Helena Bonham Carter made her name playing genteel, upper-crust Brits. Now she’s sending up that whole patrician thing as Bellatrix Lestrange, the psychopathic Death Eater who makes her debut in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (out July 13). Here’s the scoop on Bella from Bonham Carter herself:
Who’s That Lady?
Imprisoned for 14 years in the wizarding world’s time-out stronghold, Azkaban, Bellatrix escapes to serve the evil resurrected Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). ”She’s very sick,” says Bonham Carter. ”She’s a sadist. And a racist, obsessed with blood purity — like Adolf.”
Getting the Part
Helen McCrory (who played Tony Blair’s wife, Cherie, in The Queen) was initially cast as Bella but got pregnant and dropped out. Her substitute is ever so grateful: ”I’ve got to thank her. In fact, I’ve got to thank her husband [actor Damian Lewis] for impregnating her.”
Shaping the Look
For much of the film, Bellatrix wears a slinky, stitched-together black ensemble that’s seen better days — think Catwoman after a bender. ”I wanted her to be sort of falling apart at the seams, literally,” says Bonham Carter. ”She’s very aristocratic, very posh. But there’s a Sunset Boulevard thing going on.”