Helen Mirren: Don't Call Me a Sex Symbol

05/29/2014 at 11:40 AM EDT

Helen Mirren on AARP Cover: Don't Call Me a Sex Symbol
Helen Mirren
Courtesy AARP
She insists that she needs to wear towering "stripper heels" because she's only 5'4", but Helen Mirren – who memorably twerked for a bunch of Harvard students earlier this year – insists that people shouldn't call her a sex symbol.

"Oh, they're not thinking straight," the 68-year-old says in the June/July issue of AARP The Magazine.

Even though she's stripped off on screen in films like Caligula and Calendar Girls, Dame Helen admits to being "vaguely embarrassed" by the fuss that has gone along with her baring it all.

Sex appeal "becomes less relevant with age, which is a good thing," she says. "Everything changes as we get older, and we have to applaud that fact, don't we?"

But while she admits that she's "not young" anymore, she also insists "I don't feel creaky and old."

The Oscar winner, who is married to An Officer and a Gentleman director Taylor Hackford, reflects on her 50-year career and admits that she doesn't have many regrets as she looks back on her life.

While she admits that acting "is a very lonely operation," she's perfectly happy being on her own and doesn't feel that she missed out on anything by not having a family of her own.

"I never felt the need for a child and never felt the loss of it," she says. "I'd always put my work before anything."

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