The Queen star's 1975 meeting with beloved British TV personality Michael Parkinson was one of her first chat show appearances - and his line of questioning left her shaken and upset.
But instead of showing the host how she felt, she turned the interview on him and made it a very awkward encounter.
And when Parkinson quizzed her about her "physical attributes" - referring to her breasts - the actress help up her hands and asked, "My fingers?"
Recalling the TV moment in the new issue of feminism publication Bust, Mirren says, "It was enraging but it was par for the course to a certain extent. It was fairly common, that kind of attitude. Looking back, I think I handled it really well.
"It was the first time I had ever done a talk show, ever. I'd only done Shakespeare (plays) before, and I was terribly nervous, and I was mortified by the end of it (interview)... but I wasn't taking it."
And the Oscar winner is delighted that modern young stars don't have to accept bad behaviour from chat show hosts: "At least now young actresses can say, 'F**k off,' and still work again."