What won’t Helena Bonham Carter do for a part? According to The Guardian, Carter recently shared with audiences at the Cheltenham literary festival that to prepare for the role of Princess Margaret in Netflix’s “The Crown,” she hired a psychic to help her contact the dead royal. (This was in addition to reading all of the Princess’ biographies, and contacting an astrologer and a graphologist.)
“She said, apparently, she was glad it was me. My main thing when you play someone who is real, you kind of want their blessing because you have a responsibility,” Carter explained. “So I asked her: ‘Are you OK with me playing you?’ and she said: ‘You’re better than the other actresses… that they were thinking of. They will not admit who it was. It was me and somebody else.
“That made me think maybe she is here, because that is a classic Margaret thing to say. She was really good at complimenting you and putting you down at the same time. Then she said: ‘But you’re going to have to brush up and be more groomed and neater.’ Then she said: ‘Get the smoking right. I smoked in a very particular way. Remember that — this is a big note — the cigarette holder was as much a weapon for expression as it was for smoking.’”
Carter also turned to Princess Margaret’s close circle. “Three ladies-in-waiting, a couple of relatives, a very close relative and some really close friends. They loved the woman and were very happy to talk about her because they miss her,” Carter said. For seasons three and four of “The Crown,” the actress is taking the reins from Vanessa Kirby.
Of Margaret, Carter said, “She wasn’t tough at all, she was highly vulnerable, and often attack is the best form of defense,” adding, “She smoked throughout her life and she drank. It was like she didn’t have the extra layer of skin… She just couldn’t feign, which is an appalling lack when you are famous and you have to meet all these people. Whatever was in her head popped out of her mouth. She was like a time bomb.”
Season Three of “The Crown” will premiere Sunday, November 17. This season features Oscar winner Olivia Colman in the role of Queen Elizabeth.