The Untold Truth Of Helena Bonham Carter

Helena Bonham Carter is a seasoned British actor who is known for her scene-stealing movie roles. The London native has stunned audiences across the globe by adding her eccentric flair to projects such as "Fight Club," "The King's Speech," the "Harry Potter" films, "Sweeney Todd," and most recently, "The Crown." Bonham Carter, who is now 56, has been in the entertainment industry since she singlehandedly took the initiative to get herself an acting agent when she was 13 years old. "I just went and got an agent ­because I thought I can create my own world," she revealed to The Guardian. "You can't right your own life, but you can escape to a world where you can have control."

Although Bonham Carter admits that she had a terrible case of self-doubt when it came to her acting chops, (she was starring alongside the likes of Maggie Smith in her teen years,) she now feels a sense of confidence that can only come with age. "Ageing has helped hugely," she says of her acting abilities. "There's no question I'm a better actor, and you leave ­behind a certain typecasting."

From her fascinating relationship with Tim Burton to her quirky outlook on life, there is no denying that Ms. Bonham Carter is truly one of a kind. And whether she's portraying an "English Rose" in a period drama or a deranged witch in the "Potter" franchise, once the cameras stop rolling, she always manages to stay true to her authentic self. "I'm just being myself," she says in a CNN interview (and we couldn't be more grateful for it.) Keep reading to find out more about the iconic Ms. Bonham Carter.

She has royal lineage

Helena Bonham Carter may play Princess Margaret on "The Crown," but did you know she has royal blood in real life as well? That's right. Bonham Carter is a distant relative to the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton. "We can reveal that Helena and Kate are distant cousins, who share the same great-great-great grandfather, a Yorkshireman who worked in the wool trade," the magazine reveals.

Furthermore, when it comes to her role as Princess Margaret on "The Crown," it turns out Bonham Carter had the most perfect acting coach to help her portray the part: Princess Margaret, herself! The "Sweeney Todd" actor has connections to the princess, considering her uncle once dated her. And as she reveals in an interview with The Guardian, when she landed the role of the princess, she had personally asked her "for her blessing," via a psychic, to play the part. "So I asked her: 'Are you OK with me playing you?' and she said: 'You're better than the other actress' that they were thinking of.' They will not admit who it was. It was me and somebody else."

She continued, adding, "That made me think maybe she is here, because that is a classic Margaret thing to say. She was really good at complimenting you and putting you down at the same time." But of course, there was a catch. According to the actor, Princess Margaret told her, "'But you're going to have to brush up and be more groomed and neater.'" Bonham Carter, who was honored to portray the role, was willing to do just that.

Johnny Depp is the godfather of her children

It's no secret that Johnny Depp has an incredibly tight bond with Helena Bonham Carter and her ex-partner, Tim Burton. The three have worked together on multiple film projects, including "The Corpse Bride," "Alice in Wonderland," "Sweeney Todd," and "Dark Shadows." But what many people don't know is that the seasoned actor known for playing Jack Sparrow in "Pirates of the Caribbean" is actually the legal godfather of Carter and Burton's two children, who are now 18 and 14 years old, respectively.

In 2020, when Carter was interviewed by The Irish Times, she had gone on to defend her former co-star and the godfather of her children against the allegations of domestic abuse being made by Amber Heard. She said, "There's something quite old-fashioned about Johnny, with these manners – none of it makes sense. But the man's not stupid. He wouldn't have gone to this length if he thought he was in the wrong."

Whether or not Carter and Depp will work together again is uncertain. Yet since Depp won the defamation trial against Amber Heard in 2022 (per Entertainment Weekly,) the actor is expected to make a comeback in the entertainment world so it is not out of the realm of possibility. 

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

She acts as a form of escapism

Some people want to take up acting solely so they can become movie stars and receive eternal fame and glory. Helena Bonham Carter, on the other hand, decided to try her hand at acting for the purpose of escaping her real life. As she reveals in an interview with The Guardian, her parents both suffered from illness during her childhood, and the severity of it made her feel as though she needed some form of escapism to ease the pain. After her father tragically had a stroke when she was just 13, she got herself an agent so she could make a life of her own.

