King? Queen? Helena Bonham Carter would rather be King!

Thu Dec 9, 2010 4:49pm EST
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By Bob Tourtellotte

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - She has played queens in two movies this year to great success, but if you ask Helena Bonham Carter her preference in monarchs -- she would rather play the king!

It's not hard to imagine. Gender-bending performances have worked well in contemporary tales for Hilary Swank ("Boys Don't Cry") and Felicity Huffman ("Transamerica").

But for Bonham Carter in "The King's Speech," currently in theaters and earning Oscar buzz, being the king would have been more difficult to pull off given the film is set in the early 20th century and the years leading up to World War Two.

Still, she says the plum role in "The King's Speech" was that of stammering King George VI, which was snagged by Colin Firth. Bonham Carter plays his wife, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

"That was definitely the part," she told Reuters in a telephone interview from the home in London she shares with long-time companion, director Tim Burton.

"Both men's roles (in the movie) are fantastic, and it is really about their friendship. It's adapted from a play, and anything that started as a play is much more actor oriented."

The other of the "men's roles" is Lionel Logue, portrayed by Geoffrey Rush, who is King George's speech coach in the movie, which is based on real events.

It's not that Bonham Carter is complaining. In fact, she is happy to have worked in the movie, and as much as Firth and Rush are winning award attention in their roles, she too has gained the critics' eye playing the Queen Mum.   Continued...