You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Top Stories

Helena Bonham Carter Explains How She Connected With Princess Margaret's Spirit Ahead of 'The Crown' Role

The Hollywood Reporter logo The Hollywood Reporter 08/11/2019 Katherine Schaffstall
Replay Video

Appearing on The Graham Norton Show, Helena Bonham Carter talked about how she used a psychic to speak to the late Princess Margaret in preparation to play the royal in the latest season of The Crown, which debuts on Netflix on Nov. 17.

Bonham Carter spoke about the "ridiculous lengths" she goes to when preparing for a role. "I love it," she said of the research process, while co-star Olivia Colman, who joined her on the talk show and takes over the role of Queen Elizabeth, said that she doesn't find research enjoyable.

Helena Carter, Richard Ayoade sitting on a stage © Courtesy of BBC America/AMC Networks "I did meet a psychic, who's a friend of mine, and I was seeing her," said Bonham Carter. "She does healing. She does other things, but she also has a talent for mediumship and as I was seeing her for something else, she said, 'Oh, Margaret is here. Does that mean anything?' and I said, 'Yes, it does.'"

Bonham Carter had already been asked to play Princess Margaret at the time, though she hadn't accepted the role yet. "I said, 'Well, yeah.... If you've got the horse's mouth in the room, you're not gonna say no,'" she said. "I said, 'Yeah' and I asked, 'Would you mind if I played you?' She did say, 'I think you're a better idea than the other actor.'"

Gallery: Go Behind the Scenes of The Crown (Town and Country)

"It was a very typical Margaret thing," she added. The actress said that she had previously met the princess. "She had a way of sometimes complimenting you and putting you down at the same time. And the fact that she said, 'Oh yeah, I think that you're better than the other,'" Bonham Carter said, "It's like you never knew where you were with her."

Bonham Carter added that the spirit "came through with another note," which was that the actress should "get the smoking right." She continued, "I smoked in a particular way and always remember that the cigarette holder is as much a weapon for expression as anything else and that was a good note."

Host Graham Norton with (seated left to right) Lady Anne Glenconner, Olivia Colman, Helena Bonham Carter, Chadwick Boseman, Richard Ayoade and Niall Horan during the filming for the Graham Norton Show at BBC Studioworks 6 Television Centre, Wood Lane, London, to be aired on BBC One on Friday evening. © Press Association Host Graham Norton with (seated left to right) Lady Anne Glenconner, Olivia Colman, Helena Bonham Carter, Chadwick Boseman, Richard Ayoade and Niall Horan during the filming for the Graham Norton Show at BBC Studioworks 6 Television Centre, Wood Lane, London, to be aired on BBC One on Friday evening. "She was somebody who was innately dramatic. If you're royal, you can't necessarily talk much. You're a walking icon," she continued. "She was very, I think, conscious about the silhouette and whatever she did with her body and particular with her hands."

MSN UK is committed to Empowering the Planet and taking urgent action to protect our environment. We’re supporting Friends of the Earth to help solve the climate crisis, please give generously here or find out more about our campaign here.

AdChoices
AdChoices

More From The Hollywood Reporter

The Hollywood Reporter
The Hollywood Reporter
AdChoices
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon