Helena Bonham Carter: Tim Burton’s snoring is the reason for separate homes


It’s become one of the well-known quirks of Helena Bonham-Carter and Tim Burton’s coupledom that they have two “separate” houses. Apparently, Helena had a small home in London, and when she and Tim got together, he bought the property next to hers, and they joined them together with some kind of corridor or walk-way. That’s not all – apparently, they don’t sleep in the same room either. Because Tim snores, and he won’t get an operation for his deviated septum. While it doesn’t sound like a fairy-tale union, it probably works very well for them. Anyway, in a new interview, Helena talks about their relationship, and the misinformation about her union with Tim:

With their own separate houses next door to each other, the living arrangements of Helena Bonham Carter and her partner Tim Burton have often raised eyebrows. But the actress has finally revealed the reason for their twin properties – she cannot stand Burton’s snoring at night.

Rather than undergo an operation to his nose which might cure the condition, the pair instead opted for two homes side by side in Belsize Park, north London, to ensure no sleepless nights.

Bonham Carter has insisted there is nothing unusual about the arrangement and that her relationship with the award-winning director is “enhanced” by having their own personal space. The 44-year-old divides her time between the two properties which she shares with Burton, 52, their two children Billy Ray and Nell and a nanny.

In an interview with Radio Times, the Alice In Wonderland star said: “A lot written about me is wrong. They say Tim and I are a mad couple with subterranean tunnels between our adjoining houses, and that our children live down the road with another couple. We just have two houses knocked together because mine was too small. We see as much of each other as any couple, but our relationship is enhanced by knowing we have our personal space to retreat to. It’s not enforced intimacy. It’s chosen, which is quite flattering – if you can afford it.”

She added: “Tim does snore, and that’s an element. We’ve tried lots of remedies that don’t work. He has a deviated septum and doesn’t want an operation.”

The eccentric couple’s private life has been the focus of much speculation after it emerged that they were living in the twin homes, which are accessed by a communal door. Earlier this year, a national newspaper was forced to apologise for describing the domestic set-up as “chilling”.

But although the couple, who met on the set of Planet of the Apes, have been together since 2001, they have no plans to marry.

“We’re told we’re stupid [for inheritance tax reasons], but it’s a habit we’re used to. I worry about death,” said Bonham Carter.

She also claimed that parenting is more of a challenge than acting, adding: “At the moment I’m just being a mum for my children, although there’s no ‘just’ about it. It’s no reflection on them, but working is much more of a doddle. I feel like a production manager when I’m at home – nothing is ever finished.”

[From The Telegraph]

Aw, I think it’s kind of cute. She and Tim are obviously two big personalities, and they’ve found a way to be a family. Even though it’s unconventional, it works for them, and they’ve been together for nearly a decade. Good for them!

HBC did this interview to promote her role as Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mum, mother to the current Queen Elizabeth II) in Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech. Both Helena and Colin Firth are getting huge Oscar buzz for their roles, and many are calling this Colin’s year. It would be interesting to see Helena as a major contender for Best Supporting Actress too – although I tend to think she’s too eccentric to really campaign for it. Maybe I just want to see HBC’s hot mess styles on every red carpet, though. She’s so much fun! Ugh… I can’t wait to see this movie, but it still hasn’t come to my town! Bastards.




Photos courtesy of WENN.

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51 Responses to “Helena Bonham Carter: Tim Burton’s snoring is the reason for separate homes”

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  1. brin says:

    I was ready to make a snarky comment, but after reading this, I think she almost sounds normal…and I agree, Kaiser, that they are unconventional, but it works for them.

  2. Lynnie says:

    I love-love-love Helena Bonham Carter and can’t get enough of Tim Burton’s movies.

    I saw a rerun of her “Biography” special and it was nice to see so many photos of her looking so beautiful! She could still be “eccentric” and “quirky”–it’s her trademark–and not look as bad as she normally does on the red carpet.

  3. Dorothy#1 says:

    her style is a train wreak, BUT I think she is so beautiful!!!

  4. Obvious says:

    I love her reasoning. and I bet more marriages would last if people had their own personal space to retreat to, to cool off and such.

    Love Helena. She is just so fantastic!!!

  5. Sarah says:

    I wish me and my husband had seperate homes like that. I’m sure if would stop a lot of arguments from happening.

  6. dovesgate says:

    Two homes sounds darn near perfect to me. No arguing over hogging the tv or the bathroom. If one person is messy and one is a neat freak, no one has to compain. Yeah, that could be bliss.

  7. aenflex says:

    I fuckin love these two!

  8. junipergreen says:

    I think their setup is awesome. Good on them. I would LOVE to have the same set up…and I’m still massively in love with my partner after over ten years.

    She’s adorable. And I like her style a lot. She seems really fun.

  9. Mae says:

    Loved Tims films for years, and I like her – she seems a bit different but grounded. If the seperate houses work, then fair play to them.

  10. Shay says:

    While I think that the side by side houses are barmy, I don’t find the snoring reason unusual.
    I don’t sleep in the same bed with my partner. It’s been like that for a decade and yes, snoring can be that bad.

