'I don't know if this is the life for me,' said the star when her first film was released
Source: The Guardian
Publication Date: 18th March 2012
Last month, Helena Bonham Carter received a CBE, but 26 years ago she was promoting the first film she made – Lady Jane, Trevor Nunn’s tale of the teenage queen who ruled for nine days before being executed for refusing to say that sacramental bread was the actual flesh of Christ.
Munching on apples throughout our meeting, she was nonchalant: “If you’re a queen, you’re powerless, so I’d probably demote myself and go shopping.”
She’d completed Lady Jane 18 months earlier. “Wearing corsets all the time was completely incapacitating, as far as digestion goes,” she explained, perhaps predicting the many years of uncomfortable eating in incommodious period costume which lay ahead.
Her friends had all gone to university by the time she’d returned from suffering dyspepsia while filming on location in 11 stately homes, and she still had a mind to join them. She relished the “self-hypnosis” of acting, but, crunching away, said: “I don’t know if the life is for me. A film actor is just a victim of directors and editors.” When was the last time she really laughed? “It must have been at least six years ago,” she dead-panned, twirling an apple by its twiggy stem. Joking or not, six years matched the time since her father’s disabling stroke, which had meant that she had cooked and cared for him while only 13 years old.
She had enjoyed smashing a series of glass drinking vessels on the set of Lady Jane and felt, “it’s nice having all the audience’s sympathies manipulated towards me,” but that “pasta and a good book” were even better.