Speaking to her embarrassment of riches - from the Oscars to the Emmys - Mirren notes, "I [also] have had a few losses, so I am very familiar with that feeling as well. It's always down to the writing, and, of course, the direction. The writing is where the role springs from and I was lucky to have some beautifully written roles."

Updating us on the matter of ever meeting up with the queen, whom she portrayed to Academy Award-winning perfection, Mirren says, "The queen and I haven't hooked up yet. She very graciously invited me to dinner, but [I wasn't able to go]. I felt mortified, but there was nothing I could do." A royal rain check, perhaps? "I don't know, only time will tell! I certainly hope so."