Dame Helen Mirren thinks she has got more "frightened" as she has gold older.

The 65-year-old actress says she has grown increasingly less inclined to take risks with her career because she needs the security that comes with steady work.

She said: "I try not to be but, you know, as you get older, you get more frightened.

"The realities of life start coming in on you and you realise that you do want security and so on and so forth. So you start working towards that and that's when you start losing your idealism, which is sad."

Despite her desire for security, Helen admits she has made unusual choices throughout her career, but always felt she would have the safety of theatre work to fall back on.

She added in an interview with Total Film magazine: "I've always made pretty. not dangerous , but out there choices that could potentially have destroyed my career. But one thing I've always gone back to is the theatre.

"I always felt, especially when I was younger, that it didn't matter if it all went wrong because I could go back to the theatre and still show people that's something I could still do."