Helena Bonham Carter defends her longtime co-star Johnny Depp and Harry Potter creator JK Rowling in a new interview.
Speaking to the Sunday Times, Bonham Carter said she felt Depp was “fully vindicated” following his libel victory against ex-wife Amber Heard this summer.
“I think he’s fine now,” Bonham Carter said. “Totally fine.”
Depp and Bonham Carter have worked together in films such as Corpse Bride, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Alice in Wonderland, and Dark Shadows. Depp is also godfather to Bonham Carter’s two children with ex-partner Tim Burton.
Asked if she thought the Virginia jury’s decision to award Depp $15 million in the suit was a sign that the #MeToo pendulum was swinging back, Bonham Carter said: “My view is that [Heard] stepped on that pendulum. That’s the problem with these things – that people jump on the bandwagon because it’s the trend and to be the billboard for it.
At trial, Depp denied hitting Heard and accused her of lying about his alcohol and drug use. In 2020, Depp lost a libel suit in the UK against the Sun newspaper, which had described him as a “woman beater”.
A Supreme Court judge ruled that the newspaper’s claims were “substantially true”.
Bonham Carter also expressed skepticism about whether a person’s personal life, if legal and consenting, should affect their professional prospects.
“Do you ban a genius because of their sexual practices? There would be millions of people who, if you looked closely enough at their personal lives, would disqualify them. You can’t ban people. I hate the cancellation culture. It has become quite hysterical and there is a kind of witch hunt and misunderstanding.”
She also defended JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, in whose film adaptations she played Bellatrix Lestrange. Rowling has been accused of transphobia after making statements about gender politics and the protection of children and vulnerable women.
“It’s awful, a lot of nonsense,” said Bonham Carter. “I think she’s hunted.”
She continued: “It has been taken to the extreme, the judgment of people. She is allowed to speak her mind, especially if she has been abused. Everyone carries their own trauma history and forms their opinions from that trauma and you have to respect where people come from and their pain. You don’t have to all agree on everything – that would be insane and boring. She doesn’t mean it aggressively, she just says something from her own experience.”
Asked for the wisdom of the film’s three main younger stars – Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint – who spoke out about Rowling’s comments, Bonham Carter said: “Personally, I think they should give her her opinion, but I think they are very conscious of protecting their own fan base and their generation.”