|Helena Bonham Carter
Bonham Carter at the 26th Santa Barbara International Film Festival in 2011
|Born||Helena Bonham Carter
26 May 1966
Islington, London, England
|Education||South Hampstead High School
|Partner(s)||Kenneth Branagh (1994â€“99)
Tim Burton (2001â€“14)
|Parent(s)||Raymond Bonham Carter (father)
Elena Propper de CallejÃ³n (mother)
Tim also has enough confidence so that it always looks like a Tim Burton film, but it really is collaborative. You're allowed to do it your way but of course he's always going to choose his way.
I loved doing all those costume dramas. I didn't think, 'Ooh I've got to avoid being typecast' – you can't ever be dictated to by what other people think. I just do things because I fancy the parts and the directors.
As everyone, you do end up becoming your mother, but also as you're acting, I find out you become every member of your family, bits come out without you really wanting them to come out.
Multitasking? I can't even do two things at once. I can't even do one thing at once.
I enjoy those small chats you have when people come up and talk to you about your work. It only involves a few seconds of effort to be nice to those people, and I am very grateful for the kind words that people have taken the trouble to express to me in person.
I liked pretending to be other people: I could reinvent myself, reinvent my own reality.
That's the thing with animated films – I often feel that puppets get the better parts compared to us normal actresses.
I love changing what I look like because I always feel super strange whenever I do watch something that I'm in.
I would pretend to be the French lieutenant's woman. I was always a romantic. I still am, actually.
You learn to rely on a few basic movements and use your voice to the greatest extent possible to convey your emotions. So there was a technical challenge there and a responsibility to create a character from behind the mask.
Wearing corsets all the time was completely incapacitating, as far as digestion goes.
It's easy for me to go back to being a kid. You know how kids can be like savages before they get civilized? There's that sadist quality. Y'know, like boys who like to pick apart an insect for the sake of it.
I was sad that Corpse Bride was so short. I would've liked to have had her around for way longer. She doesn't actually have that many scenes.
When I was young I had so many inferiority complexes. I had an inferiority complex because I didn't go to university. I had an inferiority complex because I didn't train. Then it gets tiring. And you do get bored of it.
In any relationship, after the first year is over, you can't help but want your own space.
No matter how many modern parts I do, people still refer to me as Mrs. Costume Drama. Fight Club is a studio pic, and I've done very few of those. I've got a feeling it's going to change things for me.
I think I've still got a bit of a sado-masochistic streak in me, because if I'm not going to be restricted by corsets and covered in lace, then I still wind up wearing an ape-mask over my face. I do wonder how I get myself in these situations!
I don't think kids have a problem with death. It's us older ones who are nearer to it, that start being frightened.
I've never had white teeth. To be honest, I've never been told to do any of those horrible things – get your teeth whitened or your nose straightened.
I never really wanted to grow up. I grew up really young. I moved out when I was 13 – that's when I started acting.
I don't think any actor wants their children to follow them into the profession.
Fairytales have always got to have that scary quality, as long as you make them laugh.
Most of my relationships were people in the business. Having said that, me and Tim don't really talk that much about work. He comes into my bit of the house every so often to vent but we don't really have very high, cultured conversations.
She looks like a warrior. I mean, Bellatrix does mean warrior. And she's also a bit of a fatale. She's the right hand of Voldemort, and the only woman death eater.
My mom being a psychotherapist, I've been brought up with that whole psychoanalytical terrain.
J.K. Rowling said Bellatrix's role was going to be significant in the last one, when I showed some reluctance in playing a tiny bit part. Up front, they said, 'You're very significant in the last one.' But significant could mean a lot of things. That could just mean a significant plot point. Doesn't necessarily equal big part.
A lot of times in this business, it's so transitory – it's just 10 weeks here or there on a movie and then it's over – but to see the same people over all that time, a decade, makes you feel really safe and secure.
When you're up for an Oscar, you just get offered everything. It's fantastic, but a lot of it you're completely inappropriate for.
Mothers are the heart of any household. I try to spend as much time with my children as I possibly can while also fulfilling my professional duties. It is tricky, but I think I manage it.
I was reading William Shawcross's biography of the Queen Mother, dressed in my witch outfit! And you know what? It was a really good mix; it was a therapeutic mix.
I'm always attracted to lower budget, not because it's lower budget, but because they tend to be better scripts. It's the scripts that tend to be the small arthouse film that tend to be more actor-led and character driven.
Everybody has an inferiority complex when they step into a room. But then when you have children and you get older, it doesn't really matter. When I was young I had so many inferiority complexes. I had an inferiority complex because I didn't go to university. I had an inferiority complex because I didn't train.
But it's often been the case, I've done so many countless small, independent films that really 3.2 people have seen, so you never know. You do it for the joy of the part and not necessarily expect anyone to see the final product.
For me, acting is about getting away from myself. So to look at myself is the last thing I want.
