Publication Date: 27th March 2015
FROM the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland to Bellatrix Lestrange in Harry Potter, Helena Bonham Carter is celebrated the world over for the eccentric characters that she brings to life with a helping hand from the costume department. However, when it comes to dressing herself, she is still searching for what suits.
“I’m still looking for my style essentials as I never feel that I get it particularly right,” she told us in her silky-smooth, mock-exasperated tone. “Sometimes people show me things in the papers and it really isn’t what I meant to look like. They should see me in the mirror at home – then it looked alright, then it looked like it all went together!”
It is clear, from only a few moments in the Oscar-nominated actress’s company, that while regular column inches in the media attempt to define her by her personal sense of style, it really doesn’t matter what is said in the least, as Bonham Carter has an open, optimistic and very pragmatic outlook on life, expressed with a conspiratorial sense of humour.
“For me, the style essential is having a sense of fun and feeling that you can transform the inside depending on what you put on the outside. Every bit of clothing can evoke a little characteristic that was screaming to be expressed,” she revealed. “But I’m honestly not good at sitting still. That’s why I get criticised. I put some foundation on, if that, but it’s not a ritual and it’s quite haphazard. I’m quite bad in a sense that I recycle my make-up too. I don’t wash it off the night before so it’s quite eco really. The hair lasts too, I try to make it last about a week and a half. It’s fabulous until you tell your children to brush their hair and they point out that you haven’t brushed yours for a month.”
Currently taking on the role of the fairy godmother in Cinderella, Bonham Carter can identify with her character in more ways than one (“She’s definitely got memory loss, and I definitely have memory loss. I’m always losing my thread and forgetting the beginning of the sentence mid-sentence”), but, as a red-carpet veteran, it’s not the excitement of the premieres that she most enjoys, like the film’s lead lily James, but the other elements that come with promoting a Disney film.
“You get things like dolls – it’s hilarious!” she said. “And you have to okay the doll. I have a doll which they were very anxious that I would be worried about the likeness, because you have to say that it’s okay. I find it hilarious that they should care so much. I never thought I would have a doll that would look like me, although the actual doll has very little to do with what I think I look like.”
But aside from the doll, are there any other vague similarities between the two? “Unfortunately I can’t transform things, like pumpkins into vehicles,” she smiled. “But the scattiness and the absent-mindedness definitely. I mean she’s obviously magical and slightly not there – and a lot of the time I’m slightly not here.”
The world of Helena Bonham Carter sounds like a wonderful place to be.