Dame Helen Mirren has revealed that she chased a black bear out of her garden after it helped itself to food left out for her birds.
Appearing on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, the Oscar-winning actor explained the encounter in the garden at her new home in Lake Tahoe, in the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
Mirren revealed the property had only just been completed when lockdown was announced: “We got lockdown in one of the most beautiful places.”
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She said she had been enjoying the “endless entertainment by wildlife” until the cheeky bear turned up.
“I went out and I said: ‘Bad bear, bad, naughty bear, very naughty bear!’” she recalled. “He took one look at me and lumbered off. He was a big black bear.”
The incident happened shortly after Mirren had read a wildlife pamphlet that instructed readers what to do if they spotted a bear behaving aggressively.
“They said you make yourself look as big as possible, if you can grab a stick, make yourself look big, and then shout, ‘Bad bear!’”
Mirren joked that her experience on stage with Shakespeare – referring to the instruction, “Exit, followed by a bear”, had given her some experience in how to handle the situation.
In the same interview, Mirren also discussed her childhood growing up in Southend-on-Sea, her career beginnings, and Shakespeare’s relevancy today.