Helen Mirren is a fantastic actress. Yet when she's just being herself (not "in character" or without help from a director - or having the advantage of multiple takes) - she's no better at projecting false feelings than most anyone else. What follows is a partial nonverbal analysis of the above video.
Jimmy Fallon holds up this image of Ms. Mirren riding on the NYC Subway, Helen points out the man next to him is
"Manspreading". This is a recent colloquial term for a "Seated Crotch Display". In crowed settings, such as a subway, this body language is very likely be a signal of narcissism. However depending on the context and the other nonverbals with which it is cluster, it can signal quite different emotional tones. Be warned against interpreting any body language in isolation.
The Roots (Mark Kelley, left and Kirk Douglas, right) configured in seated crotch displays - they are wrong to group this behavior with the same meaning as sitting next to someone in a subway, a plane, etc.
Here each man is playing an instrument (mechanically, this requires differences compared with sitting/resting/riding passively in a subway - and their comfort is crucial to make music), it's a dramatically different context (vs. a subway), playing an instrument (particularly on national TV) is a considerably alpha behavior - and the men are sitting much further apart (thus not encroaching on each others personal or intimate space). So while this is an alpha display (and also very helpful in playing the guitar or bass) - the band members sitting in this manner and in this context is not indicative of Narcissism.
This head down, face covered posture although similar to the moment above, has the additional emotional meanings of
shame and embarrassment.
Hands held to the face as shown in these two moments is also indicative of the emotional brain attempting to process what the logical brain already knows.
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