Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)

Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)
Oh, to be in England...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Helena Bonham Carter-Actor of the Week

Helena Bonham Carter

Helena Bonham Carter is our actor of the week.  After seeing her in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (Mrs. Weasley vs Bellatrix Lestrange!) and posting on Lady Jane, I have had her on the brain.  I think we all know her for her interesting choice in fashion as well as in acting roles and whether you love her or not, she is a true original.

Helena Bonham Carter as The Queen Mum in The King's Speech
Myrtle Logue: Will their Majesties be staying for dinner?
[Logue and Bertie look panic-stricken. Elizabeth comes to the rescue]
Queen Elizabeth: We would love to, such a treat, but alas... a previous engagement. What a pity.

I personally thought this was brilliant casting to have HBC as The Queen Mum. She wasn't always an elderly lady and this was a great reminder of that.

Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland
The Red Queen: I need a pig here!
[Live pig is slid under her feet]
The Red Queen: I love a warm pig belly for my aching feet.

Helena Bonham Carter has appeared in many of her common law husband Tim Burton's films. Alice in Wonderland, Sweeney Todd, Corpse Bride, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and even Planet of the Apes!  They credit the health of their relationship to living in two different houses, side by side and connected by an open hallway so the family members can come and go as they please.

Here is a quote from "Celebrity news and style Now" from 2006:

Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton live in separate houses - because they cannot agree on decor.
The couple - who have a three-year-old son Billy - have neighbouring homes in north London, linked by a single corridor.

Helena, 40, insists the couple's unusual arrangement is necessary so they don't bicker over interior design.

She says: 'His side is messier. My side is cutesy, like Beatrix Potter, which is fine for him to visit but there's no way he could live in it. He thinks his side is James Bond.'

Billy's bedroom is in 48-year-old Tim's house but Helena reckons he prefers to spend most of his time in her home because of her roaring fire.

'I have the kitchen and a fire so we'll watch telly in my place,' she explains. 'There is no normality in life. Having two houses means that we can get out of each other's hair - which, let's face it, we've both got a lot of.'

Helena Bonham Carter showing her fashion sense and her sense of humour at the Oscars 2011

I love HBC's acting (I really have to watch A Room With a View again!) but her personal appeal and quirkiness often outshines even her truly stellar acting.

Helena Bonham Carter with Tim Burton and family
So here is to an interesting British actress (and great-granddaughter of British Prime Minister Herbert Henry Asquith) who isn't afraid to tell an interviewer that she peed herself during filming Harry Potter because of all the screaming she had to do as Bellatrix Lestrange.  "Anybody who had a baby, you’d know that if you scream… nothing’s — you know. Everything. [Pause] It’s Niagara. I did 25 takes and I just thought, ‘You have no idea what’s happening down there.'"

Helena Bonham Carter and Emma Watson-love those shoes!
“What happens when you have a baby, for me anyway, is I didn’t give a funderwhack any more.”

I don't think Helena Bonham Carter gave a funderwhack even before she had her babies, do you? Great role model for the young ladies I think. A strong woman who doesn't have a personal stylist dress her for the Oscars. You go girl!!!!

Lady JaneThe Wings of the DoveConversation(s) With Other WomenWhere Angels Fear to TreadTwelfth NightA Room With a View (Two-Disc Special Edition)Harry Potter Years 1-7 Part 1 Gift SetMerry WarSweeney Todd - The Demon Barber of Fleet StreetHoward's EndThe King's SpeechAlice in WonderlandFight Club

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lady Jane 1986- Nine Day Queen

Lady Jane 1986 with Helena Bonham Carter and Carey Elwes
Lady Jane is a lovely film (fairly historically inaccurate if that bothers you) about Lady Jane Grey, a cousin of the children of King Henry VIII who actually sat on the throne for 9 days after the death of King Edward VI (the sickly teen and only son of Henry VIII). She had been placed on the throne by her father-in-law John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland in order to continue the Protestant Reformation but was quickly booted off the throne by her cousin Queen Mary I (Bloody Mary) who had all of the remaining Catholics in England behind her.

A young Helena Bonham Carter as Lady Jane Grey

Helena Bonham Carter was a mere 20 years old when this was released, so she looks quite convincing as the tiny 16 year old Lady Jane. Carey Elwes ("As you wish!") is adorable as Guilford Dudley although he starts out as a drunk, gambling good-for-nothing who must be plucked from a brothel in order to marry the virtuous Lady Jane. Don't worry, it all turns out well...and then of course they get sent to the Tower of London, but you expected that didn't you?

Lady Jane and Guilford Dudley tumbling in the meadows

In between the forced marriage and their heads being chopped off, there is a wonderful love story, embellished for the historical chick flick that it is, but mostly based in history. Notice I did say mostly for those who are well versed in the history of the Tudor era. OK, so there is no evidence of her being in love with Guilford Dudley. And there is no basis for the storyline about her minting a new shilling. Boy would that be a valuable coin! Also there's no proof of the couple attempting social reform. But heck, it's a movie and the love story makes me go all gooey! The scene where Jane is clomping around in Guilfords boots is adorable and I am OK with it not being historically accurate. I also doubt that they smashed all of their wedding crystal, but...can we call it artistic license?

Helena Bonham Carter as Lady Jane Grey- before Bellatrix Lestrange!

Let's just say that you have been forewarned that liberties with history have been taken.

Lady Jane and Guilford Dudley-are we happy yet?
So now, for the true history lovers. Below we have the only purported portrait of Lady Jane Grey. The story behind the portrait is here if you want to read it. All other images were apparently painted so long after she was executed that there is no hope of them being a good likeness. She apparently had reddish blond hair as in the picture below, and Guilford was a good looking blond youth by all accounts, although slightly spoilt by his mother.

The film recreates the execution accurately with the tiny 16 year old girl groping for the executioners block saying "Where is it? What do I do?" The poor dear young girl!

Her last words were unfortunately changed.  In the film, she whimpers: "Guilford!" In real life, she said loudly and with great dignity: "Lord, into thy hands I commend my spirit."

Lady JaneLady Jane Grey: A Tudor Mystery (Tudor Mysteries)Innocent Traitor: A Novel of Lady Jane GreyThe Sisters Who Would Be Queen: Mary, Katherine, and Lady Jane Grey: A Tudor TragedyNine Days a Queen: The Short Life and Reign of Lady Jane Grey



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