British supermodel Cara Delevingne was among the front runners for the title role in Tim Burton's big screen interpretation of Alice In Wonderland. The beauty was still at school when she heard the moviemaker was putting together a new adaptation of the Lewis Carroll classic with Johnny Depp, but that didn't stop her sending in an audition tape.
She later found herself in the running for the part of Alice, and was even invited to meet Burton at his London home, but eventually lost out to Australian star Mia Wasikowska.
Delevingne tells W magazine, "My interpretation of Alice was a little crazy. I overplayed it - the way a young girl would overplay all her emotions. I sent my tape off, and then I was at a wedding and this woman came over to me. She said, 'You don't know me, but I know exactly who you are.' (It was Lili Zanuck, wife of the film's producer Richard Zanuck). She told me that they all loved my tape! And I went to Tim Burton's house and met with him. I didn't get the part, but that experience lit a fire in me."
Richard Burton's daughter refused to watch Dominic West's recent portrayal of her famously fiery father, insisting she would rather the drama had not been made. The Wire star plays the Welsh acting great alongside Helena Bonham Carter as his two-time wife Dame Elizabeth Taylor in BBC biopic Burton and Taylor, which aired to acclaim in the U.K. earlier this month (Jul13).
However, Scandal star Kate Burton has now insisted she has no plans to ever watch the TV movie.
She tells Britain's Daily Mail, "Helena Bonham Carter and Dominic West are such great actors so I'm curious, but I don't think I'll see it.
"I'm a character in it - there's a person playing me! I'd much rather they (the BBC) didn't (make it), but what are you going to do? They were larger than life, those two people. It's a public story."
Burton also reveals she wasn't impressed with Lindsay Lohan's much-maligned portrayal of Taylor in Lifetime's TV movie Liz & Dick.
She adds, "The one that was on recently was so ridiculous. I never took it seriously. Please!... Lifetime can go ahead and make the movie without our permission. They could do whatever the heck they want."
Helena Bonham Carter and Dominic West have won a round of five-star reviews for their performances in Burton And Taylor. The Harry Potter star plays late acting legend Dame Elizabeth Taylor in the British TV drama opposite West as her on/off husband Richard Burton, and the small screen movie impressed the U.K.'s critics after its premiere on Monday night (22Jul13).
The feature, which focuses on the stars in 1983 as they appeared on stage together in Noel Coward's Private Lives, was given full marks of five stars by The Times' critic Alex Hardy, who branded the drama "perfect" and added of Carter's performance as Taylor, "(She) conducted the world around her in a sing-song voice that moved octaves within one phrase, the fragile sliding into the manipulative".
Chris Hardy of The Daily Telegraph was full of praise for Carter, insisting she "went for broke" with her portrayal of Taylor and "got away with it" while he conceded West "seemed to be having some trouble" with Burton's Welsh accent.
The Guardian's Sam Wollaston writes, "Bonham Carter and West are excellent. There's a crackle between them... They become two people who clearly are and always will be in love, but can never be together, for reasons of health and safety. It is another very good double act", and Geoffrey McNab of The Independent concludes the drama is "affecting and well observed".
A U.S. TV movie about the couple, Liz & Dick starring Lindsay Lohan as the late actress, was mauled by critics following its broadcast in 2012, with one writer comparing the movie to a "high school play".
Actor Dominic West was left in awe of Richard Burton and Dame Elizabeth Taylor after gaining insight into their wild lives from a magazine prop on the set of a new drama. The Wire star plays Burton opposite Helena Bonham Carter as Taylor in upcoming TV movie, Burton and Taylor.
The pair threw themselves into playing the famously fiery couple, and West was blown away with how exciting their daily lives were after flicking through an article by Burton on the set of the biopic.
He tells Britain's The Sun, "On set there was a 1971 edition of Vogue, just as set-dressing, and inside there was an article by Richard Burton - it was called One Day In My Life.
"He and Liz were in Puerto Vallarta, in Mexico, and the circus had come to town. They went to the circus and the ringmaster spotted Liz and called her out.
"He attached her to this big board and spun her round and started throwing knives at her. Burton went crazy. He was trying to stop them. But she said: 'Oh, Richard, leave him. You're making him nervous.' Then they tried to get Burton to do it and he said: 'No f**king way!'
"The article ended with them both back home, getting into bed and Liz turning out the light and going: 'Well, another interesting day.' They had this incredible double act and were brilliant together as actors as well. That's what was so magnetic about them."
Director Tim Burton was so sick of his partner Helena Bonham Carter staying in character as Dame Elizabeth Taylor at home, he adopted the voice of Richard Burton as revenge. The Harry Potter star plays the Hollywood legend in a new British TV movie, Burton and Taylor, featuring Dominic West as her famously fiery husband.
Bonham Carter became so engrossed with her portrayal of the Cleopatra star, she struggled to let go after leaving the set - much to the chagrin of her own Burton at home.
She says, "(Taylor) stuck, she's very contagious, she's like a disease. (So) I'd be sounding like this drawl all the time and squeaky. But then Tim Burton, the other Burton that I live with, he worked out his revenge was to become Richard Burton himself.
