With their own separate houses next door to each other, the living arrangements of Helena Bonham Carter and her partner Tim Burton have often raised eyebrows. But the actress has finally revealed the reason for their twin properties – she cannot stand Burton’s snoring at night.
Rather than undergo an operation to his nose which might cure the condition, the pair instead opted for two homes side by side in Belsize Park, north London, to ensure no sleepless nights.
Bonham Carter has insisted there is nothing unusual about the arrangement and that her relationship with the award-winning director is “enhanced” by having their own personal space.
The 44-year-old divides her time between the two properties which she shares with Burton, 52, their two children Billy Ray and Nell and a nanny.
In an interview with Radio Times, the Alice In Wonderland star said: “A lot written about me is wrong.”
“They say Tim and I are a mad couple with subterranean tunnels between our adjoining houses, and that our children live down the road with another couple.
“We just have two houses knocked together because mine was too small. We see as much of each other as any couple, but our relationship is enhanced by knowing we have our personal space to retreat to.
“It’s not enforced intimacy. It’s chosen, which is quite flattering – if you can afford it.”
She added: “Tim does snore, and that’s an element. We’ve tried lots of remedies that don’t work. He has a deviated septum and doesn’t want an operation.”
The eccentric couple’s private life has been the focus of much speculation after it emerged that they were living in the twin homes, which are accessed by a communal door.
Earlier this year, a national newspaper was forced to apologise for describing the domestic set-up as “chilling”.
But although the couple, who met on the set of Planet of the Apes, have been together since 2001, they have no plans to marry.
“We’re told we’re stupid [for inheritance tax reasons], but it’s a habit we’re used to. I worry about death,” said Bonham Carter.
She also claimed that parenting is more of a challenge than acting, adding: “At the moment I’m just being a mum for my children, although there’s no ‘just’ about it.
“It’s no reflection on them, but working is much more of a doddle. I feel like a production manager when I’m at home – nothing is ever finished.”