16 March 2010
Tim Burton's 'Alice in Wonderland' has kept a top position in cinemas for 2 weeks in a row and it is clearly on the way of becoming the highest grossing Burton film. Meanwhile Burton's partner and the villain star of Wonderland, Helena Bonham Carter has been talking about her role as the Red Queen in an interview with Ian Spelling for New York Times Syndicate. This is what Bonham Carter said about her getting the role in this production.
"No, no, no, I just assume that I'm not going to be a part of it unless he [Tim Burton] asks. And he asked me quite late in the day about 'Alice in Wonderland.' I remember that he phoned up, because I was working away, I was doing 'Terminator' in New Mexico. He phoned up and wondered if I would ever possibly think I'd want to play the Red Queen."
"It's very low-status, the way he asks. I'd never read the script, so I didn't know what he was talking about. Then, when I read it, I read her character description. Her name is Iracebeth. It said, 'Iracebeth enters. She has a huge, oversized head and is very, very angry.' I thought, 'Well, that's interesting, how he sees me now.'
"He said, 'Well, I did draw you.' That's what often happens, is that he sort of trusts his unconscious, and he said that his early drawings of the character looked like me. I wouldn't say that it's completely me, but the drawings have definitely got my angry eyebrows."
Burton gave specific instructions for Helena to capture his idea of the Red Queen:
"He likes, always, to have a quieter take. He doesn't like big acting. It's funny - the more outrageous you are or the more unreal, the more real he wants you to pull back. He gave me two notes. He wanted me to watch 'Mommie Dearest' (1981) and Bette Davis' Elizabeth I in 'The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex' (1939) with Errol Flynn. Faye Dunaway, doing the hanger scene in 'Mommie Dearest' , basically it's a person who's about to erupt, somebody who's on the edge of anger all the time.
"It was quite hard because it was unreal. It was like with Mrs. Lovett, he said, 'Look, you're already singing, that's unreal, so I want you to be as small in your acting as possible.' Here he said, 'We're in Wonderland, or Underland, so you have to compensate for that.'"