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Yeah, you read that headline right. Last week (January 30), Dame Helen Mirren picked up a mic and rapped, even admitting she’d “love” to record a “rap Shakespeare album,” saying it’d be “fabulous.”

Okay, so some of this might be a bit tongue in cheek. It all started a week ago, when Dame Helen was a guest on The Late Late Show and got to “drop the mic” with James Corden.

As is traditional, both she and James traded insults, with The Queen star telling James to “bow down” and referring to her fellow dames Maggie Smith and Judi Dench as her “ride or die.” (Side note: we really want to see that road trip movie.)

…The general consensus was that Dame Helen handed James his ass on live TV.

Her interview with Vulture yesterday (February 5) tells a different story, however. Despite expressing enthusiasm for the idea of recording “a sort of rap Shakespeare album that wins a Grammy,” it turns out Dame Helen’s rhymes weren’t exactly “freestyle.”  In fact, they were given to her by James’s “incredibly sweet and helpful and encouraging” team.

“It was something that was so far out of my comfort zone, basically,” she said. “I’m like, ‘Oh, no! I can’t do that!’ But I’m always up for doing something that scares the s*** out of me.”

Never was a truer word spoken. Just this year, Dame Helen has defied expectations by popping up in The Fate of the Furious, the eighth installment of the turbo-charged Fast and Furious franchise, and attempting an American accent in Winchester, something she admits she finds “really, really difficult.”

As Dame Helen told poor James last week, she’s a “force to be reckoned with.” Though we’re not sure who’s more “dench”, her or Dame Judi.

What did you think of Dame Helen’s MC skills?

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Filed Under: Dame Helen Mirren
By Kat Sommers
Kat is a freelance writer for Anglophenia.