Watch Helen Mirren rap battle with James Corden on 'Late Late Show'
The Late Late Show with James Corden/YouTube

Helen Mirren is one of the most formidable actresses in modern cinema, but it turns out that she's a pretty good rapper, too.

The Academy Award-winning actress appeared on "The Late Late Show with James Corden" on Tuesday night to promote "Winchester", the upcoming horror film she stars in opposite Jason Clarke ("Everest"). But the guest spot took an unexpected turn when Mirren took on James Corden in a rap battle for his popular "Drop The Mic" segment. You can watch the battle by playing the video above.

It's not something music fans probably ever expected to hear from Helen Mirren; though she does have a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play, that was for portraying Queen Elizabeth II in the 2015 Broadway production of "The Audience" and not for any kind of musical. But what she has shown is a complete willingness to go out and have fun, particularly on TV; she's also guest-hosted "Saturday Night Live" twice, in 2010 and 2011, and played Becky's inner voice in two episodes of "Glee."

Her rap battle with Corden is one of the best "Drop The Mic" bits that's ever been done, simply because it's so entirely unexpected. The juxtaposition of Helen Mirren the rapper with Helen Mirren, the multiple award-winning actress who's played so many serious and iconic roles, is what makes it hilarious. Add in the fact that Mirren gets in some genuinely sharp zingers at Corden, and the fact that he seems to be having an especially good time playing off of her, and this bit is one that music fans have to see to believe. Maybe Corden can invite Mirren back now that "Drop The Mic" has been spun off as its own TV series on TBS.

While audiences probably shouldn't hold out for that Helen Mirren rap album, this segment demonstrates that not only should she not be messed with on the stage, no one should cross her on the street, either. But is it as fun as when Mirren was on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" sucking helium? You decide, and if you want to watch actual rappers live, check out the latest rap headlines and upcoming shows at AXS.

For more on Helen Mirren, visit her artist page at AXS.