Helena Bonham Carter, who plays Elizabeth Taylor in the BBC television film "Burton and Taylor," treated fans to a spot-on impersonation of the late legend during a live interview Saturday at the Hamptons International Film Festival.
"She had so many facets to her character and had so many different colors to her," Bonham Carter said of Taylor. "She had a great sense of humor. I didn't know she could be such a clown, and that's what attracted me to her."
Bonham Carter later mimicked Taylor's various voices, from girlish to vampish, for the crowd at Sag Harbor's Bay Street Theatre. The British actress and two-time Oscar nominee was interviewed by New York Daily News film critic Joe Neumaier as part of the festival's annual series "A Conversation With . . . "
Bonham Carter's appearance came after a brief run of stories in the British press suggesting that her partner, filmmaker Tim Burton, was dallying with a "mystery blonde." Bonham Carter made no mention of those reports, but she talked affectionately about Burton, whom she first worked with on 2001's "Planet of the Apes." She recalled a casual dinner with the shy, quiet Burton about a year after the filming.
"Something happened that night, I don't know what," she said. "The world turned. I thought, 'Oh, my God, this is going to be significant.' "
The actress also had fun answering a question from a young fan about Tom Felton, her co-star in the "Harry Potter" films, who later admitted that he developed a crush on the older actress.
"I'd seen him grow up from an 11-year-old boy into a very attractive 19-year-old," Bonham Carter, 47, said. "He was very well brought up and I was very flattered. But," she added with a sigh, "nothing happened."
The Hamptons film festival continues Sunday with a 12:30 p.m. screening of "Nebraska," starring Bruce Dern and Will Forte, at East Hampton's Guild Hall. The two stars will join the "Conversation" series with a live interview at 4 p.m. at the Bay Street Theatre.