Helena Bonham Carter: Prince Harry’s ‘Spare’ has ‘been given enough attention’

Helena Bonham Carter is currently promoting an ITV miniseries called Nolly, based on the true story of Noele Gordon getting fired from the British soap opera Crossroads for being too old and bossy. To promote the miniseries, HBC spoke to the Guardian about all kinds of things. The thing about Helena is that she’s a gossip and she knows everybody, and she loves that people still ask her about playing Princess Margaret on The Crown. But what’s hilarious in this Guardian interview is how quickly she shuts up when she’s asked about Prince Harry’s memoir Spare. Some highlights:

Whether she’s ever been fired from a job: “No, but I’ve seen people fired. I worked with Woody Allen [on the 1995 film Mighty Aphrodite]; he sacked a few people when I was on the job. I asked him: “How do you sack someone?” And he said: “Well, I don’t tell them.” He would get Juliet, the casting person, to do it. On that particular job, the actor who ended up doing one of the parts was the third actor. It was just like: “Who are you? Oh really, you’re playing…” Nothing was mentioned to the rest of the cast. But he [Allen] was quite well known for sacking really good actors. Do you remember [the 1987 film] September? He redid the whole movie and recast everybody. [Mia Farrow and Dianne Wiest were the only actors to appear in both versions of the film.]

Whether Helena thinks people still get fired for being too old: “Oh, I think people are always getting sacked for being too old now. I don’t know the circumstances of everyone, but Sue Barker going, I went: “Why do you have to go?” We don’t value age anyway. But if you think about Robin Day, all these older men who were around for ever, they die in the job. Women will always be penalised for not looking the same as when we were young, whereas men just grow beards, don’t they?

She hasn’t had many career dips: “Oh, you should talk to my inner critic. Anthony Hopkins the other day said: “I’m just amazed that anyone employs me again.” And I go: “Even you? Are you stupid?” Everybody, we’re so stupidly vulnerable, we’ve got zero autonomy over our careers unless you start producing and be sensible or you’re brilliantly brainy. Which none of the rest of us are. Apart from Emerald Fennell, she’s amazing.

What she made of Prince Harry’s Spare: “I don’t really want to contribute to the whole thing. It’s complicated and it’ll get taken out of context. And I think it’s been given enough attention.

Will it be much easier for Peter Morgan to write The Crown: “I should be careful here too, but I don’t think they should carry on, actually. I’m in it and I loved my episodes, but it’s very different now. When The Crown started it was a historic drama, and now it’s crashed into the present. But that’s up to them.

The key to getting into the character of Princess Margaret: “Well, actually, the real Margaret didn’t mind about being number two, but she did mind being really short. She was just 5ft, so there was something in her posture to maximise every little millimetre: she had her car seat elevated so she could be seen. And a lot of it was the need not to be overlooked, probably prompted by her great-grandmother saying something about the fact that she was tiny. And that scarred her. It’s funny what we carry – a complex that can govern all our behaviour.

[From The Guardian]

The way she just stops gossiping immediately at the mention of Spare – wow. She’s right though, whatever she says would have made news, although I think this makes news: “I think it’s been given enough attention.” That’s sort of the position of most of the British media when their hate campaign against Spare failed to sink the memoir – they just started ignoring it and pretended that, despite the success of the book, Harry had done irreparable damage to himself. HBC is a royalist, after all. And that’s why she also doesn’t want to see The Crown keep going up until present day. The whole Boris Johnson/Liz Truss/Rishi Sunak trilogy would be so painful.

Photos courtesy of Backgrid.

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57 Responses to “Helena Bonham Carter: Prince Harry’s ‘Spare’ has ‘been given enough attention’”

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  1. Tessa says:

    She probably wants honors from Charles .

    • Tacky says:

      She already has them. Bottom line, she made a bunch of money playing royals and she doesn’t want to hurt her future chances of playing them again by saying anything negative about a bunch of outmoded racists.

      • Christine says:

        That’s exactly my take, Tacky. I think she is saying the part about it being given enough attention TO the British media, but she’s exactly right, it’s all going to be taken out of context. By now, there are 25 articles shrieking “Harry has had enough attention, so says Princess Margaret!”, so her point is well made.

      • Mary Pester says:

        Tacky I think this poor excuse for a bag lady should stick to selling sofas, after all that’s all she is good for on British TV at the moment

  2. Moxylady says:

    After her take on “cancel culture” – I’m over her. I found her delightful for the longest time but she’s too privileged to give real thought to the societal issues behind both the abuse of H&M and to the real reasons behind canceling someone.

    • Jason says:

      Spot on!!

