Helen Mirren Speaks Out: I Don’t Have Good Subway Etiquette, I’m Just Protecting My Designer Bag


Helen Mirren finally responded to the photo of her circulating the Internet. In the picture, she is sitting on the R train, displaying what New Yorkers have been referring to as perfect subway etiquette – she has her purse on her lap, she is only taking up one seat, and her feet are tucked under her chair.

However, Dame Mirren wanted to clear up these misconstrued allegations, and so she let me join her for her afternoon commute. As she swiftly swipes her MetroCard (and it works on the first try), she claims she would have put her her designer bag on the seat next to her, but she kept it on her lap to protect it from getting dirty and from people trying to steal it.

As we head toward the escalator, Mirren makes a point of us walking through the passageway single file.

“Also, the angle of that photo just makes it seem like I’m only taking up one seat,” the dame says, while standing neatly on the right side of the escalator. “But if you look closely, I’m actually clearly taking up two seats.”

In response to her having her legs politely tucked under her seat and out of the way, she explains that she has restless leg syndrome.

“I was actually swinging my legs back and forth quite wildly,” Mirren comments, while waiting off to the side of the train doors and letting passengers off first. “The photographer just caught me in a moment where my legs happened to be kicking backward under the seat.”

Mirren enters the train and takes a seat in the center of the car, but when a pregnant woman enters, Mirren immediately stands up.

“I didn’t get up because of her!”she exclaims. “I’m just…um…checking the map over there.”

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