Talk about Helena Bonham Carter and not thinking about Bellatrix Lestrange is impossible. The same goes for the Red Queen, Marla Singer, Corpse Bride, or Mrs. Bucket. But there are many, many more that have taken her to the top and to be one of the most recognizable (and recognized) faces in cinema. And it’s already an achievement, because if the British actress is known for anything, it’s precisely for being one of the most chameleon-like (and rebellious) in the industry.
And perhaps for a few years she became the absolute muse —along with Johnny Depp— of the one who was her husband, Tim Burtonalways associated with that darker and gothic side of fiction, but throughout his dense career he has proven to be much more than that, and also that he doesn’t like being typecast too much.
Roles of the most diverse and irreverent, on occasions, that have helped her establish her status as a woman with a thousand faces. Although of those thousand, and because it is her birthday, we are left with ten, who are probably her most iconic characters and who have marked us the most.
Lucy Honeychurch in ‘A Room with a View’, 1986
We have all felt the need to travel to Florence and live the idylls of Lucy Honeychurch at some point in life. It is a fact. Being the protagonist of A room with a view we saw a young Helena Bonham Carter in one of her very early jobs.
This ended up becoming one of the most important and significant characters of his career. Her poise as Lucy Honeychurch, a young woman of high Victorian birth, earned her a BAFTA nomination for Best Leading Actress. Without a doubt, it was only the beginning of what was to come.
Amanda in ‘Mighty Aphrodite’, 1995
Amanda is Lenny’s wife (Woody Allen) in mighty aphrodite, a sensitive, affectionate woman closely linked to the world of art. And, really, she could be one of the characters farthest from the tone in which we are used to seeing Bonham Carter, much more fictional and irreverent in most of his roles.
However, her character as Amanda managed to stand out throughout the plot and gain a foothold in the collective imagination of the actress’s works. But the best was yet to come.
Kate Croy in ‘Wings of the Dove’, 1997
All the passion that is reflected in the character of Croy and the acclaimed performance by the British finally earned her her first Oscar nomination for Best Actress. With this character, very much in line with her early work, she earned the respect and recognition of critics and the public, and today it is one of the most iconic roles of her career and the one we remember the most from the beginnings of it
Marla Singer in ‘Fight Club’, 1999
The image of Helena Bonham Carter as Marla Singer smoking, huge hat, sunglasses, smoke on her face, cigar in hand… Does it ring a bell? She is probably one of the ones we have seen the most in merchandising and, of course, one of the most iconic of Fight club.
In this film, in which he co-stars with Brad Pitt and Edward NortonBonham Carter gave life to Marla Singer, a late-night support group addict, and also one of the most charismatic characters of her career that, to this day, we all love.
Jenny, The Witch in ‘Big Fish’, 2003
It is possible that big fish be one of the Tim Burton movies that looks the least like Tim Burton. A love story to cry long and hard, where Helena Bonham Carter, of course, has one of the key roles: Jenny, a mysterious witch who embodies the magical and the unknown through which the British actress reconnects reality and fantasy and gives us one of his most beloved characters.
Mrs. Lovett in ‘Sweeney Todd’, 2007
And again the most eccentric and dark side of Bonham Carter, or, rather, of her roles with Tim Burton, comes out when remembering Mrs. Lovett, the eternal accomplice and friend of Sweeney Todd (Johnny Depp). A character who has given us as many joys as nightmares -literally- in the kitchen.
Bellatrix Lestrange in the ‘Harry Potter’ saga, 2001-2011
There may be many things about Bellatrix Lestrange, one of the most loved (and hated) villains of the Harry Potter saga, that you don’t know, such as that her true love was always Voldermort, that she and Sirius Black were really cousins or that Helena Bonham Carter was on the verge of not giving life to this character, at first assigned to Helen McCroy. What we do know for sure is that we are all grateful for this happy serendipity of life, because never before has a role fit so well with anyone.
Red Queen in ‘Alice in Wonderland’, 2010
Throughout her acting career, Helena Bonham Carter has had to put herself in the shoes of many queens, but, without a doubt, the one she managed to crown herself with was the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland. An eccentric and maniacal woman with a giant head who is already an icon of the film.
Queen Elizabeth in ‘The King’s Speech’, 2010
And another queen was precisely the one that brought another Oscar nomination to London, this time for Best Supporting Actress for The king’s speech, where he played a real queen: Queen Elizabeth. A much more contained and calm role, away from the chaotic lives of her previous works.
Madame Thénardier in ‘Les Miserables’, 2012
Again all the evil concentrated in a role of unscrupulous villain: Madame Thénardier. Is in The Miserablesunder the direction of Tom Hopper, where Bonham Carter once again carries the weight of being the bad guy in the film, and also of contributing the main antagonistic and black humor element to the plot. But how good it looks for her to be the villain.
Do you want to be up-to-date with all the new movies and series? Sign up for our newsletter.