The actress recently won the best supporting actress BAFTA for her portrayal of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth I in The King’s Speech. She has been nominated for two Oscars and countless other accolades during her career, but still finds it hard to shake the idea she isn’t quite good enough.
Helena is renowned for wearing kooky outfits on the red carpet and says that also ties in with her confidence issues.
“I just thought I‘d never look good in what everybody else wore. So there’s no point trying. You just have to do what suits you, and it doesn’t matter if you don’t look like everybody else. Be you. That’s our gift and we’ve got to celebrate that, but it does take ages,” she explained. “I was wracked with self-doubt for years. I get spasms of it even now – I’m not indelibly self-confident.”
Helena says acting has helped her grow to love herself and feel more accepted. She is in a relationship with director Tim Burton, who she has two kids with, and they have made many movies together. She explained he has helped her feel better about herself and is the person she can count on above all others.
“Tim? He’s a genius so that helps, and he has a great sense of humour. I know it sounds so boring, but if somebody makes me laugh, they’re in,” she replied, when Stylist asked what’s sexy about her partner.
“No, he’s not at all jealous [when I work with other directors]! He encourages me and I encourage him to work with other actresses. I know the directors I work with are all intimidated by ‘the boyfriend’ – although he’s the least intimidating person ever.”
Helena does the cooking when she is at home, which she’s happy about. She loves everything about food and often falls asleep with a cookery book as she has a vast collection.
The 44-year-old indulges in her favourite treats whenever she feels like it and refuses to bow to pressure about her body.
“I love food. Elizabeth Taylor once said you have to choose between the body and the face at some point and I think she was right. I did diet when I was younger but now I just eat. I don’t overeat though. I’m rounder, but I think it does help the face,” she laughed.