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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.

She portrayed Hermione Granger disguised as Bellatrix in the Gringotts Break-In scene in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. The voice for the transformed Bellatrix was done by Emma Watson.

Career

Helena Bonham Carter on the set of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Bonham Carter has had no formal training in acting. She won a national writing contest in 1979 and used the money to pay for an entry into Spotlight, an actors' directory in England.

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 late 90s, she appeared in the 1995 films Mighty Aphrodite, Margaret's Museum, and The Good Sex Guide, Keep the Aspidistra Flying (1997), Sweet Revenge (1998), and Women Talking Dirty (1999).

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

Helena playing Hermione pretending to be Bellatrix during the Gringotts Break-in scene

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."[2]

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..."[3]

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.

Personal life

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.

Bonham Carter was made a CBE in the 2012 New Year Honours list for services to drama.[4]

Selective filmography

Year Work Award Category Result
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
British Film
Best Actress Won
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Empire Best Actress Won
Golden Globe Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy Nominated
Saturn Best Actress Nominated
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix N/A
2009 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Terminator Salvation
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
Empire Best Actress Nominated
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
2018 Ocean's 8
2020 Dragonheart: Vengeance
TV
Year Work Award Category Result
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
2020 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

External links

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Notes and references

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