    • Josephine says:

      sign me up for your newletter! right on.

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      I hate to hear this and think I totally agree. She’s been a favorite of mine from the start. I feel she’s settled into her life and yeah, obviously quite detached from 99% of Earth’s population. SMH

    • tealily says:

      I feel the same way. And while from some else I might respect the idea of trying to stay out of a hot button conversation, I feel like from her, it’s only because she knows she has a bad and unpopular take.

    • SomeChick says:

      I’m another former fan. I used to enjoy her eccentric style (and she really was good as Margaret) but she’s got her head stuck up her posh derriere and can’t see out. pity. same with Judy Dench. those ridiculous medals must go to their heads (or else they were always awful and we just couldn’t tell, lol)

    • The Old Chick says:

      Exactly. Rich, white privilege which we’ve seen in so many (disappointing) people

    • MoonTheLoon says:

      I’ve not been much of a fan because of her penchant for married/coupled men. Yes, the men could have minded their weenises. But she knew better too. Fantastic actress, shite person.

  3. L84Tea says:

    I’m thinking this in the same voice as Archie’s wife in “A Fish Called Wanda”–Do shut up, Helena!

  4. SarahCS says:

    Please stop talking about something that makes the royals look bad says royal mouthpiece/apologist.

  5. equality says:

    Maybe hush about Woody Allen. I think he’s been given enough attention and don’t want to know about him. So now that her part in The Crown is up, it can end?

  6. Vanessa says:

    It’s Truly a sight to see when the crown first aired and made the royal family look good all these royalist love it love being a part of it . Now that royal family is being seen for what they truly are which is a bunch of racist violence family who have no problem covering up for rapists and had no problem trying to drive a Meghan to suicide while she pregnant William has spend decades abusing his younger brother like a psychopath . Their in legend with the press to one up each other they don’t care about charities work all they care about is making themselves look better than the average job.

  7. C says:

    “I’m not going to comment because it’ll be taken out of context, so here is my comment for the tabs to take out of context, because it’s not actually out of context and is intentional.” She thinks we’re all as dumb as her? Lol.

    • Tan says:

      Methinks the crown and Harry Potter goodwill can only go so far and it’s something that Helena is slowly discovering outside her privileged little bubble

      • C says:

        She’s always gone through life pretending to be *quirky* and *edgy* while looking like she has lice. I’m sure she doesn’t care about anyone’s opinion, and in this case that’s not a compliment, lol.

  8. ❌❌❌Tart ❌❌❌ says:

    You forgot Liz Truss.

  9. Over it says:

    Like I care what Bellatrix thinks about right and wrong

  10. Mtl. Ex.Pat says:

    Every time she opens her mouth she proves what an entitled tone deaf twit she is….

  11. Ameerah M says:

    LOL. She will praise rapists and abusers but ask her about Spare and she can’t shut up fast enough

  12. High says:

    There are so many royalists in Hollywood when you really step back and think about it. Yes I know it’s a massive industry but in circles of “elite” actors who always win awards there’s a lot of British citizens.
    That’s why I don’t care who Harry and Meghan hang out with because they will need all the friends/connections they can get when there’s so many people so many establishment people in high places against you.

    • C says:

      I don’t think this is a Hollywood thing. Helena Bonham Carter is from high levels of British political and aristocratic society, and this is her falling in line with that.

      • High says:

        But she’s not the only one..Peter Morgan, Judy Dench, most of the cast of the crown, etc etc
        Even some of our journalists from entertainment tonight, Variety, to The NY Times, etc etc
        Most of them have been given platforms to criticize Harry and Meghan and they’ve taken it.
        Even Dax Shepard said he was surprised at his British friends reaction to Oprah..
        So that’s why I say make all the friends you can!

      • C says:

        I get it, but those people are all also part of the British establishment. They dabble in Hollywood here and there but they aren’t the Hollywood A-listers. I’m not sure where you got that most of the cast of the Crown criticizes Harry and Meghan. Bonham Carter is the only one I’ve seen say actual critical things, personally.
        There have been a few critical articles here and there in the US, but I don’t see them gain much traction.

        I’m not surprised at the British reaction to Oprah. But it’s not Hollywood. That’s all I’m saying.

      • High says:

        I’m def generalizing lol but there is a very real movement of people who are part of the establishement whether Hollywood industry/tabloid/press who are against Harry and Meghan. Most of the negative commentary since they left have been from those people who are connected in the US like Tina brown.

        That’s why I like seeing them in these circles because it does offer them protection. When Oprah, Ellen, Tyler Perry are vocally supporting people take notice.
        But yes thankfully it hasn’t gained traction here like they might have wanted.