To this day, Carter finds acting to be incredibly beneficial for her well-being. And getting the chance to morph herself into a totally different persona for a movie role is "therapeutic" for her, as she reveals in a press junket interview for "Alice in Wonderland." "I want to dress up. I don't want to look like me. I want to feel like I've escaped me," she says in the interview found on Youtube. She continues, saying, "It's completely therapeutic," later adding of the acting process: "it's amazing that you don't have to pay for the therapy. You get paid for the therapy."

Inside her eccentric relationship with Tim Burton

Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton were in a unique relationship that spanned thirteen years (via People.) They met on the set of Burton's 2001 film "Planet of the Apes," in which Bonham Carter, interestingly enough, played one of the apes. And like many of the best love stories of the ages, the two of them started as friends before slowly evolving into something more. Their relationship was filled with a gray-skinned/Victorian-Halloween aura that won the favor of goths across the globe. Unsurprisingly, their "conjoined property" (per The Daily Mail) was filled with ghoulish decor: skeletons and coffins lay around where most coffee tables would.

But despite all their eccentricities, in reality, their courtship was just like any other: They loved one another deeply, yet, at times, they could get into some seriously heated fights. This was especially the case while filming "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," which stressed Burton out to no end. Unfortunately, according to Bonham Carter, he would often take his frustrations out on her. "I'd never sung before, he had never done a musical and it's that classic thing that you take your stress out on the person who you know best and we really didn't get on during that one," she admitted during a guest appearance on the "Grounded with Louis Theroux Podcast" (per People.) "Amazingly I got pregnant," she added, "but let's not get into that."

Although the two are no longer in a romantic relationship, they are still extremely close. After all, Burton and Bonham Carter are still co-parents to their two children, Billy Ray and Nell.

What is Bonham Carter's net worth?

Helena Bonham Carter got her first acting gig when she was 16, after starring in a television commercial, notes The Guardian. Ever since then, the talented "Corpse Bride" star has been snagging film roles left and right. According to IMDb, Bonham Carter has a whopping 109 credits to her name. Over that time, she was able to accumulate a hefty net worth of $60 million dollars (per Celebrity Net Worth.) She has garnered this net worth from taking on a diverse range of movie and television roles, showing off her true versatility as an actor. Some of her highest-paying acting gigs include her outstanding work in the later "Harry Potter" films, "Alice in Wonderland," and "Fight Club."

The actor, who is quite a philanthropist, is very adamant about giving back to those in need. And according to Look to the Stars, she has donated to many causes and charities, including "Children of Peace," "Save the Children," "UNICEF," and more.

Her notorious affair with Emma Thompson's husband

It turns out Sybil Trelawney and Bellatrix Lestrange have some beef that extends beyond the magical world! One of the biggest scandals in British entertainment occurred when Helena Bonham Carter began a love affair with Emma Thompson's husband at the time, Kenneth Branagh, in 1994. Branagh and Bonham Carter met while filming "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" and began a relationship despite Branagh being married to Thompson.

Bonham Carter admitted (according to The Daily Mail) that it was difficult being villainized by the British Press because she was the only one who knew what really went down. "It gets frustrating because I know the story and the truth of it," she said. "It is very hurtful and, frankly, some of the things I have been called are quite libelous. But it's part of the price of being in the public eye."

Emma Thompson responded to the situation, saying that she now finds herself at "peace" with the scandal and doesn't see the point of dwelling on the past. "All blood under the bridge," she told The Sunday Times  (via Marie Claire.) "You can't hold on to anything like that. It's pointless. I haven't got the energy for it. Helena and I made our peace years and years ago."

The Alice in Wonderland star has her own fashion line

Helena Bonham Carter is known for her incredibly unique and daring sense of fashion (per CNN.) But unlike many celebrities, she has no interest in wearing clothes purely based on what's in style or what is currently "trending." For the "Through The Looking Glass" actor, the most essential part of fashion is wearing the clothes that make her feel like her most authentic self. Sometimes, that authentic self is a little bit on the wacky side, but that's all the more reason to love the actor. According to Glamour, she once iconically wore mismatching shoes to a red carpet event. "Why not wear mismatching shoes? Who says we can't? I was just having fun." She continued by adding, "For me, fashion is all about fantasy and putting unlikely things together. That's what I love. I genuinely love dressing up."

