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Helena Bonham Carter had spiritual guide for Elizabeth Taylor role

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Jul 15, 2013 | 10:14am EDT

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."

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