The 19th annual Britannia Awards were held last night in Los Angeles, where Helena won the award for British Artist of the Year. A reporter for the magazine The Hollywood Reporter interviewed Helena, alongside Ben Stiller and David Yates, about her career.
On the evolution of her feelings about acting: My confidence came to me very late in life. I felt distinctly unworthy because I had such an instant success. I was quite exposed, and I never went to drama school. I didn’t feel very good — and I’m pretty self-critical now. But I’ve started to get off my own back, because, you know, acting is just pretending, after all. In our society, there’s a lot made of acting, when ultimately the essential thing is you’re playing — you’re paid a lot of money just to play, and you’ve got to be responsible and take it seriously, but, at the same time, Jesus, it’s not a Nobel Prize endeavor.
On breaking away from the period-piece romances that dominated the early part of her career: On the whole, I’m probably happier as I’m getting older, rather than in the sort of ingenue part of my life, where you’re really defined by what you look like. It’s a relief to me now to be given parts not to do at all really with my exterior. I’m always attracted to more character parts and to doing something different. But the period parts were really satisfying to do because they came from the world of the novel — and they were all so complex. And I love time travel. But we never want to be predictable in life — well, I don’t.
On working with longtime life partner Tim Burton, who has directed her in seven films: We’ve got very similar senses of humor. We’ve both got a very healthy inner child, we’re both quite playful. But we’ve always had an intuitive understanding of each other. We’ve learned how to do it. Basically, I’ve just got to not talk too much and obey. But, you know, if Tim Burton asks you to do a film, I don’t care if you’re with him or without him, you don’t say no.
I was ‘Helena-Surfing’ (one of my favourite past-times: looking for Helena pictures) when I stumbled across this picture, photographed by Natasha Rain at an exhibition of some kind. Thought I’d share it, as I’ve personally not seen it before, although you may recognise the shoot that it comes from!
On further digging, I believe it comes from Peter Lindbergh‘s exhibition, “Cinema” at the Photobiennale Festival, Grand Manezh, Moscow, Russia. And I’ve added 2 MQpictures to the gallery!
Hey look, it’s Helena! She attended the Variety Screening Series for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows yesterday in Hollywood, California along with David Yates.
I’ve got four pictures so far, on the hunt for better quality ones! Added some more pictures to the gallery, thanks to Bonham-Carter.org.
We also have a quote from Helena, regarding a dueling scene with Gary Oldman (Sirius Black) that was cut and stealing items from the set:
Helena Bonham Carter: I always shoot incredibly long sequences for Potter, and 5% is preserved. [laughter] Me and Julie – we did that fight. But it was much longer. We had so many moves. In fact, I had a really huge fight with Gary Oldman [in Order of the Phoenix] – do you remember that?
David Heyman: Are you saying your best stuff is on the cutting room floor?
Carter: Absolutely! Well not my best stuff, but a lot of stuff. I trust I’m in the hands of — but anyway. Me and Julie, we actually threw our backs out. Because it’s quite strenuous doing all the wand stuff. I died that day. I’ve died so many times in films. You usually die in the middle of shooting a film, or in the beginning. But this time I actually finished – it was on my last day of shooting. They killed me. And then they went, “…Bye!” [laughter] I kept my teeth. They wouldn’t fit anyone else. I got them at home. I’ve got my wand. But not THE wand. That’s part of what I loved about the whole Harry Potter experience – it was completely surreal. And I loved every minute of it. But every time I was on set, at the end they’d say, “Give us back your wand.” I’m an unconscious kleptomaniac, I take everything. [laughter] But they’d always take your wand and put it under lock and key. And I thought, “Don’t they realize they don’t work?” You know. [laughter] The wand I’ve got, it’s not my wand.
I’ve got a few posters actually [from the set]. They don’t know about that. The thing is – you go into the art department of any film and they sort of – you know – you can get a few things on the side. [laughter]
Well, you will have already noticed that we have an absolutely gorgeous new layout, made by the brilliant Eduardo! Now that everything is in place, it is full steam ahead with the rebuilding of other pages. Feel free to send in suggestions as to what kind of information, media etc you would like to see on the site!
The Harper’s Bazaar Women of the Year Awards were held on the 7th November, and Helena won the award for Role Model of the Year. Unfortunately Helena was unable to attend the awards, but she sent co-star Sally Hawkins with a letter to read instead:
I will still be Miss Havishaming as you glug your drinks and I’ll have to be up at 5.00 again to get the bridal gear on in order that they can set fire to me (do you know the story?). So Tuesday’s a big day and every bride must get her beauty sleep.
Anyway, please know that under any other circumstances I would have been there and thank you for this compliment. “Role Model of The Year” sounds fantastically heroic. I have no idea what I have done to fulfill this description. It reminds me of a letter I got from a young female fan in which she enumerates “25 things Helena Bonham Carter has taught her”. It starts with things like “dreaming big”, “believing in yourself”, “creating your own style not other peoples”, and that “it’s socially acceptable to wear several hats all at once.” But the one I loved best was No. 25 which was “it’s ok to have short thick legs”.
Now, I think if I’ve helped make someone love their short thick legs then – yes – I DO feel I’ve been heroic. So thank you so much. I do deserve this.
Much love from Miss Havisham World. She doesn’t – after all – get out that much.
I’ve been trying to get up-to-date with candid pictures from the past month, so sorry that I’ve not been on the ball! I’ve added 49 MQ tagged and untagged pictures to the gallery.
Okay, I’ve added scans from the December issue of Harper’s Bazaar; they’re not the best scans in the world I’m afraid, but I’ll see if I can redo the double spread a bit better when I have some more time (its a hard work, this job lark…). Enjoy!
The first stills from the upcoming film, Great Expectations, have been released! They show Helena as Miss Havisham, in her tattered and torn wedding dress. View the images below.
Helena has been announced as Harper’s Bazaar‘s Role Model of the Year 2011! She was photographed by John Swannell, but sadly I can’t find anymore from the set right now, which is a real shame as the photos are beautiful! I’ve added 2 MQ images to the gallery.
Most valuable advice you’ve ever been given?
Be yourself. No one else can.
Making the most of what you have been given.
What is your secret weapon?
I am practically blind, so sometimes on set I take my lenses out and it obliterates everyone and I can concentrate.
Who is your woman of the year?
Can I have two? My daughter Nell and my mum, who is just a great woman