100th London Critics’ Circle Awards

Interviews by Claire Furner Transcribed by Felicia Grady, Aimee Schechter, and Kaytee Schwartz

Be The Red Carpet: What’s it like having such an insane fan-base? They’re so loyal. I see there’s a squiggle going outside.

Helena Bonham Carter: It’s so sweet. I see lots of young women which is very touching.

Be The Red Carpet: So they are insane. In a good way.

Helena Bonham Carter: Apparently I’m insane. I mean they seem to make me out – that I inspire their costumes or whatever, but as long as… Anyway, it’s nice to be liked, basically. Yeah, and they seem very happy and sweet and fun.

MuggleNet: I’m from MuggleNet, a Harry Potter fansite, so I’m a massive fan and Bellatrix is huge amongst all the fans, but Rupert Grint’s recently been confirmed to be filming some short scenes for the theme park, so I’m wondering if you know anything, or are involved. Would you make any comment?

Helena Bonham Carter: I’m not sure if I’m allowed to say. I’ve think I’ve been gagged.

MuggleNet: So that’s a possible involvement then.

Helena Bonham Carter: Mhm. Read what you will.

MuggleNet: Congratulations on your award tonight.

Helena Bonham Carter: Thank you.

Unknown: How does it feel to be honored tonight?

Helena Bonham Carter: It’s very nice to win an award. Because obviously they’re a bit [unintelligible] and we all hate critics and – because we think they all hate us, and then you get a nice one and you say [unintelligible] and basically they echo your own inner critic. I think that’s why we give it so much importance and we give so much greatness. So anyway, obviously it’s nice to get it off [unintelligible]

Unknown: You have so many iconic roles, and I guess that’s why you’re being honored tonight, certainly a handful is [unintelligible], Les Mis, and Harry Potter, everything. Is there one that is particularly close to your heart?

Helena Bonham Carter: Hmm it’s like choosing a favorite child. I know, no. I mean, I loved doing Mrs. Roberts, and I just hope I carry on getting them. The only thing about this award is that it’s a lifetime achievement, it sounds like someone hopes we would stop. I just want another good job.

Mail on Sunday: So what are you going to do now? Are you going to take some time off acting?

Helena Bonham Carter: I don’t know. Tim’s taking some time out we’re trying to be parents. Which is a lot harder than anything else.

Claire: Hi, Toby. Hey, sorry. I’m from MuggleNet. [unintelligble] fansite.

Toby: Ah, MuggleNet. I wonder what your website is [unintelligible].

[Claire laughs]

Claire: I was just wondering. I listened to your interview with the Empire podcast recently, and you told how you didn’t really know much about Dobby and Harry Potter when you first took the role. How do you feel now on the other side of it all? When the franchise ended and you were invited back for the final film.

Toby: Oh, you know. It’s a boring answer, but you feel very proud to be part of something like that. I hope I’m being falsely modest when I say that Dobby is… it’s not one that… It’s created by all the people who are fantastic special effects people. The modelers. Primarily, like all the characters in that story, [unintelligble] themselves. They project into the story and create a huge air of expectation which makes the makers all honorable. I feel very proud to be part of that cast, and Dobby’s a great, great character, but I have to say I only take partial responsibility.

Claire: [laughs] And Harry Potter is just one of the many franchises you’ve been part of.

[Claire and Toby laugh]

Claire: Yeah. Are you going to be in the next Hunger Games?

Toby: Yeah, I’ve shot that I get… Every now and then they ask me to go in and improvise with Stanley Tucci..

Claire: Quite fun, though.

Toby: Quite often they fly me over to America, and I go and improvise for an afternoon and do that. It’s not the hardest, most taxing job I’ve ever done, but I’m very proud to be part of that because I think the books are tremendous, and I know from my daughters they’re compelling books. Again. I feel very happy I’m able to represent what they read.

Unknown: [unintelligible] anyone in particular?

