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Helena Bonham Carter

  1. Jennifer Connelly, Labyrinth, 1985. For (alas) his final film as a director, Muppeteer-in-Chief Jim Henson saw 15 possibles for his adolescent heroine, Sarah, forever in a dreamworld. They included HBC, Yasmine Bleeth, Laura Dern, Kerri Green, Mary Stuart Masterson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Laura San Giacomo, Mia Sara, Lili Taylor and Marisa Tomei. Choices reached a final five - Maddie Corman, Jane Krakowski, Ally Sheedy, Sarah Williams… and the stunning Connelly.
  2. Maruschka Detmers, Hanna's War, 1988.    Liza Minnelli ran and Helenawas (too) swiftly announcedfor Menaham Golan's “courageous truestory”ofIsraeli war heroine, Hanna Senesh. “Director Peter Medak was writing the script withStanley Mann,” she recalled. “A wonderful picture, until Menaham said: ‘I’ve re-written it.It's a great script now. I've cut out all the crap -it was all too gushy.’ Peter quit and I just walked. Menahem is a character and a half, bit of a joke,really. He doesn't have great taste.”
  3. Sharon Stone, Basic Instinct,1991.
  4. Juliette Binoche, Wuthering Heights, 1992.     She citds this as the reason she has never lobbied for a role again...“I wrote to Peter Kominsky, asking to beseen for Cathy. Actually, it was more of an essay on the whole of Emily Bronte and he said: You must come in.I was wearing dungarees - probably not the best thing to wear to an auditionfor a romantic heroine. I was all wrong and he was fumbling around. I said: Come on - what is it? He said: Um, I think you’re a bit dumpy, that’sall. Luckily, I didn’t hurl myself into bulimia.”
  5. Kate Winslet, Jude, 1996.    The $3m version of Thomas Hardy's Jude The Obscure would not be called that, said the BBC's Mark Shivas.Too obscure?

  6. Emily Watson, Breaking The Waves, Denmark-Sweden-France-Netherlands-Norway-Iceland, 1996.    
    Her biggest error.   And so, another star is born... Helena quit because of explicit sex-scenes.  And more. “There has to be a chemistry between you and a director,” she said.   “And Lars von Trier... I got a weird vibe off him, so it was never going to work. You  have to be able to trust people, or what's the point in spending time in their company?”  Von Trier went with an unknown Brit who became the revelation of the '96 Cannes Festival and was later Oscar-nominated. “My  first screen role...,” Emily recalled. “I signed off the dole to make it. Cannes was a bit of a baptism of fire, this maelstrom of publicity.  I’d never done any press before. I’d never done a single interview in my life. I’d never made a film before. I just knew nothing. As the light went down, someone leaned over and said: ‘Emily your life is about to change forever.’ In physical, psychological, intellectual, moral, ethical and political terms, Bess is a disaster - part saint, part clown. But she has an infinite capacity to love and believe. I tried to make the logic of that transcend those judgments.”  And how.

  7. Minnie Driver, Good Will Hunting, 1997.     HBC was among five Britishnearly-Skylars: Gabrielle Anwar, Julia Ormond, Rachel Weisz.When the writer-stars Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, Oscars in hand, thankedMinnie Driver, the simultaneous translation on French TV said they thanked...beaucoup de chauffeurs!
  8. Heather Graham, Alien Love Triangle, 1998.     Kenneth Branagh dropped his new lady for the Boogie Nights roller-skater in Danny Boyle's second film made in America.
  9. Renée Zellweger, Bridget Jones's Diary, 2001.     Among the dozen nearly-Brendas- from outrageous ideas like Nicole Kidman, and Catherine Zeta-Jones (like Helena, far too beautiful for a dumpy dowdy)to more sensible Rachel Griffiths and Emma Thompson.
  10. Cate Blanchett, The Lord of the Rings triology, 2000.

  11. Minnie Driver, Hope Springs, 2002.     Change of ex-lover for Colin Firthin a rom-com that made UK critic Petter Bradshaw want “to tumble off the red plush seats, curl up into a foetal ball and mew like a maltreated kitten.” In 2010, Firth and Carter found a far better scenario - the four-Oscar-winning King’s Speech
  12. Eva Green, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, 2013.     Ava Lord in Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez’ Sin City sequel was written for Angelina Jolie with 14 back-ups: Green, HBC, Amy Adams, Elizabeth Banks, Kate Beckinsale, Anne Hathaway, Salma Hayek, Elizabeth Hurley, Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Lawrence, Rose McGowan, Sofia Vergara, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams.


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