Helena Bonham Carter (born 26 May, 1966) is an English actress, who portrayed Bellatrix Lestrange in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and Part 2. She replaced Helen McCrory, who was originally going to play the role but could not because of her pregnancy. McCrory subsequently took on the role of Narcissa Malfoy, Bellatrix's sister.
In 1983, she made her professional debut in a commercial at the age of 16 and also had a part in A Pattern of Roses, a minor television film. Her breakout performance was in the coveted role of Lucy Honeychurch in A Room with a View. After that, she found herself frequently typecast in ingenue characters in period flicks.
Her earlier roles included two episodes in the TV series Miami Vice ("Theresa" and "The Savage"), cameoing in the film Maurice, and the TV film A Hazard of Hearts in 1987, The Mask (1988), the 1989 films Francesco and Getting It Right, Hamlet (1990), Where Angels Fear to Tread (1991), episode "Hospital" in the TV series Absolutely Fabulous, and providing narration for 5 episodes of the Jackanory TV series.
In the 2000s, she was in Novocaine (2001), Till Human Voices Wake Us (2002), Big Fish (2003), provided voice in the 2005 film Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and its video game, and Terminator Salvation (2009).
In 2010, Bonham Carter was in the British biographical comedy-drama Toast, and was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for the film The King's Speech that came out the same year.
She has since developed a richly diverse career in Hollywood, starring in films such as Fight Club (co-starring with Edward Norton and Brad Pitt), Conversations with Other Women, The Wings of the Dove (for which she was nominated for the Academy Award For Best Actress), Sweeney Todd, Alice in Wonderland and Planet of the Apes. The latter three were directed by her partner Tim Burton.
Comments on her character
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Bonham Carter said the following about playing Bellatrix Lestrange: "She's obviously as bonkers as they come. There's a bit of a child-like madness there... You know how kids can be like savages before they get civilised? There's that sadist quality. Y'know, like boys who like to pick apart an insect for the sake of it... She's a sadist. She's very sick. She's got problems. I think she's been in prison a bit too long. But I suspect even before prison she had problems. She's a racist, obsessed with blood purity... And she's in love with Voldemort, really."
Bonham Carter also had a role in determining Bellatrix's wardrobe for the film: "So I had the idea of the corset. 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..."
Bonham Carter also has invited Emma Watson to her own home to discuss the character Hermione Granger and her mind set as Bonham Carter wanted to portray Hermione true to how Emma does when she takes Polyjuice Potion in the film adaptations of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Hermione transforms into Bellatrix.
Bonham Carter was once involved with Kenneth Branagh, who portrayed Gilderoy Lockhart in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and whom she met while he was still married to Emma Thompson, who plays Sybill Trelawney the Harry Potter films.
Bonham Carter's domestic partner was director Tim Burton, with whom she has two children: Billy-Ray and Nell Burton. The couple are good friends, and frequent colleagues, of actor Johnny Depp. Bonham Carter and Burton lived in Belsize Park, London with their two kids in ajoining houses that connect through Helena's Drawing Room. Bonham Carter announced in late December 2014 that she and Burton had separated amicably earlier that year.
|1992||Howards End||BAFTA Film||Best Actress in a Supporting Role||Nominated|
|1994||Mary Shelley's Frankenstein||Saturn||Best Actress||Nominated|
|1997||The Wings of the Dove||Academy||Best Leading Actress||Nominated|
|BAFTA Film||Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role||Nominated|
|Golden Globe||Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama||Nominated|
|Satellite||Best Actress – Motion Picture||Nominated|
|1998||The Theory of Flight||Satellite||Best Actress – Motion Picture||Nominated|
|1999||Fight Club||Empire||Best British Actress||Won|
|2001||Planet of the Apes||Empire||Best British Actress||Nominated|
|Saturn||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|
|2002||The Heart of Me||BIFA||Best Performance by an Actress in a British Independent Film||Nominated|
|2005||Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit||Annie||Best Voice Acting in a Feature Production||Nominated|
|2007||Conversations with Other Women||Evening Standard
|Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street|
|Golden Globe||Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy||Nominated|
|Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix||N/A|
|2009||Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince|
|2010||Alice in Wonderland||MTV Movie||Best Villain||Nominated|
|The King's Speech||Academy||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|
|BAFTA Film||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|BIFA||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|Golden Globe||Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role||Nominated|
|IFTA||Best International Actress||Nominated|
|Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1||N/A|
|2011||Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2|
|2012||Les Misérables||Satellite||Best Cast – Motion Picture||Won|
|2015||Suffragette||BIFA||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|
|2016||Alice Through the Looking Glass||N/A|
|1993||Fatal Deception: Mrs Lee Harvey Oswald||Golden Globe||Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for TV||Nominated|
|1998||Merlin||Golden Globe||Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture||Nominated|
|Primetime Emmy||Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie||Nominated|
|2002||Live from Baghdad||Golden Globe||Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for TV||Nominated|
|Primetime Emmy||Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie||Nominated|
|2009||Enid||BAFTA TV||Best Actress||Nominated|
|International Emmy||Best Actress||Won|
|2013||Burton & Taylor||BAFTA TV||Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film||Nominated|
|Golden Globe||Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film||Nominated|
|Primetime Emmy||Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie||Nominated|
|Satellite||Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film||Nominated|
|2019||The Crown||Golden Globe||Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or TV Movie||Nominated|
|BAFTA TV||Best Actress in a Supporting Role||Nominated|
|Primetime Emmy||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series||Nominated|
|2021||BAFTA TV||Best Actress in a Supporting Role||Nominated|
|Primetime Emmy||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series||Pending|
Behind the scenes
- Bonham Carter accidentally perforated the eardrum of Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) when she stuck her wand up his ear while filming the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
- Due to the similarity in appearance between Bellatrix and her sister Andromeda Tonks, fans of the series set up an online petition to have Bonham Carter play Andromeda in the film adaptations of Deathly Hallows. However, Andromeda was cut from the films.
