8 Helen Mirren Quotes That Perfectly Describe What It Means To Be In Your 20s


There’s no two-ways about it: hexagenarian Oscar winner Helen Mirren is a force. Outrageously talented, impossibly gorgeous, and straight-talking as all hell, the British national treasure knows what’s up. When she’s talking? We’re all listening. GOD BLESS YOU, DAME HELEN.

“It seems to me that the years between eighteen and twenty-eight are the hardest, psychologically. It’s then you realize this is make or break, you no longer have the excuse of youth, and it is time to become an adult – but you are not ready.”

BECAUSE NOBODY TOLD US IT WOULD BE LIKE THIS, MS. MIRREN! Like, shit, man. We’ve got student loans and have to pay utilities on top of rent and need to prepare like, straight-up three meals a day… every day. Our high school friends don’t make sense any more, but it’s really hard to make new friends in adulthood where everyone is so busy, always and forever, and so sometimes it’s not very nice at all having to get up in the mornings and basically WHERE’S MOM?!

Also: are we *really* supposed to like kale, or are you old guys playing tricks on us?

“The hardest period in life is one’s twenties. It’s a shame because you’re your most gorgeous, and you’re physically in peak condition. But it’s actually when you’re most insecure and full of self-doubt. When you don’t know what’s going to happen, it’s frightening.”

Yes, Helen! Finally somebody from the other side has articulated the exquisite agony of growing into ourselves! THANK YOU! Because what the actual fuck? Ten minutes ago we were getting graded on life in weekly school assignments, with annual report cards that informed us exactly how well we were executing being a human, with personalised comments on where to improve, and now we’re out in the big, wide world, alone, with no idea if we’re getting this “being alive” thing right. Can somebody organise grades on life, please?

“We’re all idiots when we’re young. We don’t think we are, but we are. So we should be.”

OhThankGoodness: permission to act irresponsibly and blow off some of this over-pressured, adult steam. Cheers, Hel. There’s this like, HUGE demand to suddenly, after college, just know everything, and it all gets a bit much. So we do dumb stuff sometimes. For balance. And then we try a bit harder. You’ve basically just said they design it that way, so – shots, anyone? Let’s make some stories for our grandkids.

“I remember thinking, when I was in my early 30s, that this is the best age to be, and I still believe your 30s are a wonderful time.”

This is pretty reassuring to hear, H-Town. That it gets better. That day-on-day we might master being grown a little more confidently. That getting to 30 doesn’t, in fact, mean death. It just means a little maturity, right? Right.

So… should I still keep my list of “Stuff to Achieve By My Thirtieth Birthday Lest I Let Myself and My Parents Down”? Or no?

“People become more interesting from about 25 – they develop character and their personalities come out.”


Also: hey! I heard that!

“It’s so hard when you’re young to look at older people and understand that they have been where you are. It’s the weirdest thing. You just can’t get your head around that, can you? You can’t get your head around the fact that someone who is 60 was once 16, if you’re 16. But the fact is they have been, and they remember it.”

That’s because nobody understands us. How can they? We’re the first generation to ever experience growing pains ever. Obviously. It’s totally something to do with the internet. Probably?

“When you’re 16, 30 seems ancient. When you’re 30, 45 seems ancient. When you’re 45, 60 seems ancient. When you’re 60, nothing seems ancient.”

Right now we feel pretty ancient ourselves, tbf. Like, how is a forty-plus-hour work week, five workouts a week, meal prep, nurtured, loving relationships, dating, alone time and the Pursuit Of Higher Knowledge not enough to make us dead already? How did you even get this far, Helen? Can we all just get personal assistants or something?

“When you’re young, you wonder what all these old people are droning on about, trying to impart their wisdom. It’s not relevant to you because being young is such a specific thing.”

Isn’t it? But also, thank you for speaking some sense to us, as a Twenty-Something survivor. If we turn out half as kick-ass and aware as you are, DHM, we’ll have done just fine. The drama might be worth it to become somebody like you.

Or at least we fucking hope so.