On the red carpet the veteran actress called the honor “weirdly humbling” and said she was in awe of the mix of characters on hand to celebrate her career.
“Unbelievable line-up of people – Incredibly eclectic group, which is what I love the most about it,” said Mirren.
Director Julie Taymor, actor Vin Diesel and dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov were just a few of the celebrities in attendance to pay tribute to Mirren at the 45th annual gala.
Mirren’s husband, director Taylor Hackford, proudly escorted her down the red carpet and revealed a little of how she prepared for her Oscar winning role, “The Queen”.
“I was watching her look at a lot of these documentary bits of the Queen, but they were all about the Queen as a child,” recalled Hackford.
“But then I’m going, when our time is running out, ‘You’re going to start this film on Monday, don’t you want to look at the adult?’ She says, ‘I’m never going to look at the adult… that girl didn’t know she was going to be Queen, if I want to know who she really was I’ve got to look at it before the crown went on her head.'”
Past recipients include Tom Hanks, Morgan Freeman, and Robert De Niro.