Thank you to Bella Lestrange for sharing this video of Helena, talking about Toast.
The BBC drama Toast starring Helena Bonham Carter, Ken Stott, Freddie Highmore, and Victoria Hamilton is getting a US theatrical release on September 23. Originally aired in the UK last Christmas the film is the story of British food writer Nigel Slater’s childhood, focusing on his journey into adulthood and how family tragedy throws him into the culinary world.
I was actually lucky enough to catch this while back in the UK and thoroughly enjoyed the BBC production that is set to the sounds of Dusty Springfield. It is Highmore that shines in the lead role, but he is backed up nicely by Ken Stott as his strict father and Helena Bonham Carter as the bewitching, curvaceous housekeeper, Mrs Potter. Toast will play in a limited number of theaters across the US from September 23 which I am certain will follow with a DVD release shortly after.
You can also view the brand new poster below.
Helena Bonham Carter got on the phone to IFC.com to discuss her delightful turn as the devilish Mrs. Potter and the unique distribution of Toast, as well as her new-found appreciation for cleaning products, how perfumes are integral to finding her characters and how she’s channeling a family member for her latest part.
Toast is taking an interesting distribution path to the States and apparently, it did in England as well. Do you like to keep tabs on your films after you’re done filming?
As usual, I pray that they’re just going to get seen somehow. [laughs] But this is definitely back to front because when we made it, it was a BBC film, [so] it was going to be made for television then released theatrically after and I just thought, goodness, how’s that going to work? But I’m fine with it being on television because at least with television, you know you’re going to get an audience, [and] I’m glad that the American audience might come to see it. I saw it being played in a cinema and it played just as well as on television, interestingly enough.
You’ve really shown a commitment to these smaller-scale homegrown films like this and Sixty Six. Has that been harder to do these days?
I’m always attracted to lower budget, not because it’s lower budget, but because they tend to be better scripts. It’s the scripts that tend to be the small arthouse film [that] tend to be more actor-led and character driven. Those are the stories that seem to fall within my taste range. But it’s often been the case, I’ve done so many countless small, independent films that really 3.2 people have seen, so you never know. You do it for the joy of the part and not necessarily expect anyone to see the final product.
National treasure is an overused phrase, but one that’s impossible to shut out of your brain when meeting Helena Bonham Carter. Wearing a cleavage-heaving jacket and waistcoat by Vivienne Westwood and with her trademark bird’s nest of brown curls piled up on top of her head, she’s the epitome of both the elegant and eccentric. Sitting with her in a boardroom at the Hotel Adlon in Berlin, I’m reminded of an observation her co-star in the 2002 film The Heart Of Me, Paul Bettany, once shared with me. “Barking mad, keen as mustard and funny as f***,” he said about the actress, and I’m inclined to agree.
Her most recent role as the late Queen Mother in The King’s Speech has endeared Helena to the world more than ever. Picking up four Oscars, seven BAFTAs and a Golden Globe during awards season last month, it’s perhaps the most successful film Helena has ever been in.
You sense that she’s partly sad and partly relieved that the marathon press run and awards season appearances for the film has now ended. Instead, she’s here to discuss a previous release, the BBC drama Toast which aired at Christmas and comes to DVD this week. Based on food writer Nigel Slater’s childhood memoirs, it sees Helena star as his wicked stepmother Mrs Potter, a chain-smoking Brummie who’s somehow charming, coarse, sympathetic and sexy, all at once.
You’ve just been through awards season with The King’s Speech. Are you looking forward to getting back to normality?
I’m really looking forward to it – it’s been very difficult. The Queen Mother said herself – and it’s good advice – “If you’re in the public eye, don’t complain, don’t explain and don’t ever speak publicly.”
Did the Oscars make you nervous?
Oh, yeah. You could make a complete tit of yourself, and if you do, there are a lot of people watching – so yes, things like that are nerve wracking.
I was just browsing Amazon.co.uk when I found that Toast is finally available for pre-order. It will be released for region 2 on 28th March 2011. Currently I’m not sure if it will be released elsewhere.
Seeing as a lot of people who visit the site live in a variety of different countries, and are unable to watch Helena’s latest film, Toast on the BBC iPlayer, Mittens has very kindly provided a link to download it on MegaUpload so that you can download and watch it.
Download it via the image below!