- Unknown Interviewer -
(Planet Of The Apes)
Helena Bonham Carter, who plays the role of Princess Ari, the main
sympathetic chimp in 'The Planet of the Apes':
you tell us about your character?
My character. Well, shes basically a human rights activist,
whos a chimp. And shes sort of an upper-class chimp, and a
princess, but they demoted me, I dont know why. They wooed me with
the idea that "Shes a princess, shes got all these courtiers
and shes very powerful and smart," and then it all vanished
and suddenly I just became an upper-class chimp. I didnt have a
crown, nothing, no courtiers. But Im just this upper, this human
rights activist whos disgusted with the state of affairs on the
planet vis a vis how humans are treated, and I strongly believe that humans
are sort of savages and slaves, but I believe that they have a potential
that they have souls and they can be taught to live with us as
equals. And I see in Marks character, whos this human who
has come from a different planet, I dont know that when I
actually meet him I feel a potential...and a sense that he likes me has
a rebellious quality. Actually that we can change and help make change,
as he promises, the situation.
you like being a chimp?
Im happy being a chimp, as it were, but it would be great to
Things that I feel like they got the edge of us, its
like having the four hands. I mean how useful it would be to have, you
know, feet that are kind of like
And also their sense of smell and
again their sort of aliveness and being, you know, in the present. I hope
by the end of this film - not that Ive managed to incorporate all
that into my performance anyway but I hope by the end Ill
be able to focus and Ill just be patient, and maybe Ill be
able to bring what I had to acquire for this into my daily living. (laughs)
Actors are supposed to be in the moment.
Theyre meant to. So its sort of kind of
I went to
drama school for four weeks. (laughs)
Bonnie Siegler Interview
(Theory of Flight)
The london-born helena bonham carter was last seen in her oscar-nominated
role in 'The Wings Of The Dove'. Iin fact, except for the occasional foray
into Woody Allen-land, the doe-eyed actress, 32, is perhaps best known
for period pieces, starting with 'The Merchant-ivory Canon'. In 'Theory
of Flight' she's a wheelchair-bound woman with a fatal neuromuscular disease
who hires Kenneth Branagh's character to deflower her.
and Branagh initially met as co-stars in the 1993 Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein'
and have been dating since 1996, a year after he and his wife Emma Thompson
split. Her next role is in 'Fight Club' with two other beauts, Brad Pitt
and Edward Norton. Before heading home to England, Bonham Carter spoke
to people online's Bonnie Siegler in Los Angeles.
Is it hard to do a movie with somebody you love, as happened with
theory of flight and kenneth?
No, i think it's easier. it was certainly easier in this case. given
it was only six weeks long for shooting, we didn't have that much time
and i think any warmth or sort of emotional intimacy that we had already
just informed it. there wasn't a love scene, really. and that wasn't originally
in the script. but that would not have stopped us from doing it. i think
there's a degree if you think it's too invasive and also question if the
press would be therethe english press. would this be a license for
them to be more invasive than they already are, which is not difficult.
we didn't want people to write more about us than the film. (but making
the film) was easy and he's terrificwell, you know that. he has
a great sense of humor and he's fun.
Do you rely on him for comment?
We're both good at reassuring each other if something has been in
good taste because we have the same sort of judgment. what's good about
ken is he has a very unpolitically correct sense of humor. i love the
film for its own unpolitically correct sense of humor. he's always teasing
me to get on with it because i have habit of speaking in the voice of
character just for practice.
How do you feel when you see someone you love having sex with some
gorgeous blonde, as occurs in this film?
It doesn't upset me, really. the sex scenes are so technical. the reality
of kissing somebody is nothing. there are so many other people around.
you are never really present. there is always a shut-off switch, a protective
Does your mother pester you to get married?
No. she knows that is the last thing [i want to hear]. if she wants me
to get married, she shouldn't tell me to. i definitely want to have a
child, but not tomorrow. i'm definitely aware that it explodes your life,
but i have a few more roles i'd love to do. having a child takes a lot
of attention and time. i think a woman should have a child when she doesn't
resent the commitment. regardless how much a man says he will be helpful,
it's ultimately the woman's career that will change. and it's not a given
these days that just because you want a child, you will [have one].
are wheelchair-bound in this movie. what was the hardest thing about that?
The head cranked over to one side was a decision i made day one which
i couldn't change my mind after that. it was very difficult. but after
every take, i got up and walked around. i first thought i'd do a daniel
day-lewis and be very method-y and doing that the whole time would give
my performance another dimension but i got too stiff and couldn't do it.
i also knew that ken would never put up with me if i stayed in the wheelchair
the whole day and asked him to do everything for me.
Do you ever look at your performances and say, well, that's pretty
Sometimes. rarely, i suppose. but when i look at all the acclaim i got
for wings of the dove, i couldn't understand what that all was about.
there comes a point, though, where you think there's no point judging
anyway and you're just going to cause yourself grief. if it works for
other people, that's what i'm here forentertain others, without
sounding too pollyanna-ish. i'd say this role as jane is probably one
of the best things i've done. i've never been quite so emotionally and
intellectually committed to something.
What was the oscar experience like for you?
It was quite bewildering, quite overwhelming. i talked nonstop for six
months. miramax certainly knows how to sell a market and i owe them, i'm
sure. an oscar is a world event and you're talked out by the time this
big night rolls around. and i get talked out easily.
You're going home now?
In february i'm going home, but not just to do a movie. it's a film called
women talking dirty. elton john is producing it. it's really, really for
women. so i've gone from a film primarily about men (with brad pitt and
edward norton) to doing a film principally about women with a woman directorit
just felt right. it's about a friendship between two women.
Finally, do you have any horrible habit you'd like to confess?
[long pause]. well since the age of fifteen, i squeeze my spots [pimples].
that's not a particularly attractive habit, but it is a hobby. [laughs].