Lived with Kenneth Branagh. [1994 - September 1999]
Great-granddaughter of H.H. Asquith, British Prime Minister (1908-1916).
She is a first cousin of Baroness Jane Bonham-Carter, and only a distant cousin of Crispin Bonham-Carter: Crispin’s father, Peter Malcolm Bonham-Carter, is a third cousin of Helena Bonham Carter. The first ancestors that Crispin and Helena have in common, are John Bonham-Carter (1788-1838) and his wife Joanna Maria Smith (1791-1884).
Her father was severely paralyzed by botched brain surgery in the 1980s.
Speaks French fluently.
She was denied admission to King’s College, Cambridge University, not because of her grades or her test scores but because school officials were afraid that she would leave mid-term to pursue her acting career. Because of Cambridge’s rejection, Helena decided to concentrate fully on acting.
She is the granddaughter of Violet Bonham Carter, a Life Peeress in her own right, and the niece of Mark Bonham-Carter, who was created a Life Peer in his own right as well. Her half-Spanish mother ‘Elena Propper de Callejón’ is niece of Baroness Liliane de Rothschild, née Fould-Springer.
Delivered her first child, a boy, Billy Ray, with partner Tim Burton on October 4, 2003.
Engaged to director Tim Burton (2001 – present) 2 children.
Planned to return to the West End with an appearance in Rubenstein’s Kiss; however, the play was delayed because of her busy schedule. The production, also set to star Gary Kemp of Spandau Ballet fame, was due to open in November 2004 but has now been postponed.
In 2005, her voice appeared in two stop-motion animated films. They were Corpse Bride (2005) and Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005). Both films were nominated for the Academy award for best animated film. The award went to Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
In May 2006, she launched her own fashion line, The Pantaloonies, with swimwear designer Samantha Sage. Their first collection, called Bloomin’ Bloomers, is a Victoriana style selection of camisoles, mop caps and bloomers. The duo are now working on Pantaloonies customized jeans which Helena describes as “a kind of scrapbook on the bum”.
Member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006.
Turned down the role of Bess in Breaking the Waves (1996) due to the sexual content. The role went to Emily Watson who was nominated for an Academy Award for that role.
She is the daughter of a prominent British banker and the great-granddaughter of Asquith, the Liberal prime minister.
Her brother Edward is married to TV presenter Victoria Studd.
Is close friends with Johnny Depp, who often works with her fiancé, Tim Burton. In fact, Depp is the godfather of her childred with Burton, Billy Ray and Nell.
Was cast as Bellatrix Lestrange after Helen McCrory became pregnant, and would have been nearly full-term when her scenes were shot. She returned to the role for one scene in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), opposite McCrory as her sister Narcissa Malfoy. Ironically, Helena was able to be in this scene because it was scheduled to be filmed after she gave birth to her own child.
She gave birth to a baby girl, Nell Burton, on December 15th, 2007. She was 41, and her fiancé Tim Burton was 49.
Ranked #99 on the 2008 Telegraph‘s list “the 100 most powerful people in British culture”.
Given indefinite leave from the set of Terminator Salvation in New Mexico after her relatives were on a South African safari holiday on Wednesday, 20 August, 2008, when the minibus they were travelling in spun out of control and flipped after a tyre burst. Helena’s cousin, Fiona Bonham Carter, 51, escaped with a broken shoulder but Fiona’s son Marcus Egerton-Warburton, 14; mother Brenda, 74; stepfather Francis Kirkwood, 75; and sister-in-law Kay Boardman, 54, all died.
Tested for the role of Nancy Spungen in Sid and Nancy (1986).
She based her performance of Marla Singer in Fight Club (1999) on Judy Garland in the later stages of her life. To help her get into the mindset, director David Fincher would often call her Judy on-set.
A fight between her and Gary Oldman in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) was cut from the final film. She had been training for three weeks for the fight.
Describes her character in the Harry Potter films, Bellatrix Lestrange, as a sadist and a racist, obsessed with blood purity.
Wears fake teeth in 6 four of her films – Planet of the Apes (2001), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) and the four Harry Potter films.
Underwent extensive vocal lessons and studied baking in preparation for her role in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007).
Was originally going to appear as a cyborg in Terminator Salvation (2009) which would match her former choices of eccentric characters. However, the script was leaked online and her character got rewritten and her screen time significantly cut down, and her character changed.
Returned to work two months after giving birth to her daughter Nell in order to begin filming Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009).
Returned to work eight months after giving birth to her son Billy Ray in order to begin filming Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005).
Became romantically involved with her director Tim Burton after their Planet of the Apes (2001) wrapped. Instead of moving in with her in her Hampstead home in London, Burton bought two next-door houses which the couple both share today (2010).
In 1992, she was starring in Trelawny of the Wells on stage, when the Independent theatre critic Paul Taylor said that he would have been able to have appreciated her performance more from a restricted-viewing seat. Bonham Carter calmly wrote him a letter suggesting that the next time he came to see her he ought to let her know, so she might ensure that was the case.
In 2009, The Times named her one of the Top 10 British Actresses of all-time.