Helena Bonham Carter as Elizabeth Taylor for BBC America

Posted on July 16, 2013

The pictures and trailer have been dribbling out, so this is nothing new, but it looks like fun to us.


Dominic West and Helena Bonham Carter star as the legendary acting couple Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.

“Burton and Taylor stars Dominic West (The Hour, The Wire) and Helena Bonham Carter (Lone Ranger, The King’s Speech) as Hollywood’s most famous volatile on-again-off-again lovers, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. The 90-minute drama follows their private and public relationship played out against their ill-fated appearance in a 1983 revival of Noel Coward’s stage play, Private Lives. Burton and Taylor is one of the most fascinating, glamorous and tempestuous relationships of the 20th century – the two most famous movie stars of their day who played out every high and low of their love affairs, multiple marriages and divorces right in the public eye. Burton and Taylor premieres this fall on BBC AMERICA.”

Besides, the stench of Lohan needs to be pressure-washed off the Taylor name ASAP. We never would have thought to pick her ourselves, but HBC makes such an excellent choice for this version (early ’80s) of Liz that we’re ashamed we never thought of it. Granted, this is a somewhat cleaned-up version of the couple, who were looking quite a bit more, shall we say,  worn out than this by the time they appeared in “Private Lives” in 1983. If anything, HBC’s look here is more the late ’80s, cleaned up, amFAR version of Liz rather than the post-Warner, addiction-addled early ’80s version of her.

But we have to say, from what little we can see, HBC nails Taylor’s loopiness, which is probably the hardest thing for an actress to get right about her. She was an astonishing woman to look at and she lived a fairly kickass kind of life, but if you saw her in interviews and other videos, especially as she got older, the lady could be quite the flake. She and her co-star seem to have a very good understanding of that about her. She wasn’t a goddess or a temptress; she was something of a clown:

“I never met her, but I had lots of friends who did and there were a lot of bizarre coincidences. A really close friend of mine was her goddaughter, so she convinced me to do it and brought some photos of her.

“I didn’t realise she was such a clown, she was so funny. She was famous for being this extraordinarily beautiful woman and sexy, but she was also hugely powerful and fun and had great joie de vivre and strength of character to survive.”

West adds: “The great revelation for me was that she wasn’t this spoilt pain in the ass. Well she was, but she was also ballsy and great to be around, and that’s why Helena was perfect to play her. There are very few actresses in the world who could do it.”

It’s that wild-eyed wackiness that needs an actress like HBC to tap into it. We’re kind of sorry she’s only playing her during a short period in her life. She could easily play her from her 30s up to her old age, which would make one hell of a performance.



[Photo/Video Credit: BBC]

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