Dame Helen Mirren wishes she had told people to f**k off more when she was younger.

The 72-year-old actress says she was too polite when she was just starting out in the industry and she regrets not being more assertive.

When asked what advice she would give her younger self, she told Allure magazine: ''It'd be to say 'F**k off' more and stop being so bloody polite... In those days, you had to. It's hard to explain how difficult it is to overcome the culture. You become a voice in the wilderness. No one wants to listen.''

Helen also revealed that she often gets starstruck when she meets other celebrities and has to give herself a pep talk.

She said: ''Oh, I'm always starstruck any time I meet a movie star. I'm paralysed. I say, 'Right, Helen, just be natural; just be yourself. Don't talk too much; don't stare.' I have to give myself all these instructions.''

And the star insists that she thinks people should have cosmetic procedures if they want to.

She said: ''Anyone should be able to do what they want. If they look in the mirror and go, 'I look good' and go out in a positive way - I don't want anyone to feel miserable.''

Helen also opened up about her thoughts on feminism, admitting that she struggled to reconcile her desire to wear make-up and heels with the move against that in the 60s and 70s.

She explained: ''I wasn't into the very didactic feminism of the '60s and '70s because I liked wearing makeup and high heels. That was a no-no. It was sort of 'That's playing to the patriarchy.' I was thinking, Well, I just really like it. Then as feminism developed, they realised you can like nice dresses, high-heeled shoes, and makeup. That's not stopping you from being feminist.''