Helena Bonham Carter started acting as a way of “coping” when her father was diagnosed with a brain tumour
The ‘Crown’ actress was just 13 when her dad Raymond had an operation to remove the tumour, which went wrong and tragically left him quadriplegic and partially blind
11 October 2019
Helena says watching her disabled father descend into depression made her want to “invent [her] own life”, and so she got an agent and began acting.
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She explained: “He was an amazing man with amazing determination. He had this alphabet board to talk with. Instead of answering with ‘no’ or ‘yes’ he would answer in an incredibly long sentence. But he had depression and felt terribly guilty that he was a burden.
“My way of coping at 13 was I found an agent. I thought, ‘f**k this, I’m going to invent my own life’. It was a refusal to accept what happened.”
The ‘Harry Potter’ star believes her passion for acting stems from “dysmorphia”, as she finds it therapeutic to “be someone else”.
She added: “It’s a release to be someone else, I want to get out of myself. Dressing up is fun. When I go shopping I think, ‘that dress is going to transform me’. A lot of it is dysmorphia, in a way I couldn’t wait to play other people.”
Helena is known for taking on dark roles, such as Bellatrix Lestrange in the ‘Harry Potter’ movies, Mrs. Lovett in ‘Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street’, and several other movies directed by her ex-partner Tim Burton.
And although she feels “typecast” as a villain, she doesn’t mind because she’s “always wanted to be a character”.
Speaking to The Sun newspaper’s Bizarre column, she said: “When you start off acting you don’t have a choice. If you’re going to get any flow of jobs, you’re inevitably going to get typecast.
“I didn’t know who the hell I was for a long time. I still don’t but I know it doesn’t matter. I was lucky with all those literary adaptations. I’ve always wanted to be a character.”