Toby: Not anyone in particular, but I was weird. I popped up. I’m in America, and I’m challenged watching sports I don’t understand. With people speaking very intensely. Those ESPN guys.

Unknown: [unintelligible]

Unknown: So there’s a kind of [unintelligible] What do you think fans will expect from that section of [unintelligible]?

Toby: As I say, I’m only there very temporarily, but I’ve been saying it’s got a different director. They’re very different. Very different. They have a different sense of visual ability, and I think he’ll want to bring his own mark to it. They’ll want to respect the books. They said to me, “The second book is very different. It’s all about establishing [unintelligible].

Unknown: Jennifer is Oscar nominated this year, what do you think makes such a remarkable talent?

[Everyone laughs]

Toby: I saw her at the Golden Globes last weekend [unintelligible] her award for Silver Lining’s Playbook.I worked with her on a film that’s coming up, serene, and she is remarkable in that she… It’s not that she’s uber confident or uber flashy or arrogant. She’s an incredibly straightforward person. Now all of this may feel natural to you, but it doesn’t always feel natural for actors, and she handles it all with such ease. She has a huge part. It calls for a huge admirer of yourself [unintelligible] nominated. [unintelligible] recognition mean to you. When I took the part of Gilderoy in Berberia Sound Studio, I came to terms with the fact that I love this film. I thought almost definitely I’d be one of very few people who would ever see it. It felt so strange and peculiar. What I’d underestimated was the amount that critics understood what the director was doing. That whole world of [unintelligible] film. And that whole very [unintelligible], strange atmosphere. Picture creations. It’s been real a surprise to me and a real thrill that the film has done as well as it’s done. I found it hilarious when I read it, and scariness [unintelligible]. I’m going to finish up what I was working on just before Christmas [unintelligible]. I go back in February to do some finishing touches.

Unknown: [unintelligible] Toby: [unintelligible] In America.

Unknown: [unintelligible] Have you seen this before?

Toby: I haven’t seen it because it hasn’t come out. When I’ve been in America, there’s no doubt [unintelligible].

Unknown: How did you get inside the persona of Hitchcock?

Toby: Now that’s a long question. I don’t know. Alfred Hitchcock. I have a very strong image of him in my mind. He’s very well known to people. For a director he was actually a hero. He was very… well, self [unintelligible]. And [unintelligible] strong image of him. The script is written… I mean, it’s very hard to answer that question.

Toby: Hi. Hello. How are you? Are you okay?

Be the Red Carpet: It’s the anniversary of Doctor Who this year. And you had a really big role in that. What’s it like being a part of this huge British franchise?

Toby: Well, you said I had a big role. I had only one episode.

Be the Red Carpet: Yeah, but it was a big role in that…

Toby: Well, I’ve only come to realize that after [unintelligible]. Again, at the risk of repeating myself, my kids are big Doctor Who fans, and I love the character. I love many characters. It felt like I was able to take a piece out of Doctor Who while being in it.

[Claire laughs]

Toby: It felt like a very interesting position to take by Steven Moffat. I really loved…

Be the Red Carpet: [unintelligible] You got to be mean but funny at the same time as well. Thank you.

Toby: Mean and funny. [unintelligible]

Claire: Thank you very much. [unintelligible] question. Thank you.

Be the Red Carpet: Thank you.

Talie: Nice to meet you. [unintelligible] You’re obviously a good British director and you have worked with the cream of the crop, [unintelligible]

Mike Newell: [unintelligible]

Talie: [unintelligible] …British talent and British films in the world.

Mike: Yes, of course it is.

[Talie laughs]

Mike: [laughs] Of course it is! Silly. Of course we’re not.

Talie: You did Harry Potter and you’re doing Great Expectations and they’re almost like a Harry Potter reunion. Was that on purpose or is that just because they’re the best, the British?

