Helena Bonham Carter spent years trying to get away from her reputation as the queen of corsets, but she stepped back into period garb to play Queen Elizabeth, the wife of George VI and future Queen Mother, opposite Colin Firth in The King’s Speech. In person, she dresses more like Madonna circa Lucky Star, with a half-dozen silver chains slung around her neck and her nest of curls topped by a lopsided maroon bow. As she talked about her relationship with professional filmmaking oddball Tim Burton, her own arrested development and the Queen Mum’s acid wit, she negotiated a forest of drinking glasses filled with varicolored liquids on a nearby table (a penchant that earned her the nickname “Cups” from her “King’s” director Tom Hooper), pausing slightly to dispatch her mother to a nearby Duane Reade drugstore for vitamin supplements.
It’s tricky to play a figure as revered as the Queen Mother. You have to play her as an ordinary person but maintain an air of royalty, almost otherness. Playing her is a bit slippery because she’s so well loved and she’s so well known and she’s lasted for so long. She’s so ingrained in people’s heads. I don’t look like her, neither does Colin look like … [laughs] what’s-his-name. I went in search of her essence. It’s like finding the essence to a perfume. Something that’s recognizably her. She was a very complex character, but she would try and pass herself off as this charming, rather vague exterior — in a way, the archetypal woman. She played very low status. The head was always cocked, and she looked thoroughly sweet and cozy — which she wasn’t.
I have to say, I chucked to myself when I saw the title of this! :laughing: A rather…random interview with Helena about her role in The King’s Speech and Tim Burton. Enjoy!
Thanks to her many collaborations with her partner, Tim Burton, Helena Bonham Carter is now best known for eccentric, dark roles in such films as Sweeney Todd and Corpse Bride. However, as Emily Blunt noted after she starred in the royal drama The Young Victoria, “As an English actress, you have to don a bonnet at some point,” and this is Carter’s time to step into the House of Windsor: She currently stars in The King’s Speech as Queen Elizabeth, who encourages her husband, King George VI (Colin Firth), to overcome his devastating stutter when he has to make a public address announcing that England is declaring war on the advancing Nazis. We sat down with Carter, who was clad in anti-Queen chic (goth-goddess spiderweb tights, lace-up boots, black Anthropologie dress, and fingerless gloves) as she talked about balancing this queenly role with Harry Potter’s Bellatrix Lestrange, what Burton and Johnny Depp talk about that she just doesn’t get, and why Brits aren’t as fascinated by the royal family as Americans think they are.
You shot The King’s Speech simultaneously with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, didn’t you? On set for one of them one day, the other the next?
It was funny, my son would ask, “Do you have to play the witch or the queen tomorrow?” so that pretty much summed it up. It was interesting because Harry Potter is quite slow as a process, so I had a lot of down time. I was reading William Shawcross’s biography of the Queen Mother, dressed in my witch outfit! And you know what? It was a really good mix; it was a therapeutic mix.
Finally, someone else has picked up on a fact that we’ve clearly all known for ages – Helena is one of the best dressed celebrities out there! Vanity Fair magazine has named Helena as one of the magazine’s best dressed celebs – much to the amusement of the lady herself! :laughing: Thanks to Ste for posting the link.
HELENA BONHAM CARTER burst into laughter when she learned she had been named as one of Vanity Fair magazine’s best dressed celebrities – because editors lauded the British actress for the same outfits critics had previously savaged her for.The Alice In Wonderland star’s quirky sense of style frequently hits headlines for all the wrong reasons, so she was stunned when she discovered her wardrobe choices had earned her praise from the top fashion publication, placing her alongside Lady Gaga and Dior designer John Galliano.She tells the New York Daily News, “It was a triumph! It made me laugh because I thought it was a joke when I found out. But when I saw the article, I thought, ‘Oh, the photos they’ve chosen are as bad as the ones they print when I’m worst dressed.”But Bonham Carter, 44, insists she won’t be changing her ways as she grows older: “I don’t feel any pressure to dress well. When I was younger, I cared more what people say. When I did do the Oscar thing, I did feel quite a lot of pressure to dress a certain way.”
Helena is the narrator for a new interactive children’s book app for the iPad and iPhone. I’ve been looking around for information on it, so far I’ve come across their Facebook page with some information about the app which will be available from the iTunes store in December. You can watch a short preview video below:
The 38th International Emmy Awards Gala were held last night at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in New York, and as we all know, Helena was nominated for the Best Performance by an Actress award, for her performance as Enid Blyton in the biopic, Enid.
The bad news is that Helena didn’t attend the awards, so unfortunately we have no pictures to add of her there, but the good news is… she won! Congrats to Helena on winning the award!
I have to say, I was surprised when I read this! Helena has been taking parenting classes to improve her skills as a mother.
Harry Potter actress Helena Bonham Carter has admitted enrolling in parenting classes to learn how to become a better mother. The 44-year-old, who has two children with long-term boyfriend, film director Tim Burton, told America’s E! Entertainment station: ‘I’m not working right now and I need to learn to be a mum. ‘It’s much harder than being an actress. I’m taking parenting classes. You know, no one ever taught me what to do.’ The actress spoke out at the New York premiere of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part One, which also opened in the UK this weekend. She plays Bellatrix Lestrange in the series. Bonham Carter, mother of Billy Raymond, seven, and Nell, three, said: ‘The classes are teaching me some interesting things. You’ve got to get the children to think for themselves. It’s a relief. I don’t have to know everything.’ Bonham Carter has previously spoken of her own difficult childhood. Her mother Elena had a nervous breakdown when Helena was five, and when she was a teenager, her merchant banker father Raymond, then 50, suffered a stroke, leaving him partly paralysed. She added: ‘Having children in my late 30s makes them more precious because you really want them by then. ‘Before you are a mother you never know how much in love you will be. I want to be the best parent I can.’
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