Helena Bonham Carter Talks About The “Terrifying” Bellatrix Lestrange

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Nov 27, 2010

A new profile from the LA Times Hero Complex blog focuses on Helena Bonham Carter and her infamous portrayal of Bellatrix Lestrange in the “Harry Potter” films.

The actress talks about her career and family, but also explains how she developed Bellatrix’s character for the films.

“Bellatrix has really good fun, and she’s been a bit of surprise to me, in fact’ Bonham Carter said. “It wasn’t really there on the page. When I took it on, I found there wasn’t a huge amount to go by in the script, and I read the book and she wasn’t necessarily on the page there either, so I did ask [director] David Yates if I could bring a bit of other things or are these the Bibles? And he said yes, certainly, and apparently J.K. Rowling was very pleased with it when she saw it, and the childish dimension and the fact that she’s totally savage, that was a bit of departure.”

“I just felt she had to make an impression because there wasn’t much time
in which to do so. And she had to be terrifying. She needed to be
somebody you didn’t know what to feel towards. One moment she’s horribly
revolting but then also weirdly sexy, maybe, or just disturbing to the
mind when you watch her. There’s a lot of decaying, too, with the bad
teeth. She’s been in prison for so long. The mad hair. She’s someone who
has seen better times but still carries herself with the memory of what
she was.”

Bonham Carter also praises the crew working on the Harry Potter films and likens the experience to belonging to a “nice tribe.”

“I love going back year after year. It’s refreshing. A lot of times in this business, it’s so transitory ” it’s just 10 weeks here or there on a movie and then it’s over ’ but to see the same people over all that time, a decade, makes you feel really safe and secure. It was fantastically well-organized, the [assistant directors] are simply unbelievable, the best…It has been perfect for me, and I will miss it.”

More about Helena Bonham Carter and her thoughts about Bellatrix can be read at the LA Times. The interview also has some great information about Bonham Carter’s next film, The King’s Speech.

Thank you Jamie for owling!

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