- Bonham Carter has starred in three films outside the Wizarding World franchise with Johnny Depp (Gellert Grindelwald), Alan Rickman (Severus Snape), and Timothy Spall (Peter Pettigrew):
- Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, which also featured Younger Gellert Grindelwald actor Jamie Campbell Bower.
- Alice in Wonderland, which also featured Frances de la Tour (Olympe Maxime), Stephen Fry (UK audiobook narrator), Paul Whitehouse (Sir Cadogan), and Imelda Staunton (Dolores Umbridge).
- Alice Through the Looking Glass, the sequel of Wonderland, additionally featured Xenophilius Lovegood actor Rhys Ifans.
- Sans the mentioned, Bonham Carter has worked alongside Johnny Depp in four other films: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), Corpse Bride (2005), Dark Shadows (2012), and The Lone Ranger (2013).
- Corpse Bride also featured Paul Whitehouse.
- She has starred with Robert Hardy (Cornelius Fudge) and Kenneth Branagh (Gilderoy Lockhart) in the 1994 film Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, which was directed by Branagh and scored by Patrick Doyle (composer of the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire).
- She was the celebrity guest star in the third episode of the TV series Life's Too Short, which starred Filius Flitwick actor Warwick Davis.
- Bonham Carter has also starred alongside several other actors and actresses from the Harry Potter films in various projects:
- Maggie Smith (Minerva McGonagall) in the 1985 film A Room with a View.
- Guy Henry (Pius Thicknesse) in the 1986 film Lady Jane.
- Richard Cubison (Death Eater) in the 1988 TV film The Vision.
- Emma Thompson (Sybill Trelawney) in the 1992 film Howards End.
- Rik Mayall (Peeves) in the 1993 TV film Dancing Queen.
- Imelda Staunton in the 1996 film Twelfth Night: Or What You Will and the 2016 TV series The Crown.
- Five projects with Lord Voldemort actor Ralph Fiennes:
- Episode "Explosion" of the 1996 documentary series The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century.
- The 2005 film Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
- The 2012 film Great Expectations, which also featured Robbie Coltrane (Rubeus Hagrid) and Jessie Cave (Lavender Brown).
- The 2014 TV films Turks & Caicos and its sequel Salting the Battlefield, which also featured Bill Nighy (Rufus Scrimgeour).
- Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore) in the 1997 film The Wings of the Dove.
- Miranda Richardson (Rita Skeeter) in the miniseries Merlin, in which Bonham Carter portrayed Morgan le Fay.
- Kenneth Branagh and Gemma Jones (Poppy Pomfrey) in the 1998 film The Theory of Flight.
- Stephen Fry, Dawn French (Fat Lady), and Jessica Hynes (voice of Mafalda Hopkirk) in the TV film The Nearly Complete and Utter History of Everything.
- Luke Newberry (Edward Lupin) in the 2002 film The Heart of Me.
- Hugh Mitchell (Colin Creevey) in the 2003 TV film Henry VIII, in which Bonham Carter portrayed Anne Boleyn.
- Timothy Spall and Jude Law (Albus Dumbledore) in the 2004 film Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, in which Bonham Carter's role was uncredited.
- Geraldine Somerville (Lily Evans) in the 2006 film Sixty Six.
- Robbie Coltrane and John Hurt (Garrick Ollivander) in The Gruffalo (2009) and The Gruffalo's Child (2011).
- Timothy Spall and Michael Gambon in the 2010 film The King's Speech, in which Bonham Carter portrayed Queen Elizabeth, the mother of Elizabeth II.
- Eddie Redmayne (Newton Scamander) in the 2012 film Les Misérables.
- Brendan Gleeson (Alastor Moody) in the 2015 film Suffragette.
- Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy), Eddie Izzard (voice of Lord Voldemort in The LEGO Batman Movie), Toby Jones (voice of Dobby), Dustin Demri-Burns (voice of Filius Flitwick in Harry Potter for Kinect), Natalie Dormer (narrator of Harry Potter: A History of Magic), Ralph Ineson, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson (Skender) in the 2019 series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.
- Frances de la Tour and Fiona Shaw (Petunia Dursley in the 2020 film Enola Holmes.
- Helena Bonham Carter on Wikipedia
- List of Helena Bonham Carter performances on Wikipedia
- List of awards and nominations received by Helena Bonham Carter on Wikipedia
- Tribulation Online A Helena Bonham Carter/Bella Lestrange fansite
- Helena World A Helena Bonham Carter fansite
Notes and references
- Helena Bonham Carter's Spotlight profile
- Daly, Steve (13 July 2007). Helena Bonham Carter Gets Wicked. Entertainment Weekly.
- EW.com interview, page 2
- "Helena Bonham Carter honoured at Buckingham Palace", BBC News (22 February 2012).