DAME Helen Mirren would never consider joining the Women's Institute (W.I.) - because she believes the organisation's members waste their time on "ridiculous" competitions instead of pursuing high-flying careers.
The Oscar-winning actress - who is married to director Taylor Hackford - played the role of W.I. member Chris Harper in the 2003 movie Calendar Girls.
And despite hailing the British women's group - which is famed for its wholesome activities such as baking competitions and crafts - as "wonderful", the 61-year-old can't understand why the strong and determined members would choose to have a traditional family life over that of a successful careerwoman.
She says, "Meeting (WI member) Tricia (Stewart), who was a very big personality, it was hard for me to understand how someone like that could live within such a small, confined community.
"Where did all that energy go? That woman could have been the head of a major industrial company, yet it all went into baking cakes and going in for those ridiculous WI competitions.
"They are wonderful women, who could have risen to the very top. It is just that they have not chosen that route and instead have got married, had children and enjoyed their lives. (But) I am not being critical."