Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

Helena Bonham Carter's success written in stars

Dramatic duo: Helena Bonham Carter and Dominic West as Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton
Dramatic duo: Helena Bonham Carter and Dominic West as Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton

I count the actress Helena Bonham Carter one of my best friends, after she briefly said thanks to me in a restaurant.

I believe she may have mistaken me for a waiter. As it was a Thai restaurant, and I've never been further east than Fife, this struck me as odd.

But let it pass. Pressed, Helen would claim she has no idea who I am. But that's just her way. Great sense of humour.

All of which fascinating background leads me to consider her new role as Elizabeth Taylor in a new BBC drama, Burton and Taylor.

Disturbingly, the star visited an astrologer in preparation for the role. This is rarely a good idea, unless the inside of your head is made entirely of marshmallow.

The astrologer told HBC that Taylor, E, had been a "water person". What, she dribbled? Nope. The scientific explanation proffered was as follows: "Water is sexual and sensual and that's the place she operated from." I see.

Helena gave the astrologer's number to her co-star, Dominic West (hardly recognisable from The Wire; great make-up, man).

But Dominic says he, er, "never got round" to making that call. Instead, he prepared for the part of husky-voiced Burton by smoking and drinking all night.

Probably better for you than astrology.

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