Mirren Still Bitter About Winner's 'Sexist' Treatment Of Her
Helen Mirren has slammed director Michael Winner for his "sexist" attitude towards women, accusing him of treating her like "a piece of meat" when she was an aspiring actress. The Queen star met Winner once in 1964, when she auditioned for a role in one of his movies. Mirren claims Winner was "incredibly insulting" towards her, asking her to turn around and show off her body during the casting call. And she is still angry at the Death Wish filmmaker - more than 40 years after the incident took place. Recalling the horror of the audition, she says, "I was mortified and incredibly angry. I thought it was insulting and sexist, and I don't think any actress should be treated like that - like a piece of meat - at all... I was so angry... so angry. I still am." But Winner, 72, has disputed her claims and insists the comments were made under different circumstances, alleging he had been asked to speak to Mirren about some unflattering portfolio pictures. He hits back, "The only time I ever met Helen Mirren it was as a favour to her agent Margaret Johnston... She rang me and said she had photographs of Helen in which she had these enormous sagging boobs. She thought the photographs wouldn't help her get work. "(Johnston said to me): 'I can't talk any sense into her - see what you can do.' I saw Helen and as I had been instructed to deal with the situation of her breasts, I did indeed ask her to stand up. I don't remember asking her to turn around but if I did I wasn't being serious. "I was only doing what the agent asked me - and for this I get reviled! Helen's a lovely person... but her memory of that moment is a little flawed." Mirren and Winner have not spoken since the incident.