Life and Times: Helena Bonham Carter

Helena Bonham Carter is opening two movies in two weekends! The girl is busy. First we’ve got the behemoth Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I and then it’s Oscar porn The King’s Speech for which she’s nearly secured a Supporting Actress nomination. All of that makes her the perfect candidate for this weeks Life and Times.

Helena is a Brit through and through. She was born in Golders Green, London which just sounds British on May 26th, 1966. After a turbulent childhood involving a psychotic mother and a semi-paralyzed father, she decided to forgo college to pursue acting. She had a humble acting debut with a television film called A Pattern of Roses. Her first leading roles were all in British period pieces such as Lady Jane or A Room with a View. This gave her the title “The Corset Queen” which I quite like.

Her personal life is a two man show. It started with a five year relationship with one of the leading British male actors (“The Corset King?”), Kenneth Branagh! After dating for 5 years, their relationship ended. In 2001, she and her current beau Tim Burton met on the set of one of the most romantic films of all times – Planet of the Apes. They have been an item ever since (but not married! how quirky and unconventional). Since she and Tim are not married, but they share two children, Billy Ray and Nell, they have a unique (unconventional) living situation. They have 2 houses next door to each other in Belsize Park, London with a door connecting the two houses. ADORABLE!

Speaking of unconventional, this marks her sharp trend towards doing, well, Tim Burton movies.  Her descent into the weird, quirky, and dark has made her one of the most iconic actresses and she has really created a brand of Helena.

Here are a few delightful trivia pieces about the lovely Ms. Bonham Carter:

  • She is a distant relative to Florence Nightingale and author Ian Fleming.
  • She is fluent in french as seen in her film Portraits Chinois
  • She started a fashion line with swimwear designer Samantha Page. It’s called Pantaloonies.

She also has a history of losing, which is quite sad. Let’s look at her awards… well, just nominations.

1 Academy Award acting nomination

2 BAFTA acting nominations

2 Emmy acting nominations

5 Golden Globe Acting nominations

1 Screen Actors Guild acting nomination

All I gotta say is… Girl needs a win! Maybe this will be her year!

And finally, here is a composite list of her best films using IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic, and Flickchart.

1. Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit

2. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

3. Fight Club

4. Corpse Bride

5. Howards End

5. A Room with a View

7. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

8. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

9. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

10. The Wings of the Dove

I’m surprised that Wallace & Gromit was the victor, but it won by a long shot. And she’s got 2 animated films that actually competed against each other for the Best Animated Feature Film Oscar.


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