Not only was it nearly impossible to hear because of these huge rubber ears we had to wear, but we also had these huge furry hands which were absolutely useless, especially if you had to scratch yourself.
I'm drawn to emotionally damaged characters because there is more to unlock.
You become very angry and depressed that you keep getting offered only these exceedingly demure and repressed roles. They're so not me. That's why films like Fight Club were so important to me because I think I confounded certain stereotypes and limited perceptions of what I could do as an actress.
I just went and got an agent because I thought I can create my own world – you can't right your own life, but you can escape to a world where you can have control.
With the number of people I ignore, I'm lucky I work at all in this town.
When you write for very young children what they want is something familiar and safe and stereotyped.
It was weird because I was pregnant, throughout that so it was weird being a pregnant witch. I was in a really bad mood but luckily, because I sleep with the director, he just sort of scheduled me so I only had to do it two nights.
I'm always attracted to lower budget, not because it's lower budget, but because they tend to be better scripts.
I was like one of those nauseatingly nice children. I was very, very well behaved and boring.
I think my mouth just opens and I spontaneously say things that occur to me.
It was a challenge to be able to create a character without being able to use one's normal set of expressions. All the rubber and makeup attached to your face left you with only a modest range of facial movements.
Famous people come up to me, but I don't know who they are because my sight is so bad. It's always at the pool of the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills when I don't have my lenses in and my glasses are in my room.
I also get fed up with the fact that casting agents and directors have this impression of me as being frail and petite. I find it very patronizing. I'm quite beefy and strong. I was a gymnast in school and I have lots of muscles.
I have to struggle to change people's perceptions of me. I grew very frustrated with the perception that I'm this shy, retiring, inhibited aristocratic creature when I'm absolutely not like that at all. I think I'm much more outgoing and exuberant than my image.
I don't think I dress eccentrically. I'm just not conservative, I guess – I dress according to what like. And I'm not a mannequin, as you can tell.
Very early on, you figure out that you put your self-esteem in the hands of strangers. There's a different commodity. There's the Helena Bonham Carter that everyone thinks they know, who really has nothing to do with me. But you just have to let that go.
Usually I'm frustrated when I look at my films and I don't believe that I've made a real transformation beyond my usual sets of gestures and expressions. I still have this nagging feeling that it's me, that I didn't create a unique character.
My life had been very work-orientated, and all in close-up. Once I had the family, it went into sudden widescreen.
If you're a queen, you're powerless, so I'd probably demote myself and go shopping.
I'm not dead and I don't have blue hair but some people say there are similarities. It is usually intolerable to watch myself onscreen but this time it's fine. I think it's beautiful and a real work of art.
What I loved about playing the corpse is that obviously somebody else got to do the physical part. It appeals to the part of me that likes playing character parts and getting the chance to get away from my own physicality.
My father fell really chronically ill when I was 13 and that's when I phoned up an agent and started to act.
People have lots of misconceptions about me. My mum, who is half French and half Spanish, gets outraged when I'm called quintessentially English. I owe my looks to my mum-which was 90 percent of getting my first job. And, some people would argue, 90 percent of my entire career.
I was weird right from the start. It's just that you can't ever expect people to get you. And I do think that really did mess with my head, being well-known young, when you really don't know who you are.
I remember I did think, 'Wouldn't it be nice if Mr. Right moved in next door?'
I should get a few ribs taken out, because I'll be in a corset for the rest of my life.
Journalists are always calling my features Edwardian or Victorian, whatever that means. I am small, and people were smaller in those times. I'm pale and sickly-looking. I look fragile-like a doll. But sometimes I just wish I had less of a particular look, one that was more versatile.
You can't ever put your self-definition in the hands of somebody who meets you for 15 minutes.
People say, 'You're still breast-feeding, that's so generous.' Generous, no! It gives me boobs and it takes my thighs away! It's sort of like natural liposuction. I'd carry on breast-feeding for the rest of my life if I could.
It took me so many years to move out. I'm definitely a bit of a Peter Pan, reluctant to grow up. It all seemed really nice at home-why change it? Part of me would prefer not to have any responsibility whatsoever.
It didn't matter what you look like. You don't have to get up at 5:30 in the morning and there's a lot to be said for that. Corpse Bride can just play all my parts from now on and I'll just do the voice.
The problems come when your personal life and relationships come under scrutiny in the press and often very uncomplimentary things are printed about you.
I was a mixture of being incredibly old for my age and incredibly backwards. I was born quite old, but then I stopped growing. I lived with my mum and dad till I was 30.
It's different when you're an actor and playing a part, but when it's just you, you feel immensely vulnerable have strangers prodding and prying.
The parenting bit is much harder than the acting bit. You just never know what to do.
I'm often criticised for what I wear. That's my main label in the press now: disastrous dresser!
I drink booze, I smoke, and I'm hooked on caffeine. I actually have been known to swear at times and belch and even raise my voice when provoked. And I'm not physically repressed!