She cites Vivienne Westwood and Marie Antoinette as her main style influences, but is constantly placed on "worst dressed" lists. She's played a fairy godmother, an ape, a murderous pie-maker, a big-headed queen, and the craziest witch this side of Azkaban. She was in a relationship with Tim Burton until last year and has two children with him. And she's one of my favourite actresses.
Helena Bonham Carter
When HBC started as an actress, she was typecast as the "English Rose": you know, one of those porcelain skinned, corset-wearing, delicate looking young ladies. One of her first roles was Lucy Honeychurch in the 1985 adaptation of E.M. Forster's A Room with a View.
Side note: I read A Room with a View in a first year English class, and I remembering loving it. Working on this post has inspired me to re-read it, so look for my review on Friday!
In my world, however, she's always looked the way she does now: strutting the red carpet with wild frizzy hair or clomping around town in chunky boots and layered skirts. She's eccentric, and probably fascinating to talk to, but one of the things I like the most is the fact that she just does not care.
She knows full well that people criticize her clothing choices, but she wears what she wants anyway. She knows she's going to end up on the worst dressed list, knows that she's constantly labelled a "disastrous dresser", but she just doesn't care. And that's admirable, especially for an "older" woman, for someone who essentially has to rely on her looks in order to get a job.
Although really, by this point, she should be getting roles for her immense talent and not her looks, but no one ever said casting directors were fair.
She's a versatile actress as well. I know there are people who gripe about how many of Tim Burton's movies she's been in, but honestly, they work(ed) so well together (I almost cried when I found out they have separated). But HBC has a way of completely becoming her character, where you'd almost forget who she was, if it weren't for her distinctive facial features. And, like I mentioned at the beginning, she's all over the place in terms of what characters she likes to play: she can be serious (the Queen Mother in The King's Speech), and sympathetic (Mrs. Bucket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), or even CGI-ed (The Corpse Bride). I can't think of any other actress who takes as many risks and spends as many scenes literally looking like a monster as HBC does.
Plus, at the end of the day, HBC is the one of the few actresses who can play a terrible villain - in this case, the ruthless Death Eater, Bellatrix Lestrange - and you can't help kinda-sorta liking her. Bellatrix is pretty high up there on the list of awful characters in the Harry Potter universe, but HBC's casting was perfect. She brought just the right amount of crazy to Bellatrix without being too over-the-top and it was an incredible performance.