Helena Bonham Carter was born in London in 1966. She started acting in commercials at age 16, but soon began working in film and television. When she was 20, she starred in her first leading role, playing Jane Grey in Lady Jane.
Her breakout role was Kate Croy in The Wings of the Dove (1997). She received Oscar, Golden Globe, BAFTA, and SAG award nominations for this role. Following this, she went on to play such iconic roles as Marla Singer in Fight Club, Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd, and Madame Thenardier in Les Misérables. She also received an Oscar nomination for her performance in The King’s Speech in 2010.
Helena met her partner, Tim Burton, during the filming of Planet of the Apes. The two have been together since 2001 and have two children, Billy Ray and Nell. They live in adjoining homes in London.
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Helena was cast as Bellatrix Lestrange in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in 2006. She replaced Helen McCrory (Narcissa Malfoy), who had to decline the role due to her pregnancy.
Helena played Bellatrix in the latter four movies; in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, she portrayed Hermione impersonating Bellatrix while Emma Watson provided her voice.
Her version of the character makes a strong impact on audiences despite her relative lack of screen time, and she was instrumental in shaping the way Bellatrix appears in the films:
Bellatrix has really good fun, and she’s been a bit of surprise to me, in fact… It wasn’t really there on the page. When I took it on, I found there wasn’t a huge amount to go by in the script, and I read the book and she wasn’t necessarily on the page there either, so I did ask [four-time “Potter” film director] David Yates if I could bring a bit of other things or are these the Bibles? And he said yes, certainly, and apparently J.K. Rowling was very pleased with it when she saw it, and the childish dimension and the fact that she’s totally savage, that was a bit of departure. — Interview with Los Angeles Times
Helena has often talked about the mixture of “revolting and sexy” that makes Bellatrix such a memorable character. Her efforts to ramp up Bellatrix’s insanity have led to her reputation as a scene-stealer in the Harry Potter films.
Helena has been active in film and television since 1983, often working with her partner, director Tim Burton. In her early career, she acted on stage in plays such as The Barber of Seville and provided her voice for numerous audiobooks and radio productions.
She has been featured on the soundtracks of movies such as Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Les Misérables, and The Corpse Bride.
Additionally, she has worked in modeling campaigns for designers such as Marc Jacobs, with whom she collaborated in 2011.
- Helena has many famous relatives, including her great-grandfather Herbert H. Asquith, a former Prime Minister; great-uncle Anthony Asquith, who directed The Importance of Being Earnest; and grandfather Eduardo Propper de Callejón, who was recognized by Israel for saving Jews during World War II. She is also a distant cousin of Kate Middleton.
- She used her winnings from a poetry contest to enter herself in an English casting directory, thus launching her acting career.
- She attended Westminster school in London.
- She was once in a relationship with Kenneth Branagh, who played Gilderoy Lockart.
- She is good friends with Johnny Depp, who is the godfather of her son with Tim Burton.
- She is fluent in French.
- She is known for her quirky sense of style and cites Vivian Westwood and Marie Antoinette as her influences.
Connect with Helena Bonham Carter
Connect with Helena Bonham Carter
Fan Mail Address:
Conway Van Gelder Grant Ltd.
8-12 Broadwick Street
London W1F 8HW
"A THERAPY" A Short Film By: Roman PolanskiDirected by Roman Polanski, Starring Helena Bonham Carter, Ben Kingsley
Screenplay Roman Polanski and Ronald Harwood
Music Alexandre Desplat
Production Designer Dean Tavoularis
Director of Photography Eduardo Serra
Editor Hervé de Luze
Executive Producer Max Brun
Produced by Hi! Production and R.P. Productions