According to the Daily Mail, Helena has revealed she has a hidden, quite startling, talent.
“Not quite a talent… maybe a sideline,” she said, as she looked me over, casting furtive glances at my pockets. “I can tell what’s in there,” she said, pointing to my tuxedo breast pocket. Whatever was in the pocket was obscured by a red silk square. “It’s the bulge,” she said drily.
She then proceeded to correctly identify the make of mobile phone I had in the pocket, and where exactly I had placed my wallet and BlackBerry elsewhere on my person.
“How did you know?” I asked, flabbergasted. “It’s all down to Les Misérables,” she said. “I’m playing Madame Thénardier. She’s a bad sort and I learned how to pickpocket. I’m pretty good at it.”
Sacha Baron Cohen plays Helena’s hubby Monsieur Thénardier in director Tom Hooper‘s screen version of the acclaimed stage musical written by Claude-Michel Schönberg, Alain Boublil and Herbert Kretzmer.
Helena and I were chatting at the BFI London Film Festival Awards, sponsored by American Express, that were being presented at Banqueting House, Whitehall, last Saturday. Helena and her real-life partner Tim Burton were honoured with BFI Fellowships. Awards also went to Benh Zeitlin’s glorious must-see movie Beasts of the Southern Wild, which won the best first feature competition.
Helena said she took the role in Les Misérables because she likes to sing in places other than the bath. When I visited the set several months ago, she and Sacha were belting out the “Master of the House” number. Les Misérables is now being scored at Abbey Road studios in St John’s Wood.
View the new still below!