Helena Bonham Carter, who portrayed Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter films, sat down recently with the Guardian for an all-new interview about her acting experience and her transition from the “corset queen” to her more recent eclectic roles.
Many people associate Helena Bonham Carter with her roles in films such as Alice in Wonderland, Sweeney Todd, The Corpse Bride, and of course the Harry Potter film series. She is often associated with dark characters, villains, or mad women. She even has a collection of all the false teeth she’s worn in her films. However, Bonham Carter’s early work showed her in a very different light.
At the start of her acting career, Bonham Carter appeared in several critically acclaimed films, such as Hamlet and A Room with a View, in roles that differed greatly from that of Bellatrix Lestrange or Mrs. Lovett. When asked about her early career as an actress, she responded,
It’s hard to be high profile and young. I wasn’t very confident; I was cripplingly shy. And at the age of 19, you are all too aware of how people are perceiving you. I remember reading the first profile of me that was printed in a magazine and thinking, ‘Oh, good, now I’m going to find out what I’m really like.’ But no. That’s not the best way of judging yourself.
She also touched on her deviation from period pieces and dramas to her more recent roles as eccentrics and evil queens:
I always wanted to be a character actor, even when I was stuck inside a corset playing innocent girls. I always thought that they were so passive, which I now see as unfair. They weren’t passive; they were these amazing, dynamic women from the [EM Forster] novels. But I’m afraid that’s how I saw it.
Bonham Carter went on to discuss her life with Tim Burton and their children, Nell and Billy. Many fans remember her in several Tim Burton films starring aside her long-time friend Johnny Depp, but she struggles to find a favorite. Some films, she admits, she has not even seen, yet.
I still haven’t seen Sweeney Todd. I missed the boat with that one. I didn’t want to go to the cinema because I was pregnant with Nell, and I was exhausted, and my mum was in hospital, and I hate watching myself anyway. But then, later on, me and Johnny made a pact that we should watch it for Tim’s sake. So we made a date, and we arranged a screening. And then, Johnny being Johnny, he pulled out an hour before. It was a very Depp thing to do.
In the interview, she touched on her opinion of director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, who directs Bonham Carter’s upcoming film, The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet. You can check out the trailer for the film below:
Lastly, she gave us some insight on her viewpoint on acting:
The thing about acting is that it’s just so much easier than everything else. Yes, you get to sound more intelligent than you are, which is nice. And you sometimes get to look better than you are, which is nice as well. But it’s also rewarding and fascinating and moving and fun. And anyway, I’m crap at everything else. I’m crap at putting my feet up. I’m crap at being a production co-ordinator. And being a mum is like running on a hamster wheel. This week it seems that all I’ve done is move lots of books I’ve never read from one shelf to another. I’ve looked at lots of old photos and stared at tonnes of false teeth. I’m putting all my teeth in boxes, and then I’m going back to work.
Be sure to read the full article from the Guardian for more interesting moments with Bonham Carter! Aside from Bellatrix Lestrange, what is your favorite role of Helena Bonham Carter? Let us know in the comments below!