      • C says:

        Eh. Tina Brown is barely connected to the US.
        Honestly, I haven’t seen any major A-lister come out to say things against Harry and Meghan. It’s all losers like Bethenny Frankel or something.
        The British establishment that wants to fall in line with the Tories and and royals will oppose them. But they aren’t the major players or moneymakers here. And that’s why the press is so angry.

  13. Jason says:

    Ameerah M – Spot on!!

  14. Woke says:

    Based on the horrible takes she had you assume she would have made a disparaging comment but I don’t think so. I think she would have said he has a few points but it’s not the way to do it.
    And that’s the thing majority of those people know he’s right but they just don’t want him to say it.

  15. JMoney says:

    HBC is not stupid she wants what most white aristo British actors want which is the title and she’s def angling for a Dame title.

    Like clockwork middle class and higher white British actors once they’ve “made it” move to the countryside and become more conservative. HBC is posh and though dresses “quirky” if you remove that and dress her like Camilla they start to sound the same. Expect more of this with British actors or them keeping quiet not bc they want a title but who wants to deal with the trolls and abuse which would be promoted by the British media. H&M may have UK allies and friends but note even Harry did not dare name them in his acknowledgements bc the real power in the UK are the owners of the UK media.

    • Polo says:

      Yup they truly control everything. The current government is an absolute disaster because of it. Fall in line or get destroyed.

  16. Shawna says:

    HBC hasn’t come to terms with the fact that she participated in a phenomenon (The Crown) that was so successful it might go where she didn’t anticipate. Too bad, HBC. You’re part of it now.

  17. Peanut Butter says:

    I think HBC has been given enough attention. I’m so glad she was asked about Spare 😂

  18. Becks1 says:

    I almost agree with her about the Crown, and I think Peter Morgan does as well, which is why the last season is (most likely) the last. Maybe they’ll pick it up again in another decade or so, we’ll have to see. But I do think perspective makes a difference.

    That said, I don’t think the first few seasons of the Crown really made the BRF look that good. in the first four seasons, QEII looked cold and unattached, Philip was a philanderer, the QM was a controlling boozy matriarch, Margaret was just messy (even if it was understandable at times) and while Charles was at first sympathetic (the Gordonstoun years etc) he ends up being portrayed as narcissistic, entitled, pampered, and insanely jealous of his wife.

    I mean the only thing that was a good look was that Clare Foy and Matt Smith were very attractive together.

  19. Rnot says:

    Do people get worse as they get older or do they just get worse at hiding who they are?

    • Angie says:

      Yeah. I wonder that about my mother-in-law 😂

    • MoonTheLoon says:

      The latter. I don’t believe that one can make such a drastic turn just because of old age. Toxic shite like that is usually already part of the person. Either that or she’s starting to lose the plot. Which still doesn’t convince me.

    • Sumodo1 says:

      At age 66, I have learned to hold my tongue, after speaking out about my philandering BFFL, who died 12 years ago. My son was outraged I said it about his auntie and it took me a year to get back in his good graces. Here’s the fact: just because you know the truth, it doesn’t mean you can slag that person without getting in deep trouble. The more you know….

  20. Giddy says:

    In that last picture is that outfit for a role or does she actually dress like this?

    • QuiteContrary says:

      She dresses like that. She’s really into being zany and quirky, when really she’s just a messy snob.

    • Mau says:

      She once stepped out of her house wearing mismatched shoes.
      I’m not kidding

  21. ARHUS says:

    I think she handled that great and the best she could.

  22. Nibbi says:

    Whatevs. The book’s really good you guys, especially his velvety voice narrating the audio version, everyone go pick it up 😉 I honestly enjoyed hearing his side of the story.

  23. j.ferber says:

    I’m kind of surprised she said this. Didn’t take her for that sort. She plays these feminist, rebellious, kooky characters and I expected some understanding/insight from her. Oh well. Let the fame of and attention to Spare continue and prosper in a big, big way. Long live the Sussexes!

  24. Emily_C says:

    She’s a fake and has always been a fake. The boho quirk is surface level only. Underneath, she is a Tory. A Tory who slept with Emma Thompson’s husband.

  25. Angie says:

    I just realized that what I thought was quirky dressing on her part, was Helena dressing as an old lady the entire time.

  26. SourcesclosetoKate says:

    So many British actresses take jobs in Hollywood, but they wouldn’t give one American actress a chance…hmmm

  27. Well Wisher says:

    Whether one agree with her or not, her reaction to the book is one of the prevailing views in a class stratified society.

    She is born into the aristocratic class of the UK, her answer is one of the iteration that denote how Spare, the book is perceived in that particular class of people.