I have added 3 HQ portraits by Jonty Davies, as featured in the November issue of Red Magazine. The magazine will be out this week, 01st October, in the UK, although a special issue is available early to subscribers. You will also be able to purchase a digital edition.
A strong sense of self, a brilliant talent and a dirty laugh – there’s something magical about Helena Bonham Carter.
As the 49-year-old actress stars in new film, Suffragette, she talks EXCLUSIVELY to Maggie Alderson for Red about how she feels after splitting with her husband, director Tim Burton, why her new film hits close to home and why it’s important to say hello to everything in life.
On splitting up with Tim Burton, her husband of 13 years
‘I could write a thesis on what’s happened and it is all-absorbing when a relationship breaks down, but I think we’re coming through it, and I think we’ll have something very precious still. Our relationship was always somewhat special, and I think it’ll always remain special. We did find each other. And really, the mark of a successful relationship shouldn’t be whether you’re there forever after. Sometimes you’re not meant to be forever together. Sometimes you have to come to terms with the fact that that was it. But that was a gift, a massive gift. We gave each other children and a lot more else. And we might be better, and still be able to give to each other, but not necessarily living together. Which we did by the way, because everyone seemed to think we didn’t, but that was a load of myth.’
On the suffragette movement
‘We weren’t taught it at school and cinematically you only get Mary Poppins [with a middle class mum striving for the vote]. So you don’t think about hunger strikes and violence, nor the reasons behind it, the need for action. Not only did women not have the vote, but we had no rights, at all. We – and our children – were the property of our husbands and this is just 100 years ago. So they are smashing windows, but they had to be heard.’
On great-grandfather, Herbert Henry Asquith, who was prime minister in 1912, when Suffragette is set
‘It was bizarre for me having this sort of posthumous conversation with my ancestors. With my great-grandfather – who up till then I always viewed as, oh, a Liberal, great, a goody – and then I’m put in this role where I basically have to target him. Sadly it was cut, but there was a scene in the film where I’m throwing horse dung at my great-grandfather outside the House of Commons. It had always been a source of curiosity but I hadn’t really delved into it, until I did this, as to exactly why they were anti-suffrage. It seemed totally anti-liberal to not be into giving women the vote. I think it’s that they looked the other way really. When I met Emmeline Pankhurst’s great- graddaughter, Helen, I said, “I’m really sorry…”’
On buying Mill House, Asquith’s retreat in Oxfordshire
‘We went to visit and I felt there was a feeling of a warm hug walking into this place. I just thought, “Well, of course we’ve got to be here…” and we bought it. Then Tim bought lots of dinosaurs, which are in the garden and suit it.’
On turning 50 next year
‘We’re getting dilapidated, but you can’t control that, so why worry? I’m more conscious of the kids’ childhood going, because that goes so fast, it’s a bit like watching one of those time lapses. There’s no pressing pause. You’ve just got to say goodbye all the time, but also say hello. You must remember to say hello. So I’m going to say hello to my 5-0 – because otherwise when I’m 60 I’ll be going, “Oh, you should’ve enjoyed your fifties.”’
On the death of four relatives in a car crash, and her father being left quadriplegic after a brain tumour, when she was just 13
‘Once you’re through the suffering bit, you can see life with a sense of proportion and you shed a lot of worry. You grab fun quicker. If you’ve been through really hard times, there’s an easier ability for joy.’