Interview with Helena Bonham Carter

You’re in two stop-motion movies: Corpse Bride and Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit…
I started Corpse Bride when I was pregnant with my son Billy so I was really getting fat. That’s why suddenly I started getting into stop-motion animation. I approach them exactly the same that I would any other movie: I analyse the character and make choices and just wait to be paid. I even learned the lines.

How did you find the singing?
I loved it – I’ve always wanted to be in a musical and no one would let me until now. I’ve always been an admirer of Danny Elfman. You forget he was in Oingo Boingo. We did a couple of sessions in the recording studio. He swears he didn’t have to twiddle too many knobs for me.

Did sleeping with the director help you get the part?
I hope so! Although I hope it’s not just because I sleep with the guy that he gives me a part. Actually it was quite the opposite, because he asked me to audition.

Tim Burton’s work tends to have very dark themes running through them. Why do you think he works in this environment?
I wouldn’t say Corpse Bride is that dark. It’s about death but it’s an immensely hopeful outlook. Even in the land of the dead, they’re colourful, they’re having fun. I’m just glad he gets it out of his system. Sometimes I’ll see his little notepad, because he does sketch incessantly, and I’ll go, “What is this? Should I worry about you? Do you think it’s time you did a little therapy?” And he said, “Look, I express it, I get it out.”

Were you on your own when you did your voiceover work or did you have the other actors there with you?
It was quite hard to get anyone in the same room at the same time. We were all on our own in booths and they bring in an actor but it wouldn’t necessarily be the actor voicing the part. I didn’t do one line opposite Johnny! Althought they did have his puppet in the studio. So I acted opposite a small, six-inch man.

Did the fact that the Corpse Bride’s eye pops out all the time bother you at all?
I wish my eye popped out!

But you don’t have a maggot living in your head…
I have a maggot. I think we all have maggots. They don’t necessarily pop out but mine certainly chats away.

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