More on Helen Mirren, "Naturalist"
British actress does what comes naturally
November 10, 2006
Is Helen Mirren, the great actress and English dame, a nudist or not? On "Late Night With Conan O'Brien," the host teased her about being a "nudist," but she uses the word "naturalist."
"I'm not an official nudist," she says to me.
How does someone even become an "official" nudist?
"Well, you go to nudist camp and you have lunch in the nude. That, I can't do. I can't sit down to dinner in the nude. I can't even do that at home on my own. I have to put something on. But lying on a beach with a lot of other people who haven't got their clothes on is a very nice experience.
"You Americans are so prudish. I went to Hungary when communism was still active [there]. There's a park in the middle of Budapest, and they had a little section for nudist sunbathing right in the middle of the city. And you could walk past it. It wasn't like it was hidden behind greenery or fences. You could see everybody naked just by taking a walk in the park. It's very common in Europe, and Americans can't seem to get their heads around it.
"In America, you put swimming costumes on, don't you?" she says, then adds this judgment as if pitying us sadly: "Hmmm."