Dame Helen Mirren still finds her title "utterly weird".

The 69-year-old actress received her damehood in 2003, for services to the performing arts. Even though it's been over a decade since the honour, the star still can't get used to it.

"Oh, is that the full title'... It sounds very military...," she told npr.org when asked about being a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. "I still can't believe it, honestly. Well, it's been ten 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."

Helen's "great sadness" is that her parents had passed away before she was made a dame. While they were republicans rather than monarchists she is in no doubt they would have been thrilled for her and realised it was a great honour.

The actress has made her name in movies such as The Queen, which she won the best actress Oscar for. Her career began in the '60s and over the years she's seen a lot of things change.

Helen is constantly asked about the lack of roles for older women in the industry, something she doesn't talk about much.

She's more interested in women making it big in the real world - rising to the top of big business and running countries. However, she is pleased that thing have started to change in Hollywood.

"Not just directing... It's the camera crew. It's the cinematographers, it's the sound people... You're seeing more and more women coming into the industry, which I think is really exciting," she said.

"When I started in film, for the first 20 years of my experience in film, a set was a very masculine environment, it was very macho, very testosterone-y, very locker roomy, and it was not necessary. But you had to sort of gut it out."