Arts & Culture

Helena Bonham Carter Had a Psychic Ask Princess Margaret If It Was OK to Play Her

"She said, apparently, she was glad it was me," Bonham Carter revealed.
IMAGE GETTY IMAGES/DES WILLIE/NETFLIX
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Helena Bonham Carter believes that if she's to play a part based on a real person, she needs to speak to the person in question—even if it means contacting them from beyond the grave.

The actress enlisted a psychic to ask Princess Margaret herself how she felt about Bonham Carter portraying her on The Crown. Thankfully, the conversation went well.

"She said, apparently, she was glad it was me," Bonham Carter said at the Cheltenham literature festival, per The Guardian. "My main thing when you play someone who is real, you kind of want their blessing because you have a responsibility. So I asked her, 'Are you OK with me playing you?' And she said, '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."

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Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret on 'The Crown'
Photo by SOPHIE MUTEVELIAN.

It was that back-handed compliment that convinced Bonham Carter that the princess was in the room with her. "That made me think maybe she is here because that is a classic Margaret thing to say," the actress said. "She was really good at complimenting you and putting you down at the same time."

But Margaret's blessing didn't come without conditions, Bonham Carter added. "Then she said, 'But you’re going to have to brush up and be more groomed and neater.' 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.'"

When The Crown's third season comes out next month, fans (and maybe Princess Margaret herself) will be able to see if Bonham Carter rose to the occasion.

*This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com

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*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors

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