I am who I am because of them.

Helen Mirren: Like Night Follows Day, Roles For Women Will Reflect Real Life
August 07, 2014
http://www.npr.org/2014/08/07/338619922/helen-mirren-like-night-follows-day-roles-for-women-will-reflect-real-life

On French exceptionalism:
There is an element in the French that is like that, you know, and I’m a huge Francophile. But there is an element of this immense – well you know, chauvinist is a French word, chauvinist is a feeling that you are really the best in the world at everything. And for a while I concurred with the French in their opinion of themselves. I did think everything French was the best.

John Gielgud always said, “It all comes from the spine,” and he’s absolutely right.
Posture is everything.
And it’s nice to play a role where you have to remember to stand up straight. But in general, posture is just one of the secrets of life and longevity, I think.

On being a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire:
Oh, is that the full title? … It sounds very military. … I still can’t believe it, honestly. Well, it’s been 10 years, I just have never got used to it. And it still seems … utterly weird to me. I just don’t feel like … dame material. …

It’s a wonderful honor. And I think my great sadness was my parents weren’t alive to see it, because they would’ve been so amazed. They were not monarchists, my parents, at all — they were very fierce Republicans — but I think they would’ve recognized it, which is what it is. It’s an honor from your country.

And as the daughter of an immigrant — my father was not born in Britain, he was born in Russia — so, you know, they would’ve been so very, very proud, I think, that: “Look, look what we all did together.” Because I am who I am because of them. There’s absolutely no doubt about that.