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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 May 2007, 16:44 GMT 17:44 UK
Bonham Carter's cutting new role
Actress Helena Bonham Carter has been speaking about her role in the new film version of Sweeney Todd, directed by her partner Tim Burton.

Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter
Burton and Carter met while filming the remake of Planet of the Apes
But despite her relationship with the film-maker, the British star says she had to fight for her part in the movie "like more than anything else".

She is to play Todd's accomplice Mrs Lovett, who bakes the murderous barber's victims into meat pies.

The film, an adaptation of Steven Sondheim's musical, is Bonham Carter's fifth collaboration with Burton.

The couple have previously worked together on Corpse Bride, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Big Fish and Planet of the Apes.

But she told the BBC World Service's On Screen programme that, although she had loved the show since she was 11, Burton was very strict during the casting process.

She says the message from her partner was: "You can try, but there's no guarantee you're going to get the part - you're going to be judged against all the other people I'm going to consider."

"It was very tough competition," the actress reflects.

'Fun' witch

Burton, known for his love of the macabre in films like Sleepy Hollow and Corpse Bride, has been "marinating" on the project for around 20 years.

The plot centres on Todd, "the demon barber of Fleet Street" who seeks murderous revenge on a judge who sent him to prison in Australia and then raped his wife.

Todd - played by Johnny Depp - sets up a barber's shop next to Mrs Lovett, whose pies become renowned around London.

Johnny Depp
Filming was delayed for a period after Johnny Depp's daughter fell ill
"It's a Victorian melodrama, but in music," Bonham Carter says.

"It's a bit operetta-like. It's fantastic music and brilliantly written. And it's a bit of a horror movie.

"I don't really know what it's going to end up like, but it's very exciting."

Bonham Carter is also to appear in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - in which she plays witch Bellatrix Lestrange and which she describes as "fun".

And she can currently be seen in new film Conversations With Other Women - which was released in the UK on Friday, almost two years after its US premiere.

The actress plays a woman meeting her ex-husband at the end of a wedding, revisiting their past and looking back on how life has played out for each of them.

"It was really quick, that film - we did it in 13 days," Bonham Carter says.

"It was really nice having only one costume, there was only one fitting to do. And this film was such a tiny film - it was made for about $450,000 (230,000), which is tiny.

"I'd love to do every movie with a great script in 13 days, even if I don't get any money."

Meanwhile, Bonham Carter attacked the Cannes Film Festival - currently under way in France - where she was on the jury last year.

"It's a very tough two weeks," she says.

"It's a place where they sell things, and you do a lot of press. It's a shame, because a lot of the glamour's gone. It's just a market really."


SEE ALSO
Depp talks of daughter's illness
10 May 07 |  Entertainment
How birthday speech kicked off film idea
01 Nov 06 |  Entertainment
Bonham-Carter joins Sweeney movie
19 Oct 06 |  Entertainment

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