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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.
Helena has been chosen as the new face of designer Marc Jacobs’ 2011 fall campaign! She has been photographed in a rather strange position wearing a uniquely beautiful outfit that Helena is known for. Hopefully she’ll do more photoshoots wearing Marc Jacobs creations, because she looks amazing! View the image below.
A brand new poster of Helena as Bellatrix Lestrange in the final Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II has been released! Helena has sparkling brown eyes in it and her infamous false teeth. She looks gorgeous! You can view the image below!
Helena Bonham Carter likes portraying “weird” women.
The Oscar-nominated actress – who has portrayed characters ranging from the unstable Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter series to the demanding Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland – finds herself attracted to unusual roles and enjoys dressing up to play parts.
She told Germany’s Tele 5 website: “I love dressing up and playing weird women. It would be boring for me to try and look as beautiful as possible on screen. Tim Burton absolutely understands that and leaves me to choose which characters I want to play in his films.
“In my view women like that are ill, and for some reason I’m attracted to that. It makes me wonder what made them turn evil. As an actress it’s my job to be understanding towards women like that and to not be judgmental. Something about this madness attracts me.”
However, the 45-year-old star admits she has not always liked her performances in movies, and was reluctant to star in 2001’s Planet of the Apes alongside Mark Wahlberg because she “didn’t like” the story.
She added: “I already didn’t like the script. But my agent told me I couldn’t really get out of it and that it could be very important to further my career.”
Helena Bonham Carter felt like she had “come home” when she met Tim Burton.
The British actress – who raises children Billy, seven and Nell, three, with the US director – has the same “moral values” as her long-term partner and she enjoys being with him because of how creative he is.
She said: “There are a lot of things we’ve got in common; we’ve got the same moral values and the same humour which can be quite playful and childish. I also like how creative Tim is. We feel so comfortable with each other. It’s as if I’ve finally come home.”
However, when they first met on the set of 2001 movie Planet of the Apes – which he directed and she starred in – the pair did not hit it off immediately.
She told German website Tele 5: “Me and Tim weren’t really close during shooting; we hardly talked to each other. Only a few months later we met again and hit it off straight away.”
Despite the pair’s closeness, 44-year-old Helena has previously revealed she would like to work with directors other than him. She joked: “I am available for work other than with the boyfriend. And I will certainly make it a calmer, easier, happier set to work on.”
You see, thanks to their Harry Potter-filled new issue of Empire Magazine, out tomorrow, we’ve got some amazing quotes from Julie Walters and Helena Bonham Carter about that scene. You know, the duel. The duel with the… “b-bomb”.
Arguably one of the most anticipated scenes in the whole series, let alone the last movie, it will see Molly Weasley squaring off with Bellatrix Lestrange after the latter attacks the former’s daughter, Ginny.
Helena Bonham Carter herself, though not so preoccupied with that line, explained just how hazardous the whole fight was to shoot: “You should warm up before wand-fighting; that’s what Julie Walters and I discovered when we were duelling each other. We were crippled after that scene. Duelling going backwards on a table is tricky without falling off. Which, of course, I did! I did say, ‘Can someone stand there and keep and eye out?’ But there were people standing all around and not one of them warned me.”
Tom Felton has admitted that he is always “really taken aback” when working with Helena Bonham Carter.
The actor, Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter series, described his co-star as “the complete Jekyll and Hyde”.
“It’s all very different when you’re working together, but when you’re outside work you always think, ‘I wonder if they still have a clue who I am’,” he told Empire. “I’ve learnt a lot from her. She’s the complete Jekyll and Hyde, if you will: she’s the sweetest British lady and slightly in her own world and then when the cameras roll she goes berserk, which is amazing.
“It’s brilliant to watch. I could name more: every single one of those actors has been incredibly nice to me, which makes a big difference.”
Discussing Draco’s journey through the series to the upcoming Deathly Hallows: Part Two, Felton remarked that he hopes the audience will have some sympathy for the young Death Eater.
“It’s a really hard writing task: the idea is to spend six years getting the audience to dislike this character, to certainly have no empathy for him whatsoever, and then within two years to show how the bully is treated at home and why he is like that,” he said. “You see him get put in a few unfortunate circumstances so I’m hoping by the end of it you really feel quite bad for the kid.
“Daniel and I have often talked about it as being two sides of a coin: Harry with all the great influences, look what he can achieve, and Draco with the exact opposite and trying to fight the fact that his parents couldn’t be a worse influence. Let alone Auntie Bella and everyone else around the table!”
Tom Hanks, Helena Bonham Carter, Tim Burton and Kristin Chenoweth were among the special guests as Queen Elizabeth hosted President Obama at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday.
And the stars’ place in the entertainment world helped underscore a major tie between the countries.
“Over the years, we have enjoyed … any number of what we call films – and you might call movies,” the Queen told her visitors. “[The] exchange of people and projects has enlarged and invigorated our common language – although I think you will agree we don’t always use it in quite the same way.”
The Queen, 85, referred to the “fond memories” of her initial meeting with the first family of the U.S. in 2009, when it gave her “much pleasure to welcome Mrs. Obama and your daughters here.”
The President, for his part, sent wishes from his daughters Sasha, 9, and Malia, 12, who “adored you even before you let them ride in a carriage on the palace grounds,” he told the Queen.
They made the comments at the beginning of the State Banquet in the palace’s grand ballroom. The Obamas and the 170 special guests were entertained by the Scots Guards.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who helped welcome the Obamas earlier in the day, were not at the banquet because of work commitments, the palace said.
But on the guest list – which aimed to capture the cultural and business links between the two long-standing allies – was Virgin Atlantic boss Sir Richard Branson, as well as actor Kevin Spacey, who heads up the creative direction of the Old Vic Theater in London.
The group was set to dine on sole in crayfish sauce, lamb with basil, zucchini and sautéed radish, ending with a dessert of vanilla and kirsch cherry charlotte.