"So there were two Richard Burtons, it was very confusing. And then I'd get this strange Richard Burton at home, who didn't say very much. He'd say a word every minute - it was very funny."
Burton and Taylor will air in the U.K. on Monday (22Jul13) and in the U.S. in the autumn.
British actor Dominic West took up drinking and smoking to excess in a bid to perfect Richard Burton's distinct vocal tones for a new drama. The Wire star plays the late actor opposite Helena Bonham Carter as Dame Elizabeth Taylor in an upcoming British TV movie called Burton and Taylor, and he went to extreme lengths to imitate the notoriously hard-living thespian.
He tells Britain's Radio Times, "Burton has the most beautiful mellifluous voice you've ever heard, which put the fear of God into me... When I drank and smoked all night, it worked pretty well but I didn't have the stamina to keep it up."
Carter recently revealed she consulted an astrologer for advice on playing Burton's on/off wife, but West admits he didn't follow her lead, adding, "Helena gave me the number but somehow I never got around to it."
However, West did prepare for the role by taking a trip to visit Burton's hometown in Wales, telling Britain's Guardian, "I went to his birthplace. The thing about Burton is, he's one of the most romantic actors ever, because his story is so romantic. You really get that when you go to where he grew up, in Pontrhydyfen, which is a beautiful place. It's very like Switzerland, where he spent much of his life."
Kooky actress Helena Bonham Carter consulted an astrologer before playing late Hollywood icon Dame Elizabeth Taylor. The Harry Potter star steps into the Oscar winner's shoes in new British TV movie Burton & Taylor, opposite The Wire's Dominic West as the star's on/off husband Richard Burton.
Carter admits she turned to a stargazing pal for some spiritual tips on how to portray Taylor.
Carter tells British newspaper The Guardian, "I went to an astrologer... I've got a really good friend called Darby Costello. If I can't make a decision, I go to Darby and... she won't tell me what to do, but she can distil characters.
"She knew Elizabeth. She'd not actually met her, but she'd distilled her. She said that Elizabeth was a big Pisces, and was often attracted to people who were broken - she needed to heal them. This was her take on Burton: when she got down, she always had the capacity to get up, whereas he was laden with guilt, and obsessed with death... I said to Darby, 'Can you just see if we would have got on?' And the first thing she said about me and her was that she would have felt very safe with me."
Carter also took samples of both Taylor and Burton's handwriting to an aunt who specialises in graphology, adding, "My aunt said he was more of an academic than an actor. He should have been an academic."
British actor Toby Stephens has won praise from theatre critics for his role in a West End revival of a play which once starred his famous parents Dame Maggie Smith and Sir Robert Stephens. Stephens' mother and father won rave reviews for their portrayal of sparring ex-lovers in a 1972 London production of Noel Coward's Private Lives, and now their son has followed in their footsteps by scoring his own glowing write-ups.
The Die Another Day star plays the role his father tackled more than 40 years ago in the new production with Anna Chancellor, which opened at London's Gielgud Theatre on Wednesday night (03Jul13), and Henry Hitchings of the London Evening Standard branded the show a "deliciously fresh revival".
Hitchings calls Stephens a "superb comic actor" and compares him to Chancellor's Four Weddings and a Funeral co-star Hugh Grant, adding, "I can't recall having seen him give a better performance than he does here."
Charles Spencer of Britain's Daily Telegraph gave the play five stars out of five, writing, "This is a gloriously entertaining evening, opulently designed... and offering two hours of comic bliss", while The Independent's Paul Taylor concludes by calling the new production of Private Lives "the best in a decade".
Other high-profile stars to have tackled the lead roles in Private Lives include Dame Elizabeth Taylor and her on/off husband Richard Burton.
Helena Bonham Carter and Dominic West, who are playing the famous couple in a new British TV series, were in the audience for the new show's opening night, and The Wire actor also gave the production a good review, saying, "It was funny... It's the perfect play and they were the perfect people doing it. I've never seen it before so it was great to see it."
"It was blond to play Burton but I was worried I looked like (Australian cricketer) Shane Warne. I wanted to shave it off but my wife said no, so now I've tried to wash the dye out, it is brown and blond." British actor Dominic West suffered a hair disaster after going blond to play Richard Burton in an upcoming BBC biopic.
Helena Bonham Carter is getting back into fantasy again, this time as Cinderella's fairy godmother in the live-action adaptation of the classic fairy tale. Bonham Carter has played her fair share of fantasy characters, from Harry Potter's Bellatrix Lestrange to the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland, so it's safe to say she knows what she's doing. She's also knocks pretty much everything she does out of the park; Cinderella should be no different.
The film will be directed by Kenneth Branagh and will star Downton Abbey's Lily James as Cinderella, Cate Blanchett as her evil stepmother, and Game of Thrones' Richard Madden as Prince Charming. Thank the old gods and the new that Madden will make his way back into our hearts after being so gut-wrenchingly torn from our small screens.
We haven't seen Bonham Carter since she played the horrible and hilarious Madame Thénardier in Tom Hooper's Les Misérables, but don't think that means she hasn't been busy. At the start of next month, she'll be seen alongside Johnny Depp in Gore Verbinski's The Lone Ranger.
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