There's something so admirable about Bonham Carter's ability to dress fully for herself without caring what anyone else has to say about her attire. And to make matters even cooler, the queen of dressing up for "fantasy" purposes created her own fashion line! The fashion line started in 2006 according to Celebrity Clothing Line, and was called "Pantaloonies." Although it has since been discontinued, Bonham Carter's fashion sense lives on.

She sometimes turns into her Harry Potter character to scare people away

In real life, Helena Bonham Carter comes across as one of the warmest individuals in the entertainment industry. But in the magical world of "Harry Potter," Bonham Carter plays Bellatrix Lestrange, aka one of the evilest and most sadistic characters (playing second fiddle to Lord Voldemort, of course.) The murderous witch is undeniably terrifying, especially to children who most likely have never seen such an unhinged character. According to Bonham Carter, she incorporated her own eccentric flair into the character, whereas in the original script, she says Bellatrix was more dull. "I think I probably made her a bit more insane and unhinged than she was meant to be," she told Entertainment Weekly. And because of this, the "Harry Potter" alum will sometimes use her "unhinged" role to scare kids away. 

She further explained while appearing on "The Graham Norton Show" (per Youtube), saying that when her son brings over a group of boys who are misbehaving, she'll brandish her wand and pretend to be Bellatrix. (Bonham Carter says that she was able to keep her wand from the film as a form of memorabilia.) Transforming into this character, she says, will instantly get the children to "behave." Not a bad parenting trick, eh?

Carter lived with her parents until she was 30 years old

While it's safe to assume that most people can't wait to move out of their parent's homes to explore their independence, it's also safe to assume that Helena Bonham Carter isn't "most people." In fact, according to the actor, she lived at home with her parents until she was 30 years old. Although she was financially stable enough to get her own place considering she was already a successful actor by that point, she had decided to stick by their side solely of her own volition. "I was married to my parents," she said of the time during an interview with The Guardian. According to Express, her father was a respected politician in the UK as well as a British banker. Her mother, alternatively, worked as a psychotherapist.

Bonham Carter stayed with her family in part because her father tragically suffered a stroke during her teen years. To take care of him, she continued to share living quarters with her mother and father. 

How her role in Fight Club changed her acting career for the better

Helena Bonham Carter fans of younger generations mostly know the actor for her wacky movie roles in Tim Burton films and the like. In these movies, she is usually rocking an iconic bird's nest hairstyle and an outlandish/oddball persona. But what the younger generations might not know is that in previous decades, she was known to the world as a suppressed "English Rose." In other words, the "Corpse Bride" actor was playing roles that were completely polarizing to the more updated film characters she is now known for. And according to Bonham Carter, it's a huge relief getting to play characters who are much more liberated and free than the ones she has played in previous years (per The Guardian.) She attributes her iconic role in "Fight Club" to helping her springboard from the "corset bimbo" characters, (her words, not ours) to the eccentric free spirits she now so effortlessly plays. 

But interestingly enough, according to IMDb, the role in "Fight Club" was originally intended for Reese Witherspoon. The "Legally Blonde" actor allegedly turned down the part of Marla Singer that ended up being perfect for Bonham Carter, because it was "too dark" for Witherspoon's taste. Who knew? 

The fascinating ways she has defied beauty standards in Hollywood

Hollywood stars are constantly on camera. Whether they are being photographed by the paparazzi or acting in a film, it makes sense that they would want to look their very best for the public eye. Because of this, many stars will go to great lengths to make sure they are absolutely flawless by any means necessary. And while it's understandable that these stars want to be on their A-game, Helena Bonham Carter has never felt the need to conform with her peers in the entertainment industry. In fact, one of the main reasons that she never thought she would become a "Hollywood actor" was because of her unconventional beauty. "I thought I'd never work in Hollywood because I've got fat legs," she once told The Daily Mail. "Now it doesn't matter."

In an interview with The Guardian, she opens up about embracing her "yellow teeth" and her natural beauty features. "I've never had white teeth," she confessed. "To be honest, I've never been told to do any of those horrible things – get your teeth whitened or your nose straightened."

Furthermore, another way Bonham Carter marches to the beat of her own drum is that unlike the majority of her Hollywood peers, she refuses to get a stylist. Not that she hadn't tried before, but as she admits, she simply prefers to create her own fashion statements. "Basically, I don't like being told what to wear," she said. "I don't like being told what to do, so there's no point. A lot of people suggest that I should."