Dame Helen Mirren's husband "didn't tick" any of "her boxes" when she first met him.

Taylor Hackford and Helen Mirren

Taylor Hackford and Helen Mirren

The 'Trumbo' star has been married to director Taylor Hackford since 1997 and first started dating him in 1984, but has revealed that it was not love at first sight for her when she initially met Taylor.

In an interview with The Daily Mail newspaper, she shared: "I had no idea that we were going to fall in love. He didn't tick any of my boxes at all. He was a director and he was American - not that I have anything against that, I hasten to add - but America is quite foreign and a long way away from England. For a while I just had this feeling of, 'How is this ever going to work?' It was his wisdom and patience that made me appreciate his wonderful qualities over a period of time."

Despite her initial feelings, Helen - who met Taylor on the set of 'White Nights', which Taylor directed - considers herself a very lucky lady to have been happily wed for nearly 19 years to such a wonderful man like Taylor, 71.

The 70-year-old actress said: "I've been unbelievably fortunate in my marriage and in my family, which are the things that count the most in this world.

"Along the way (in my life) I've made an endless litany of mistakes and mis-steps. I've turned down acting jobs I should have said 'Yes' to, accepted ones I should have said 'No' to, had relationships with people I shouldn't have had a relationship with and got drunk at times when I should have remained sober. But everything in life is interdependent, and if I'd gone off in a different direction it would have affected everything else. Yet despite all the wrong turns, somehow I've been led stumbling to the point where I am right now, which is the place I most want to be in my life."