It’s hard to imagine Helen Mirren and James Corden engaging in a rap battle. But the acclaimed actress and the late night show host recently did just that. During an appearance on Corden’s “The Late Late Show,” the two faced off in a “Drop the Mic” segment to see who could come up with the best rhymes.
Corden starts it out, daring to question Mirren’s status as perhaps the world’s best actress. He says that while Mirren is an icon in her native England, here in the States she has to compete with the likes of Meryl Streep: “Back home she’s considered the actress you have to fear. We’re in America now—Meryl Streep lives here.” Corden also brings up Mirren’s ex, Liam Neeson, suggesting the actor dumped her.
Mirren fires back with a few barbs of her own, “You stand up, not for games or for banter. Other shows do comedy, you just pander,” she tells Corden, dissing his skills as a comedian and host.
Check out the whole hilarious clip below. WARNING: There are a couple profane words ahead.
During the second round, the two hold nothing back. Corden calls Mirren “outdated and overrated” and name drops yet another of her contemporaries, saying she’s no Dame Judi Dench. Mirren retaliates by taking a swipe at Corden’s creativity, rapping, “This battle is fun. I’m glad that you asked. It’s the only bit you didn’t find in Jimmy Fallon’s trash.”
In the end, Corden declares himself victorious: “I’m sorry I had to be the one to take you down. I just defeated the queen, someone hand me my crown.”
But Mirren does not let him off easy and takes him to task for trying to pit her against her fellow actresses. “Compare me to Meryl, Judi, Maggie, but why? They’re not my competition. They’re my ride or die.”
She ends by playfully slapping Corden in the neck with the mic. The audience then gets to decide the winner, and judging by their applause and cheering, Mirren is declared victorious.
We’ve seen Corden in this segment before, but who knew the amazing Mirren could rap?!