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Helena Bonham Carter on 'grief' caused by Tim Burton split

Published 03/05/2016

Helena Bonaham Carter
Helena Bonaham Carter

Helena Bonham Carter has opened up about her split from director Tim Burton.

Helena Bonham Carter struggled with "massive grief" after the end of her relationship with Tim Burton.

The 49-year-old actress and the Edward Scissorhands director, 57, announced their split in December 2014 after 13 years together.

The former couple have two children, Billy Raymond, 12, and Nell, eight, together although they never officially married.

Despite still being on friendly terms with her ex, the British star admits she struggled to cope with the transformation in her life brought about by the end of their long-term relationship.

"With divorce, you go through massive grief - it is a death of a relationship, so it's utterly bewildering, your identity, everything, changes." she told the British edition of Harper's Bazaar magazine.

"Everyone always says you have to be strong and have a stiff upper lip, but it's okay to be fragile," the star added, "You've got to take very small steps, and sometimes you won't know where to go next because you've lost yourself."

Despite the split, Helena is to reprise her role as the Red Queen in the sequel to her ex's 2010 film Alice In Wonderland, Alice Through the Looking Glass.

Although he has handed over directing duties on the follow-up to James Bobin, Tim is still credited as a producer.

The actress even used a quote from the Lewis Carroll book the new film is based on to help her cope with her feelings in the wake of her break-up.

"There's a great quote I've stuck next to the kettle. It's from Alice: 'I can't explain myself ... because I'm not myself'," she said.

Helena, who was cast by Tim six times in his movies before their break-up even feels that it may be easier to work with him now they are not together.

"We really do get on, so that's good. I understand him very well and he understands me," the star noted. "It might be easier to work together without being together any more. He always only cast me with great embarrassment."

The new film also features the late actor Alan Rickman, who died in January (16) in his final voice part, as the butterfly Absolem, a caterpillar in the first movie.

"I thought there was something very poignant about the fact that he had become a butterfly," Helena explained of Alan's role, adding, "It was too soon. He really was an extraordinary man. Such emotional generosity."

Alice Through the Looking Glass is released in the U.K. and U.S. on 27 May (16).

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