LONDON, England (July 9, 2007) — Some actors might balk at being cast as an evil witch. Not Helena Bonham Carter.
The British actress revels in the role of sadistic sorceress Bellatrix Lestrange — fanatical follower of evil Lord Voldemort — in “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” the fifth film adapted from J.K. Rowling’s wizarding saga.
Bonham Carter blazes her way across the screen in her one big scene — a dramatic battle between Voldemort’s Death Eaters and Harry’s ragtag band of friends.
“I had about five lines and I think they cut about three of them,” Bonham Carter, 41, told The Associated Press. “So I knew I had to be conspicuous.”
Black-clad, wild-haired and cacklingly sadistic, Bellatrix escapes from Azkaban prison to join the resurgent Voldemort in his quest to destroy Harry and control the magical world.
Bonham Carter says she had a big say in creating her character’s voluptuous-but-disheveled look.
“At first they thought, `Oh, we’ll just put her in a sack,”’ Bonham Carter said. “But I said, `There’s no way I’m going to wear a sack. I’ve got to be a sexy witch.”’
“I wanted a sort of bodice thing to give me a shape,” she said. “There is a bit of the warrior about her — Bellatrix means warrior. She’s the right-hand Death Eater to Voldemort.
“I also wanted everything to be splitting at the seams and a bit of `Sunset Boulevard’ disintegration to be going on, because she’s been in prison for so long. She has a very posh, aristocratic carriage, because she’s pureblooded, but at the same time she’s completely divorced from reality.”
Like other Harry Potter fans worldwide, Bonham Carter is awaiting the July 21 publication of Rowling’s seventh and final Potter novel, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” to learn the characters’ fate. But she’s been given a hint that Bellatrix may play a part.
While she was considering whether to accept the relatively small role in “Order of the Phoenix,” she says, “J.K. Rowling sent a message saying she’s going to be very significant in the last one.”
“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release, opens in theaters around the world starting Wednesday.