Dame Helen Mirren
Dame Helen Mirren gives sage advice to students at Tulane University Facebook/Tulane University

Dame Helen Mirren has shared her top five tips for a 'happy life' including do not smoke, confuse sex with love, or put hot cups on waxed surfaces.

Addressing students at Tulane University in Louisiana during her 2017 commencement address, the 71-year-old warned the students not to rush into marriage.

The actress tied the knot with director Taylor Hackford, on New Year's Eve 1997, when she was 52.

She told the audience: "I married Taylor a lot later in my life and it's worked out great. And always give your partner the freedom and support to achieve their ambitions."

Also included in her list of top tips for happiness she warned the students not to confuse sex with love, to ignore anyone who judges the way they look, and reminded them to call their parents once a week.

The A-list star added that regardless of the level of success a person might attain, you should always treat 'people like people'.

She recounted an incident when she was in a car with a fellow actress who offered the driver a cigarette.

"To her, he wasn't a "driver person", but a "person person" who might want a smoke," she explained. "'That's a lesson I never forgot, and I am grateful to my actress friend to this day," she said.

Her third rule was to 'ignore anyone who judges the way you look, especially if he or she is some anonymous creep lurking on the Internet. And if you are that person lurking on the Internet — stop it, just stop it, go outside and do something,' the actress said.

The Oscar winner said her fourth rule was to always confront your fears, and her fifth was 'don't over complicate things'.

According to the Mail Online, she concluded her touching address by telling the students to remember to call their parents once a week, to always say 'thank you', and to open your heart to love.


1. Don't be in a rush to get married

2. Treat people like people (and be a feminist)

3. Ignore anyone who judges the way you look

4. Confront your fears

5. Don't over-complicate things