Mirren admits she was “gobstruck” when she was asked to cover PEOPLE’s 2022 Beautiful Issue. 

“I never considered myself ‘beautiful.’ And [at] my age! So I was amazed,” the Oscar winner tells PEOPLE. 

Shot by Andrew Eccles, Mirren stuns in a variety of gorgeous looks, including this ombré tulle Pamella Roland gown. Hairstylist Richard Collins and makeup artist Jo Strettell collaborated on her beauty cover look, which was inspired by the “epic” wardrobe, Strettell says.

There were “beautiful gowns, layers of tulle, layers of different weight fabrics, a range of pretty petal colors and general fantasticalness,” adds Mirren’s makeup pro of five years. 

For Mirren, the term “beautiful” is more about exploring how one presents themselves to others and finds inner confidence. 

“There are incredibly beautiful people in the world, and it’s an absolute delight to look at them, male or female. Beautiful people are a wonder to behold,” the actress tells PEOPLE. “But most of us are not beautiful. We have other stuff, which is just as powerful as beauty. And I would like to see us celebrate those things … I love the word swagger because I think swagger means I’m confident in myself, I’m presenting myself to the world, I’m enjoying the world around me. I think what is called the beauty industry should be called the swagger industry. We’re giving people swagger.”