Helena Bonham Carter

  1. Virginia Madsen, Dune, 1983. HBC was unable to be corseted up as Princess Irulan as she was already  corseted up for A Room with a View
  2. Chloe Webb, Sid and Nancy, 1985.  A surprise testee for Nancy Spungen, the Americanj girl in the thoroughly depressing  life of the Sex Pistols bass player, Sid Vicious.  Courtney Love (Kurt Cobain’s future lover) was also seen for Nancy – she became her friend, Gretchen, instead. And director Alex Cox also chose her for his next endeavour, Straight to Hell, 1986.
  3. Jennifer Connelly, Labyrinth, 1985.For Muppeteer-ibn-Chiwf Jim Henson’s sequel to his Dark Crystal (and alas his final film), 14 actresses were candidates  for Sarah – Yasmin Bleeth,  Helena Bonham Carter, Maddie Corman, Laura Dern, Kerri Green, Jane Krakowski,  Mary Stuart Masterson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Mia Sara, Laura San Giacomo, Ally Sheedy, Lily Taylor and Marisa Tomei.  They all lost the election to the stunning  Connelly…  opposite David Bowie. The wondrous names of folk in JK Rowling’s Potterverse (Moggle, Dometrious, etc) seem inspired by such Hensonversers as Ambrosius, Didymus, Hoggle, Ludo… 
  4. 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.”
  5. Sharon Stone, Basic Instinct,1991.
  6. 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.”
  7. 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?

  8. 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.

  9. 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, thanked Minnie Driver, the simultaneous translation on French TV said they thanked…beaucoup de chauffeurs!
  10. 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.

  11. Lucy Liu, Charlie’s Angels, 2000.   Tele-tycoon Aaron Spelling decided to put Aaron’s angels on the big screen  (to help generate a new series on the small). His first new  trio: MTV discovery Jenny McCarthy, ex-Spice Girl Geri Halliwell and 007’s Hong Kong martial arts superstar. Then, Drew Barrymore showed him how to do it. with the  third  of her numerous (canny) productions. Just look at the 25 girls she shuffled to find the right  angel Alex Munday: Aaliyah (“too young”), Jennifer Aniston, Asia Argento, Halle Berry, Lara Flynn Boyle, Helena Bonham Carter, Penélope Cruz, Kristin Davis, Jodie Foster, Angie Harmon (stuck on Law & Order),  Salma Hayek, Ashley Judd, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Nia Long, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tiffani Thiessen, Uma Thurman, Liv Tyler, , Kate Winslet, Reese Witherspoon, Robin Wright, Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones… And two singers: Lauryn Hill and another  Spice Girl: Victoria Beckham.
  12. 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.
  13. Cate Blanchett, The Lord of the Rings triology, 2000.
  14. 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
  15. Helen McCrory, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, 2006.   HBC was called to rescue Bellatrix Lestrange because  McCrory was heavily pregnant…  she later he became Bellatrix’s sister, Narcissa Malfoy.  HBC was Beatrix again in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, 2008, just after the birth of her daughter, Nell.
  16. Eva Green, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, 2013.    Ten stunning actresses  were in the frame for femme fataleAva Lord:  Green, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Salma Hayek, Scarlett Johansson, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lawrence, Rose McGowan, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams.  Variety critic Justin Chang was unmoved. “Rare indeed is the movie that features this many bared breasts, pummeled crotches and severed noggins and still leaves you checking your watch every 10 minutes.”


 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  16