Helen Mirren cover Woman and Home Magazine

Helen Mirren reigns in purple on the cover of Woman & Home. Photo courtesy of Woman & Home magazine

You wouldn't know it by the sheer purple lace dress she wears on the cover of the UK's Woman & Home magazine, but Dame Helen Mirren isn't entirely happy with her body. And those photos of her looking stunningly sexy in a bikini (see in below video)? All an illusion, she says.

"Bits of my body are all right, but bits of me are horrible," the 65-year-old star tells November's Woman & Home, according to the Daily Mall. "To be honest, anything from the waist down I don't really like."

Not that she has anything to be ashamed of. The Brit beauty made jaws drop and inspired seniors to start wearing sexier swimwear after she was photographed looking toned in a two-piece in 2008. In truth, she tells the magazine, she was holding in her tummy.

"I don't know why, but I do, by nature, hold my tummy in," she says, calling it a "trick for making you look and feel good."

Another of her confidence boosters? "Four-inch platforms give you great height and make your legs look unbelievably long," says Mirren. "I used only to be able to get them in stripper shops, but now you can buy them everywhere -- although, unfortunately, that means everyone else has discovered the trick too."

Despite having recently posed topless for New York magazine, Mirren says that as she gets older, she'd much rather keep covered up. And she's particularly up in arms about the abundance of sleeveless dresses on the market.

"My big complaint is, why aren't more dresses made with sleeves?" she says. "I don't want to wear a frumpy jacket over a sleeveless dress and it enrages me that it's so difficult to find anything beautiful with sleeves.

"If you think of Elizabethan dresses or turn-of-the-century fashions, there are some amazing things you can do with sleeves [as recently proven by Julia Roberts], so why do so few designers put them on their dresses?"

Spoken like a true Dame!

Mirren's full interview and photo shoot appears in November's Woman & Home, out Sept. 30. The issue includes the first-ever 40:40 List, featuring 40 inspirational women over 40 who are role models and trailblazers in sports, science, business, and the performing arts.

Watch Helen Mirren's reaction to those famous bikini photos in the below clip from "The Ellen Degeneres Show":


In related news, check out the stunning scarlet number Mirren wore to the Venice Film Festival.