Biopics about dead celebrities are all the rage recently, mostly because you can’t legally defame a dead person, much to the chagrin of Michael Jackson’s estate. The problem with these types of roles is that actors playing the dead can’t get to know the people they’re depicting or study their mannerisms in person. Helena Bonham Carter has found a way around this, though.
As reported by The Guardian, for her role on The Crown, Bonham Carter talked to deceased Princess Margaret through a psychic.
“She said, apparently, she was glad it was me. My main thing when you play someone who is real, you kind of want their blessing because you have a responsibility.
“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.
“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.
I supposed I could explain how psychics talking to the dead is just a scam but I feel like you already know that. What I will say is I’m very much looking forward to seeing a highly-acclaimed actress portray a member of the royal family based on what a psychic read about her in a book ten minutes before her appointment.
“Then she said: ‘But you’re going to have to brush up and be more groomed and neater.’ Then she said: ‘Get the smoking right. I smoked in a very particular way. Remember that – this is a big note – the cigarette holder was as much a weapon for expression as it was for smoking.’”
See? Bonham Carter talked to some of Princess Margaret’s associates and had met her a few times while she was still alive, so it’s not all nonsense.
The Guardian also included an unrelated tidbit about the reaction children have to Bonham Carter.
Harry Potter fans had screamed in her face, she said. “What did they scream?” asked Freud. “No, just screamed … aaaagh, terror. It was Hampstead High Street. It was actually Halloween. But I had come as me. I hadn’t even dressed up.”
I mean, I get it, I would probably do the same thing. But because I’d mistake her for a character on The Walking Dead, not Harry Potter.