Actress Helena Bonham Carter claims she had a conversation with Princess Margaret — who has ben deceased for 17 years — with the help of a psychic in preparation for her role in Netflix’s “The Crown” — the third season that will replace the cast of seasons 1 & 2.
Speaking at the Cheltenham literature festival, the former “Harry Potter” actress said that Princess Margaret imparted her blessing and allegedly praised Carter’s work.
“She said, apparently, she was glad it was me. My main thing when you play someone who is real, you kind of want their blessing because you have a responsibility,” Bonham Carter said. “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.”
“That made me think maybe she is here, because that is a classic Margaret thing to say,” continued the actress. “She was really good at complimenting you and putting you down at the same time.”
But the spirit of Princess Margaret (allegedly) had more to say and recommended that Bonham Carter “brush up” her grooming techniques on top of mastering the character’s smoking habits.
“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,’” said Bonham Carter.
Beyond that, Bonham Carter did partake in other more traditional methods when researching the role, which included talking with friends from the late-princesses inner-circle. From The Guardian:
She went to Margaret’s inner circle: “Three ladies-in-waiting, a couple of relatives, a very close relative and some really close friends. They loved the woman and were very happy to talk about her because they miss her.”
Bonham Carter said Margaret was a misunderstood and misinterpreted royal. People thought her “angry, rude and tough” but “she wasn’t tough at all, she was highly vulnerable and often attack is the best form of defence”.
She said Margaret was very much her father’s daughter, with his stammer and anxiety. “She smoked throughout her life and she drank. It was like she didn’t have the extra layer of skin.”
The actor’s interviewer, Emma Freud, told a story of meeting the princess at a drinks party shortly after having her first child and asking whether she wanted to see a photograph. Margaret said no.
Conversing with the dead (understood properly as necromancy) has actually become more common practice in recent years as more and more statistics continue to show that westerners have traded in Christianity for New Age spiritualist practices. When it comes to Hollywood, Helena Bonham Carter is also hardly the first in her social class to publicly admit conversing with a psychic for guidance. According to the Huffington Post, actress Jennifer Lopez visited a psychic while filming the movie “Angel Eyes,” who advised her to embark on a tour.
“‘I’m telling you,’ he said. ‘Going on tour will change your life. It will change everything about you.’ I looked at him and was shocked to see that he had tears in his eyes. It was so intense, so unexpected, so weird,” Lopez said of the experience.