I drew this minimal fine line sketch of Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs Lovett in Tim Burton’s film version of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street for the 2007 Premiere,but never got it signed. Subsequently, Helena has signed another drawing I did, but this one has, for reasons that became clear yesterday, always stayed in my folder over the years.
I headed to the opening of this year’s BFI London Film Festival yesterday afternoon at the Odeon in Leicester Square, where Suffragette was screening, with Helena attending along with Meryl Streep and Carey Mulligan. I hadn’t intended ‘bothering’ Helena again, but the red carpet was invaded by the ‘Sisters Uncut’ action group, protesting against the government cuts in the service for domestic violence victims, which blocked the middle of the red carpet. Helena had just arrived, so while the various authorities tried to sort out the interruption, she was kept down at the drop-off point and had more time to sign. I then remembered the Sweeney sketch was still on my personage…obviously a sign to sign and she did and in a variation I didn’t have in my collection-‘HBCr.’ When asked about the protest, Helena said, “Perfect…if you feel strong enough about something and there’s an injustice you can speak out and try to get something changed, “…an apt synopsis of the film really.