Helena Bonham Carter is defending her frequent co-star Johnny Depp as well as "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling from the harsh criticism each has received over the last two to three years.
“Oh, I think he’s completely vindicated,” Bonham Carter, 56, told the U.K. newspaper The Sunday Times of Depp, with whom she has starred in numerous films including "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" (2007) and "Alice in Wonderland" (2010). While a U.K. court had determined in 2020 that a tabloid had not libeled Depp when it wrote of "claims he beat ex-wife Amber Heard," a U.S. jury this past June found Heard had defamed Depp in an editorial she had written about surviving domestic abuse, which had not mentioned Depp by name. "Aquaman" star Heard is appealing the verdict.
Asked if the U.S. decision represented "the pendulum of #MeToo swinging back," Bonham Carter responded, “My view is that [Heard] got on that pendulum. That’s the problem with these things — that people will jump on the bandwagon because it’s the trend and to be the poster girl for it.”
The Academy Award nominee, who played sorceress Bellatrix Lestrange in four of the "Harry Potter" movies based on Rowling's novels, also spoke in defense of the author, who in 2020 began issuing controversial comments many considered transphobic. Two of the largest Harry Potter fan sites, the Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet, subsequently distanced themselves from Rowling, while film-series stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, among others, denounced Rowling's statements.
“It’s horrendous ... I think she has been hounded,” Bonham Carter told the newspaper. “It’s been taken to the extreme, the judgmentalism of people. She’s allowed her opinion, particularly if she’s suffered abuse. Everybody carries their own history of trauma and forms their opinions from that trauma and you have to respect where people come from and their pain. You don’t all have to agree on everything — that would be insane and boring. She’s not meaning it aggressively, she’s just saying something out of her own experience.”
Of the film-series stars who spoke out against Rowling's statements, Bonham Carter said, "Personally I feel they should let her have her opinions, but I think they’re very aware of protecting their own fan base and their generation. It’s hard. One thing with the fame game is that there’s an etiquette that comes with it; I don’t agree with talking about other famous people.”