Mike: Oh they’re the best. They’re just the best. There is a huge difference between American actors and British actors. It’s almost philosophical. The British actors always come from stage training, and on the stage the actor controls. It’s him that makes it go quick, it’s him that makes it go slow. He’s loud, he’s quiet. He’s right there doing it and he’s in control of you, the audience. In America, the actors know that they’re not. The actors know that they [unintelligible] with the producers, the directors, the cameraman, the technician those are the guys that propel all the American actor can do is be very focused when he finally gets [unintelligible] The English actors have a much bigger field to work.

Talie: Is there anyone you haven’t worked with that you would like to?

Mike: Yeah, there are loads.

Talie: Anyone in particular?

Mike: There are just too many to name. Too many. I’m sorry about that.

Talie: It’s fine.

Mike: It’s true.

Talie: You’ve made your mark obviously with Harry Potter with a younger audience that might have never seen some of your films before. How do you feel you’ve made your mark on history? Those films will go down in history. Those 8 films that were so phenomenal, how did it feel having the responsibility to carry one of those films?

Mike: I had a really good time. It’s very, very exciting. They give you an enormous budget.

[Talie laughs]

Mike: They give you the best actors in the world. They give you a film that you really want to see. You always take a film out to preview and when you put it in front of a preview audience, the audience doesn’t know what it’s going to see. So we went along to a little suburban cinema in Chicago and the man who was running the screening came down to the front and said, “Good afternoon ladies and gentleman and children and this afternoon’s film is going to be Harry Potter 4” and the kid in front of me went, “Yes! Yes! Yes!”

[Talie laughs]

Mike: It’s wonderful, exciting. [unintelligible]

Talie: My last question is obviously another Harry Potter one, but you got to work with Robert Pattinson before he was Robert Pattinson. Do you feel like you’ve got an eye for new talent as it’s going to emerge.

Mike: Have I got a what?

Talie: An eye for talent that’s going to be pretty big, because he is huge now.

Mike: Right. Yes, I know. [laughs]

[Talie laughs]

Mike: Yeah, I do know. He was obviously really good for that movie. He looks like kind of the doomed fighter pilot.

[Talie laughs]

Mike: The head boy who is going to go into the trenches and get shot in his second day. He just had that thing.

[Talie laughs]

Mike: And he is a brilliant vampire. He’s really good. He’s a sweet guy. He’s a clever guy. He is not a dope at all.

Talie: I didn’t think he is. Thank you very much.

Claire: Sorry. Carrying on from Harry Potter. How did you stay in tuned with the others films as they happened? Obliviously you were the fourth one and there were four after you. Did you stay tuned? Did you see them a lot? Did you talk to any directors?

Mike: I don’t even see my own films a lot. When I finish them, I only watch them once. Maybe years after it I will. I saw them all. It’s interesting to see how they went. The producers [unintelligible] are really clear about it. They want somebody different each time and they were so happy with David, that they stayed with him for four after that. I was very interested to see how they went.

Claire: You are presenting Helena with her award this evening, for you as well, Great Expectations, I just wondered, was she the first choice for that role or was there a casting process? There was no competition.

Mike: [unintelligible] And I think that I was heading towards Helena from [unintelligible]

Claire: People say she was born to play that role.

Talie: People say she is a great actress. She has lots of versatility as well.

Mike: In lots of ways, the audience makes people popular. The audience has to say “We want to see more of you, we want to see what she would do there.”

Talie: Yeah.

Mike: Helena has colossal range. That’s a variety of what she does. The energy that she brings is terrific. [unintelligible] Which is tremendous really.

Talie: Yeah, it’s great. [laughs] Have you seen her in Les Mis?

Mike: I have, yes.

Talie: What did you think?

Mike: Well she’s terrific. She’s a very good actor [unintelligible] The spinning top.

Talie: The spinning top, yeah.

Mike: [unintelligible] It’s really big.

Talie: Yeah it is. It’s very big. It’s fantastic. [unintelligible] She is going to be reunited with Johnny Depp for the Lone Ranger. [unintelligible]

Mike: [unintelligible] I’m sure it’ll be a good script. I’m sure that Johnny is a brilliant Tonto.

Talie: Yeah. Thank you!