Helena, nominated for best supporting actress for The King’s Speech, wasn’t paying attention to the nominations announcement at her London home, besieged as she was by her children.
“I only found out because a friend phoned,” she tells USA TODAY’s Maria Puente. “I’m really happy, and really happy forThe King’s Speech (the film, about stuttering King George VI and the Australian speech therapist who helped him, got the highest number of nominations). That really counts for something,” she said. Yet, characteristically, she joked that all she did in the film (she played Queen Elizabeth, consort to King George VI) was “wobble in the background.” But she didn’t get nominated for wobbling. Bonham Carter has played queens before — Tudor queens Anne Boleyn and Jane Grey, both of whom lost their heads — and of course, she tore up the screen as the Red Queen in partner Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.
She described The King’s Speech as “a really good actors’ film,” and said everyone involved has been surprised and heartened by the widespread praise and the awards attention. “We’re so used to making really bad films or small, independent films that no one sees, which is a shame because often that’s when you do your best work.”
She also joked that the news of next year’s royal wedding of Prince William and fiancée Catherine “Kate” Middleton (William is the great-grandson King George VI and his queen) has been terrific for the marketing campaign for the movie. “We have to be invited — we’re part of the family now,” she said with a laugh.