  11. lin234 says:

    A bit kooky but that’s their style. Some of the rich live in homes big enough that they don’t have to see each other so in terms of intimacy it doesn’t make a difference whether there are two adjoining houses or one big house. If a couple wants to be together, they will find a way to make it work for them.

  12. Bellatrix says:

    HBC is right: two homes is a lovely luxury and one that would probably save more than one couple if they could afford the luxury…

    As for her possible Oscar nomination, I repeat: Bellatrix is too cool for the Oscar school. She’d take that award and use it to hold up a crazy old piano she’d have found in the street. Or let the kids drip candle wax over just because it would look like a cool thing to do. Or let Tim Burton decapitate it for the sake of whatever-purpose.
    Sigh… Precious Helena.

  13. texasmom says:

    my ex’s snoring was so bad that we couldn’t sleep in the same room. In fact there were several times his snoring woke me FROM ANOTHER FLOOR OF THE HOUSE! I worry that he will die of sleep apnea when our kids are at his house.

    Anyway, LOVE the tiny top-hat and red dress, if only she lost the exterior girdle.

  14. WhiteNoise says:

    🙂 @ Bellatrix! That’s exacty how I see HBC too. Her creativity is so not about awards or peer recognition. I can see her and Tim being happily together at 70.. 80 ..90 and there are very few celeb couples I can say that about. She is a gift.

  15. anoneemouse says:

    Can you imagine what the inside of her house looks like? All dusty antiques and stacked newspapers and kitshy crap…

  16. Johnny Depp's Girl says:

    I would do the same if I was married. I think its great to have a place to retreat to when you need the space and that fits my personality tremendously.

    I love HER! She is so quirky and I love that!

  17. Gwen says:

    I totally understand that and really wish we could do the same *sigh* Have loved her since “Room with a View” 🙂

  18. Vi says:

    i don’t get the big deal. me and my partner have separate rooms because i toss and turn so much at night that he can’t sleep and people think it’s a terrible sign but we’ve been happy together for 10 years sowe just laugh

  19. Jess says:

    I love her! And I think her solution makes a lot of sense. Good for them!

  20. OtherChris says:

    If it works for them, great. Personally, not having to share a bathroom or being privy to a man’s disgusting (and they’re all disgusting after a while) bathroom habits would be a huge bonus.

    My 8 year old son is obsessed w/ Tim Burton and Helena, so I’ll have to show him this.

  21. Frankly says:

    If I woke up tomorrow with her hair, I would be the happiest girl in the world.

  22. Lori says:

    My parents have slept in separate bedrooms for years. If they could afford separate homes, they’d probably do that. LOVE HBC. I still think of her as Lucy Honeychurch.

  23. becky says:

    i saw the king’s speech here in ny and geoffrey rush was so brilliant in it, I don’t know why there aren’t more people talking about his performance.

  24. Solveig says:

    I love them both so much I wish I was their daughter, lol.
    If only Tim could make decent movies again…

  25. Bodhi says:

    I wonder if my dad has finally forgiven her for “home wrecking” Kenneth Branagh & Emma Tompson… 😀

    I think their arrangement sounds wonderful!! I love my husband, but sometimes I would kill to have another house to send him to!

  26. jc126 says:

    Fascinating to see that no one has slammed either HBC or TB for the end of his relationship with his last girlfriend, which was of MANY years standing, which just happened to coincide with the start of his relationship with HBC. Gosh, what was her name – Lisa Marie or something?

  27. lucy2 says:

    Whatever works for them!

  28. nok says:

    too much information

  29. bluhare says:

    I love Helena. Individuality is not valued enough in the entertainment industry; certainly in the product, and to a certain extent in the actors. You’ve always had the quirky Thespians, but I give Helena props for being herself and a big star.

    Gonna see The King’s Speech this week. I hope it’s as good as the buzz; usually when buzz is this hyped I’m disappointed in the movie and I hope that’s not true this time.

  30. dholmas says:

    My husband and I sleep in separate rooms and are perfectly happy with the arrangement. At least we get our sleep. We also have the shop where I work and he spends the evenings. LOL. No wonder we very seldom argue. I see nothing strange about it.

  31. Eleonor says:

    Love her! She’s one of the real eccentric personalities in the biz.
    Can’t wait to see her Oscar dress.

  32. becky says:

    it’s brilliant but so overhyped! if you love movies you will be very impressed with all of the performances, the acting is really superb. But it is slow, lots of long dialogues between two actors, almost theatrical. Collin Firth and Geoffrey Rush were outstanding, and Helena B Carter was quite funny, in a witty, very clever way. I think this is more of a dvd movie though, because of the pace and everything. i saw in in the theater and there were only four other people there, it made me sad, so yes, go contribute to the box office.

  33. Shannon says:

    I find it so annoying that the media pushes so hard for the idea that couples must spend every moment joined at the hip. I know LOTS of couples that have separate bedrooms, because they just don’t sleep well with someone else in the bed. And they have perfectly healthy relationships.

