Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Get Carter

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Get Carter

Article excerpt

Byline: By Robin Walker

Helena Bonham Carter's latest roles required no hair and make-up, which suited her just fine, as she tells Robin Walker.

She was once known as Britain's EM Forster girl, but now Helena Bonham Carter seems to be in perpetual stop-motion.

The 39-year-old actress is featuring in two new animated films this month, voicing the parts of Lady Tottington in Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit, opening today, and the lead in Tim Burton's Corpse Bride, opening next week.

Voicing big-budget animated films is a world away from those buttoned-down period dramas such as Howards End, which made her name in the early 90s.

But as a new mother ( Helena and director partner Tim Burton have a two-year-old son, Billy Ray ( she says not having to stand up in front of the cameras suited her perfectly.

"I started ( and this gives you an indication of how long they take to do these things ( when I was pregnant with Billy," she says.

"I was getting steadily fatter and it was sort of inappropriate for any kind of other part where they'd see my body."

And she says the best part is not having to worry about how you look.

"There's no hair and makeup and you're not waiting around. You don't have to get up at 5.30am, there's a lot to be said for it."

Even so, she maintains that voice work requires just as much dedication.

"I sort of approached them with exactly the same approach I would use in real life ( or whatever normal movies are called ( I analysed the characters, did choices and just went. You have to be as committed and act as much, even though you're not actually being filmed. You can't phone it in."

Helena says she jumped at the chance to be a part of Wallace and Gromit's world. Her character, Lady Campanula Tottington, is an eccentric, fluffy animal-loving, upper-class woman who engages Wallace and Gromit's humane pest control company to deal with a persistent rabbit problem.

"She doesn't look anything like me ( unless I have really bad self-perception," Helena laughs, "but she has a very sympathetic heart and I love her.

"There was never any question of whether or not I wanted to do the movie," she adds. …

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