Helena Bonham Carter is a well-known English actress with many star roles to her credit. Her last role as Princess Margaret in season 4 of The crown definitely turned heads, cementing her as one of our great talents to be reckoned with.
As a woman of the arts, Helena has also been primarily interested in men who share her creative passions, with two major relationships with entertainment giants Kenneth Branagh and Tim Burton. “Me and Ken were very different from me and Tim,” the actress said The Guardian in 2020. “You know, Ken avoided directing me once we were together because it can be messy and I think he didn’t want to – anyway, it’s all blood under the bridge.”
Below, we detail everything to know about Helena’s love affairs, including her marriage to Kenneth and her 13-year partnership with Tim.
Helen began dating an Emmy-winning writer, actor, producer and director Kenneth Branagh in the 1990s. The couple first met in 1988, according to a Los Angeles Time article, when they “both took part in a poetry reading on a boat floating down the Thames”. As Helen said on the way out, the two “never sat down and had a real conversation” until 1993 when she was cast Frankensteinwhich Kenneth both directed and starred.
A year after the film was released in 1995, Kenneth split from his then wife, an actress Emma Thompson, and then started seeing Helena. Although the exact timeline of events is unclear, many have speculated about Kenneth and Helena’s budding romance as the catalyst for Emma’s split.
The “love triangle” also has an interest Harry Potter connection, since Emma, who played Professor Trelawny, and Kenneth, who played Gilderoy Lockhart, were now linked to Helena, aka Bellatrix Lestrange!
Although big names in hollywoodthe couple kept their relationship relatively low-key, only confirming their relationship in June 1997. “Of course we’re together, and that’s very sweet, thank you,” Helena told reporters at the time.
Although their romance was great (and highly rated by the tabloids due to the supposed love-triangle type situation with Kenneth’s ex), they eventually separated in 1999. “I am very sad to confirm that Kenneth Branagh and I are no longer together”, Helena reportedly told the press at the time, clarifying that “the decision was mutual and no one else was involved”.
Even though the two broke up, they remained friends over the years. The year after they broke up, Helena showed her support for Kenneth at his movie premiere The labor of love is lost. Then, 15 years later, they collaborated artistically with Kenneth directing Helena in his live-action adaptation of Cinderella.
Kenneth later married the art director Lindsay Brunnock in 2003.
Helena’s second major relationship was with the filmmaker Tim Burtonwith whom she began a relationship in 2001 while filming Planet of the Apes. The director, born in Burbank, California, in 1953, then cast Helena in a series of his films, including Big fish, Corpse Bride, Charlie and the Chocolate Family, Sweeney Todd, Alice in Wonderlandand dark shadows.
The couple never actually married. Although Helena used the word “divorce” when talking about the end of their relationship, other news outlets said they never officially tied the knot.
In addition to their less than conventional relationship, they also chose not to live together exactly during their relationship, opting instead for terraced houses in Belsize Park, London. “We just have two houses together because mine was too small,” said Helena The telegraph in 2010. “We see each other as much as any couple, but our relationship is strengthened knowing we have our personal space to retreat to. Tim snores, and that’s an element. We’ve tried a lot of remedies that don’t work. He has a deviated septum and doesn’t want an operation. They separated after 13 years together in 2014.
The couple share two children, William Raymondborn in 2003, named after their two fathers and a daughter, nellborn in 2007. They admittedly struggled to agree on a name for their daughter, ultimately deciding on Nell as a form of “Helen” and an honor for “all the Helens in the family”, as the mother and Helen’s grandmother are named Elena and Hélène, respectively.
After their split, Helen opened up about not working together anymore and even said that Tim “always only dumped me with a lot of embarrassment” for The Telegraph. Maybe after her first feelings of displeasure about it, she thought more deeply about the heartbreak of the situation.
“Everyone always says you have to be strong and have a stiff upper lip, but it’s okay to be frail,” she told the evening standard in 2016. “With divorce, you go through tremendous heartbreak – that’s [the end] of a relationship, so it’s quite disconcerting. Your identity, everything, changes… You have to take very small steps, and sometimes you won’t know where to go next because you got lost.