Eric Charbonneau / Berliner Studio
Let's go back to her first American award show in 1997: "When I first attended the Golden Globes, I didn't know really what they were or that you were supposed to wear little dresses. I had just flown in from London, and I was in my slightly goth London look -- a new black jacket, black boots, black feathered hat -- and I thought I looked pretty cool, and I still do."
Then came Joan Rivers.
"A week after the Globes, I'm watching TV at home in the middle of the day, which just shows how pathetic I am, and on comes a show about Globes red carpet fashions. And I thought, 'Oh, I wonder if they'll mention me.'
"Joan Rivers and her daughter Melissa Rivers and another fashion critic went on and on about everyone's fabulous purse, amazing hair and gorgeous gowns.
Then Joan posed the question, 'What about Helen Mirren?' "
Mirren shudders as she recalls: "Then she said, 'What was Helen thinking? And she said that I was her pick for worst dressed! The other two agreed, and she said, 'Well, this is the first time we've all agreed on worst dressed,' and then she did this weird thing where she stared into the camera lens and said, 'Helen, get your act together!' "