Helen Mirren on Not Having Kids: 'I Never Felt the Need for a Child'

PHOTO: Actress Helen Mirren attends Roundabout Theatre Companys 2014 Spring Gala at Hammerstein Ballroom, March 10, 2014, in New York.Playlya S. Savenok/Getty Images
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Oscar winner Helen Mirren may play mothering characters on camera, but the iconic actress has no regrets whatsoever about not having a family of her own.

Mirren, 68, married director Taylor Hackford in 1997, but she never had kids.

“I never felt the need for a child and never felt the loss of it," she told AARP for its June magazine. "I’d always put my work before anything.”

Mirren even joked that she was in no rush to marry and called the institution "voluntary imprisonment." She's come around after meeting her husband.

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“I used to say to Taylor, ‘Oh why didn’t we meet earlier?,’ But it’s a really good thing, because we probably wouldn’t be together now," she said. "I couldn’t have dealt with him earlier on. He would have been much too difficult.”

Hackford added that his famous wife "has an innate sense of who she is, and a confidence and directness."

"She doesn’t play it safe," he added. "What’s sexy is how she is in the world even more than how she looks, though she certainly looks beautiful.”

Hackford might think his wife is sexy, but Mirren wants no part of that description.

"Oh, they're not thinking straight," she said when asked about people calling her a sex symbol. "[Sex appeal] becomes less relevant with age, which is a good thing. Everything changes as we get older, and we have to applaud that fact, don't we?"