Dame Helen Mirren "begged" for her roles in 'Fast & Furious 8' and 'Red'.

Dame Helen Mirren

Dame Helen Mirren

The 72-year-old actress is more known for her dramatic work but was desperate to be a part of an action series, and joked being an Oscar winner helped her persuade film bosses to give her a chance.

She said of the movies: "It was a little hankering definitely. Absolutely it was.

"I begged. I put it out there and then I begged. That was one of the wonderful advantages of winning an Oscar. I got to be in action movies!

"Because they love having Oscar winners in their action movies. They want to bring you down."

And the 'Leisure Seeker' actress found herself having far more fun on set than she'd expected.

She added to Total Film magazine: "[It was] more fun. Especially the action sequences, they're the best. I love them. And the technology.

"They're extraordinary, these special effects guys and stunt guys. To watch those craftsmen at work... There really should be an Oscar for stunt work.

"These guys are incredible and they're so careful and so professional. And they're artists. The do amazing things."

When she's working, Helen loves to arrive on set early so she can see the entire process of the shoot.

She said: "I always like to get to the set early. Some people always like to get to the set late.

"I always like to be there before they're ready, so I can watch what's going on and get a sense of what the shot is, what the problems might be. So I like to get there early."