bury it unsuccessfully.”