I never had kids and I didn't care what people said - Mirren

In the past the Oscar-winning actress has insisted that motherhood holds no interest for her and said she has "no maternal instinct".


But in an interview, Mirren (67), admitted that she always expected to be a mother. "It was not my destiny. I kept thinking it would be, waiting for it to happen, but it never did, and I didn't care what people thought."

She has been in a relationship with Taylor Hackford, the American film director, since her 40s and married him in 1997. She is his third wife and he has two children from previous marriages.

Mirren has said she "loves children" and enjoys being a stepmother.

She told British Vogue magazine that it was more men than women who have questioned her about not having children.

"Women never gave me a hard time, anyway, it was only boring old men. And whenever they went, 'What? No children? Well, you'd better get on with it, old girl,' I'd say 'No! F*** off!'"

She has said that women should not be made to feel there is something wrong with them if they do not have children. She has caused controversy before, speaking out about her experience of "date rape" when she was younger and urging young women to stand up for themselves.

Mirren has played a string of strong women and overtly sexual roles in a career spanning more than 40 years.

But in her latest cinema role she plays Alma Reville, who was married to Alfred Hitchcock for 53 years, in Hitchcock, which deals with the sexless relationship between the pair as she supported him during his career. Mirren has said that it is not just sex that makes a marriage last but "the power of partnership".

After playing British queens three times, perhaps most famously in The Queen, she is to return to the London stage this year, taking up the role of the present queen for the second time in The Audience at the National Theatre. But she said she did not want to get stereotyped, as she was through her role as Jane Tennison in ITV's Prime Suspect.