Dame Helen Mirren "doesn't want any criticism" from her husband.

Dame Helen Mirren on the key to a successful marriage

Dame Helen Mirren on the key to a successful marriage

The 76-year-old actress has been married to film director Taylor Hackford since 1997 and insists that the pair only give each other "unconditional praise."

She said: "I believe in unconditional praise from one's loved ones. I don't want any criticism from [Taylor]. And I give him unconditional praise likewise — more or less. We allow each other to do our own thing, and get on with it.."

The Oscar winning star - who met the man behind films such as 'An Officer and a Gentleman' while auditioning for 'White Nights' and ended up dating him for a decade before saying "I do" - also revealed that the COVID-19 lockdown was the first time in her career that the pair were able to spend a considerable amount of time together.

She told PEOPLE: "I've worked every year since I was 20," she says. "COVID was the first time in the whole of my life I've not worked for six months. I know that people were suffering through that terrible, terrible time, but what was valuable for me was that I got to spend time with my husband and sit across the table from him every night for six months — which I've never done before — and not worry about or even think about work."

However, the 'Calendar Girls' actress - who will celebrate her silver wedding anniversary with Taylor in December 2022 - also claimed that a key part of a successful relationship is having a sense of individual identity.

She said: "A really important part of love is to maintain your own sense of identity. In a way, that's the most important thing of all, to not subsume yourself into someone else, far from it. Be honestly and authentically who you are."

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