×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Helena Bonham Carter Sought Psychic Help for Role of Princess Margaret on ‘The Crown’

From “Fight Club’s” Marla Singer to “Harry Potter’s” Bellatrix Lestrange, Helena Bonham Carter is no stranger to playing peculiar and off-kilter characters. Now, despite embarking on a somewhat more conservative role for “The Crown,” she has taken her research a kooky step forward, employing a psychic to help her prepare for her role as Queen Elizabeth II’s sister Princess Margaret.

During a talk at Cheltenham Literature Festival on Saturday, The Guardian reported that the actress shared some of the takeaways she got from the psychic while trying to conjure the late Princess, who died in 2002. Bonham Carter called taking on the role that BAFTA winner Vanessa Kirby originated “definitely daunting.”

At Cheltenham, she told the crowd that she asked Princess Margaret, from beyond the grave, “Are you okay with me playing you?” to which the ghost allegedly responded, “You’re better than the other actress… that they were thinking of. They will not admit who it was. It was me and somebody else.”

Bonham Carter explained that when one is cast to play a historical, real-life figure, “you kind of want their blessing because you have a responsibility.” She also said that the Princess’s response to the actress’s question convinced her that the royal spirit was there after all, and apparently the late Princess said she was “glad” that Bonham Carter would play her in the series.

“[Princess Margaret] was really good at complimenting you and putting you down at the same time,” said Bonham Carter of how she knew the ghost was real.

Later, Bonham Carter said that the Princess gave the actress some advice: to remain “groomed and neater.” She also added that there was a particular way that the Princess wanted her to smoke on-screen.

“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,” Bonham Carter said.

The Crown” Season 3 hits Netflix Nov. 17.

More TV

  • "Servant"

    TV Review: 'Servant'

    Horror on episodic TV is difficult to pull off for one big reason: Pacing. As the back halves of most “American Horror Story” seasons tend to prove, keeping up a tone of dread over hours and hours of running time is a challenge, and coming up with compelling reasons for the story to keep going [...]

  • Mira Sorvino Rory Culkin

    TV News Roundup: Mira Sorvino, Rory Culkin Join Quibi Series 'Emma'

    In today’s TV news roundup, Quibi announces new cast members for horror series “Emma” and Nickelodeon renews “Blue’s Clues and You!”  CASTINGS Academy Award winner Mira Sorvino and Rory Culkin have been cast in supporting roles in Quibi’s latest horror series “Emma.” The two are joined by Hannah Murray (“Game of Thrones”) and Michael Gaston (“Man [...]

  • Emilia Clarke

    Emilia Clarke Says She's Been Pressured to Do Nude Scenes After 'Game of Thrones'

    Emilia Clarke revealed that she’s been pressured to do nude scenes on projects following her role as the occasionally nude Daenerys Targaryen on “Game of Thrones.” Now a seasoned actor, Clarke is quick to shut down producers who won’t respect her boundaries. “I’m a lot savvier with what I’m comfortable with, and what I am [...]

  • CBS Makes Streaming News Available to

    CBS Makes Streaming News Available to Affiliates

    Any news junkie in need of a live-Information fix can toggle on to any number of streaming news outlets. Now, TV stations affiliated with CBS can do the same. CBS News told affiliates in a memo Tuesday that it would allow them to use live coverage from its CBSN streaming-video hub to keep news events [...]

  • Baby Yoda The Mandalorian

    The Star of 'The Mandalorian:' Baby Yoda

    SPOILER ALERT: This story contains spoilers for the first two episodes of “The Mandalorian,” if wish to be surprised you do, only annoyance will you find.  BB-8 and the Ewoks can step aside with the latest expansion of the “Star Wars” universe with Disney Plus’s “The Mandalorian.” There’s a new addition to the long list [...]

  • Vikings S4 Finale

    'Vikings' Sequel Series Set at Netflix From Michael Hirst, Jeb Stuart

    Fans of the History series “Vikings” rejoice! Netflix has ordered the follow up series titled “Vikings: Valhalla,” which will be set 100 years after the conclusion of the original show. The sixth and final season of “Vikings” on History is set to debut on Dec. 4. “Valhalla” will be executive produced by “Vikings” creator Michael [...]

  • Olympics

    NBCUniversal Sets Molly Solomon to Oversee Olympics Production, Replacing Jim Bell

    NBC’s Tokyo Olympics has a new contestant. Molly Solomon, a veteran sports producer who has been with NBC since 1990, has been tapped as the new executive producer of NBCUniversal’s Olympics broadcast, one of the most important production jobs at the Comcast-owned media conglomerate. She begins her new role immediately, with just months to go [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content