Helena Bonham-Carter talks Alice Through the Looking Glass
‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ is coming to our screens this winter, bringing back the dreamy Johnny Depp, and incredible leading ladies Mia Wasikowska, Anne Hathaway and Helena Bonham-Carter. The new film, directed by James Bobin, is the sequel to Tim Burton’s last masterpiece, ‘Alice in Wonderland’. In this adventure, Alice must travel back in time to the whimsical world of Wonderland where she must stop the Lord of Time before he is able to turn Wonderland into a barren old world.
Helena Bonham-Carter, best known for her role as Bellatrix Lestrange in the 'Harry Potter' franchise, returns to play Iracebeth, who is also known as the Red Queen.
In anticipation of the new film, Helena talks us through what we can expect for Alice's new movie:
Tell us about the story?
Alice has been exploring overseas and comes back to England where she finds that she is needed in Underland. Hamish, the man who proposed to her in the first film (and who she subsequently turned down), basically takes her father’s ship from her and she is very distraught. She sees Absolem, whom she follows to a mirror and then falls into Underland. It turns out the Hatter has gone sane because he’s convinced that his family was not actually killed by my character and her Jabberwocky, so they bring Alice back thinking she can save the day. She comes across Time, who’s played by Sacha Baron Cohen, and steals his Chronosphere to go back in time to see if she can change things and save the Hatter’s family. Meanwhile, I want the Chronosphere as well, because I want to go back in time and become Queen again, but what actually ends up happening is we see what happened when I was a little child and come to understand that Iracebeth really isn’t as bad as we thought she was.
Tell us about your character, Iracebeth.
Iracebeth is the Red Queen, or was, as she’s not really queen anymore. She was demoted by her sister, Mirana, at the end of the last film and has been banished to the Outlands, which is in the middle of nowhere. She gets angry very easily, which is her biggest problem...that and her enormous head. Personally I didn’t mind having a big head because it makes your waist look really small which can be very flattering. I did not like having to wear two bald caps however. It gets very, very hot under two bald caps.
What was your initial reaction to the script?
I think Linda Woolverton did a brilliant job of coming up with a good storyline which used all the iconic images and characters and stayed true to the spirit, while also making it something that young audiences would be interested in. She really kept the story moving along.
Talk about Anne Hathaway who plays your sister, Mirana?
In this film we get to see more of the relationship between Anne’s character and my character. Mirana is always so perfect and so loved by everyone, but she is the one person that Iracebeth really responds to and the one person she is open to emotionally. It’s been great getting to do more scenes with her and having the chance to do different things with our characters and go deeper and deeper to find out what really motivates them. Mirana is easily the most important person
Can you talk about James Bobin as a director?
James is amazing, and he is such a gentleman. He has a grace and a sort of elegance to him…something that you wouldn’t necessarily associate with a director because they are always under such a huge amount of stress, but he wears it incredibly graciously. He has a real quiet confidence and he made the story his own which is tough to do because there are lots of big characters to marshal, which he does expertly and with real respect. James is very creative and has really good ideas as to the best way to approach a scene. I think it’s because he’s a writer and he comes from a comedy background.
‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ is set to be released on May 26th in New Zealand.