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Bonham Carter on West: We have great chemistry

1 of 1 Dominic West and Helena Bonham-Carter as Burton and Taylor
Dominic West and Helena Bonham-Carter as Burton and Taylor

Helena Bonham Carter has said that her on-screen chemistry with her Burton and Taylor co-star Dominic West is so good that she didn’t want the shoot to end.

The pair star in the new BBC4 90-minute biopic, airing next Monday, as Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton who first met on the set of Cleopatra in 1963.

Speaking to the Radio Times magazine, the 47-year-old said: “I think we have great chemistry. I try to lure him back into my bed but he won’t have me.

“Dominic's very funny. I didn't want it to end.”

The biopic focuses on the famous couple’s reunion when they performed together for the last time in the 1983 stage revival of Noel Cöward’s Private Lives.

West, 43, revealed that he focused on one aspect of Burton’s character to begin with: “It's the voice. You have to get it right.

“The film opens with Burton quoting from King Lear, a role he always wanted to play but never managed and the stage direction on the script is ‘Burton has the most beautiful mellifluous voice you’ve ever heard’, which put the fear of God into me."

He added: "When I drank and smoked all night, it worked pretty well but I didn’t have the stamina to keep it up.”

Meanwhile Bonham Carter turned to an astrologer to help her learn more about Taylor who died in 2011, aged 79: “She was really insightful. She told me Elizabeth was a water person. Water is sexual and sensual and that’s the place she operated from.

“She had a big appetite for life. She was a good eater. Unlike actresses these days, she liked her food.”

She added: “She was like a huge Rottweiler when people tried to put him [Burton] down and she was right. There is far too much snobbery about stage versus film.

“They’re different mediums and she was a great screen actress.”

Watch the Burton and Taylor trailer here:

Watch the Daily Mail interview with Helena Bonham Carter and Dominic West here:

Fans of Elizabeth Taylor can visit the new exhibition of her Hollywood memorabilia, which includes her Cleopatra headdress, bracelet and a sketch of the Academy Award Costume Design winner.

The collection also includes the dress she wore to visit former US President Ronald Reagan in 1978, the gown she wore to Burton’s 50th birthday party and multi-gem 18-karat yellow gold jewelry.

The free exhibition will run until August 25 at the Newbridge, Musuem of Style Icons before the collection is sold by Julien’s auctions in Los Angeles.

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