Karen Belz
May 07, 2014 7:00 am

Helen Mirren might be one of the coolest ladies ever. Not only is she a Dame with a crazy amount of awards under her belt (as of right now she’s claimed four BAFTAs, three Golden Globes, an Academy Award for Best Actress, four Emmy Awards, and two Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Awards), but just like the rest of us, she loves to dance – even at the glorious age of 68. And what dance is she currently mesmerized by? Twerking.

While twerking was brought into the spotlight recently based on the one and only Miley Cyrus, the dance has been popular since the late ’90s, after it was associated with hip-hop music called Bounce. While you might be tired of the term (after all, it’s now officially in the dictionary – thus, it’s Scrabble legit), you have to admit that twerking can be pretty fun. Helen actually became familiar with the dance via Beyoncé.

“I’m a huge fan of Beyoncé and I do love to twerk,” she told HELLO! magazine. “I am mesmerized by it. It’s unbelievable how they do it. I always like it when a new dance arrives on the scene.” She also admitted to practicing in the mirror. If that’s not absolutely adorable, I don’t know what is.

If you’re still not convinced that Helen might be one of the coolest women alive, here are five more reasons as to why she’s a fantastic role model. (And trust me – there’s way more than five reasons as to why she’s great, but I didn’t think the site would appreciate me listing 900 reasons in one post.)

1. She replaced the Queen, in order to make a child’s dream come true. This is an honest story, and your heart might melt into a puddle soon after hearing it. Ten-year-old Oliver Burton’s dying wish was to visit Buckingham Palace and have afternoon tea with the Queen. Oliver has Down Syndrome, and has also been battling cancer for most of his young life. Since the Queen was too busy, Helen filled in. Not only did she bring Oliver and his family to Gielgud Theatre to see her play the Queen in Peter Morgan’s The Audience, but she met with him afterward and never broke character.

2. She’s not afraid to flaunt it on-screen. Helen has no fear of taking on roles that require nudity – but that’s not necessarily what makes her awesome. What truly makes her stand apart from the crowd is her attitude while doing it. “As you get older, naked stuff gets easier,” she said. “It’s more to do with the role than what men in the audience think. There’s a liberation about it.”

3. Yes, she twerks. But she twerked at Harvard, during an awards ceremony. This January, Helen showed off her twerking skills during the presentation of her Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year Award at Harvard. Not only that, but she won the crowd over by humorously stating that winning an award from the theatrical group was a bigger moment than earning her Dame distinction from Prince Charles.

4. She was willing to get – er – manhandled on SNL by Nasim Pedrad. Helen proved that she could be funny and poke fun at herself in this sketch that’s memorably weird. Nasim is so taken aback by Helen’s breasts that she transports to a magical world. Yes, Helen agreed to all of this being filmed. She seems game to try every idea at least once, which is quite admirable.

5. She’s a philanthropist. One of the charities that Helen has worked with the most is Oxfam. Her involvement began in 1994, when she backed Oxfam’s Rwanda Appeal to help those who were displaced and suffering as a result of the genocide. Five years later, she travelled to South Africa to meet victims of domestic violence and firearms crimes. Her research helped her address the UN Security Council in New York, calling for an international arms trade treaty to stop weapons getting into the wrong hands. In 2012, she helped develop the Big Bra Hunt with the organization, which urged British women to donate bras to charity, insisting the garments will help provide employment for disadvantaged African females.

Not only is this an innovative way for women to help other women, but it’s something that all ladies could partake in. “The Big Bra Hunt really highlights how every last item donated to Oxfam can be used in a truly unique way, making a real difference to people all around the world,” she said.

We love Helen, and think she’s such an inspiration. What are some of your favorite Helen Mirren moments?

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