    Think of it this way; if you need to have your own bed to get a good night’s sleep, you’re a much more pleasant person to be around during the day if you’re doing just that. It may actually be GOOD for a relationship in that regard.

    I know I don’t sleep as well with someone else in my bed, so when I get married a separate bedroom is a distinct possibility if I can’t get used to it. Big deal, it’s not like you’re bonding when you’re sleeping XD

  34. Kiska says:

    Quirky and unique. I like them. They are obviously making it work. They seem well suited to each other.

  35. anti says:

    i love her. she reminds me of nina hagen… but more down to earth!

  36. Tazina says:

    I love them and I love their lifestyle! What a great set-up, retaining their individuality yet enjoying their relationship. We each have our own bedroom and it’s great, being able to stretch out, no hogging of covers, no being kept awake by snoring, each have our own t.v. It’s all good. Seems others think the same.

  37. di butler says:

    After 10 yrs, I wish my hubby had a house in a different city and just came for occasional visits. LOL. I know I’d like it!

  38. kelly says:

    When youve been with someone forever and youre over all the cutesy bullshit, you have to do what works. My husband gets consigned to the ‘snoring bed’ on the other side of our massive bedroom when he starts rattling and snorting like a herd of possessed hogs running from a freight train. We both need our own space and if two houses wasn’t such a well, greedy thing to do when so many people can’t afford ONE place to live, we’d go there too.
    I do like HB but let’s face it, it IS self indulgent to have two places in a high density area. People do need to start checking themselves as far as resource-abuse goes.

  39. Whatever says:

    “I feel like a production manager when I’m at home – nothing is ever finished.”

    AMEN to that! So true. As for their living arrangements, that’s their business. If it works for them, great!

  40. Trella says:

    What ever works-my husband and I have been married 11 yrs and haven’t slept in the same room for atleast 8 of those years, and we’re happy. He snores and farts all night and that’s just not what I want to wake up to. We also use separate bathrooms because men are nasty creatures and I like to leave my make up and stuff set up pretty on the counter top with out him accidentally getting toothpaste all over it. Love is being willing to be there for someone through it all-being joined at the hip is not a part of that, it is an ideal fantasy thought up by those that have never had a long term relationship-trust and believe that shit. If I had to share a bedroom and a bathroom with my husband I would probably divorce him-true story.

  41. Amy says:

    Yeah my grandparents (who have been married god knows how long) don’t sleep in the same bedroom either and they haven’t for years. They both snore and keep each other up all night. Also my grandmother goes to bed late and my grandfather goes to bed early. Not to mention my grandfather wasn’t around too much when my father and his siblings were growing up–he was busy sailing around the world with the merchant marine so they never slept that much together early on in their marriage and were used to sleeping alone. It’s not weird.

  42. DrM says:

    I love her style…and she is always rated a good parent…even the bloody Daily Mail can’t really find anything to bag her with…I think she’s fab~

  43. MrsKrabapple says:

    Tim Burton’s thought process:


  44. acj says:

    HBC is the perfect woman to wear Vivienne Westwood – she’s the Head Bitch in Charge. love her!

  45. Anu says:

    I totally adore her for her unique style!

    My BF has to sleep in his own flat too – I need my sleep – and we will never ever move in together.

  46. padiddle says:

    @jc126 – his wife’s name was Lisa Marie…she was the cousin of someone I worked with. Her cousin described her as “married” to Tim – but that may have just been what they said.
    She has had small parts in all his movies prior to him hooking up with Helena. Most notably she was Johnny Depp’s “mom” in Sleepy Hollow and the tall disguise lady they aliens used in “Mars Attacks”
    But people break up all the time, and I love HBC to death.

  47. jc126 says:

    #46, oh I know and I agree, people break up all the time and relationships get ended for somebody else, I don’t get worked up about it. I just notice the different/lack of reactions to HBC being a “homewrecker” as compared to the usual “homewreckers” Angelina Jolie and LeAnn Rimes. It cracks me up. Selective outrage, lol.

  48. Mouse says:

    I love the unconventional and unconventional is a great word for them.

    My husband and I live in a 3 bedroom apartment flat at the moment and two of the bedrooms are our separate offices. (Mine is also my house rabbit’s room.) It really does make a huge difference to have your own “personal space to retreat to” when you need it. Sometimes I do wish we could afford a set up like what these two have….=)

  49. LittleDeadGirl says:

    Love them both and I think it’s a fantastic arrangement. My friend’s grandparents were married something like 60 years and each had their own bedroom and the grandmother said it was one of the reasons they lived so happily together so I think it’s a smart move if you can afford it of course.

  50. ZenB!tch says:

    I’m very late to the party – but here’s my 2 cents: Lisa-Marie was some kind of model artists model maybe she looked like Stephanie Seymour which HUGE boobs. She somehow managed to take Tim Burton to the cleaner for that relationship even though they never married and never had children. My take on her is totally biased I admit – Tim Burton is the perfect man – except for his looks. I worshipped him from HS through 30 (Planet of the Apes cured me). I saw Lisa-Marie as a talentless fame-whore