Helena Bonham Carter Talks “Massive Grief" After Tim Burton Split

Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter attend 'A Night Of Funk & Soul 2013' for Save The Children UK at The Roundhouse on March 20, 2013 in London, England. Credit: David M. Benett/Getty Images

Mark as fragile. Helena Bonham Carter opened up about her “massive grief” following her 2014 split with longtime love Tim Burton.

“It is a death of a relationship, so it’s utterly bewildering,” she told Harper’s Bazaar UK (via The Evening Standard) in its June 2016 issue. "Your identity, everything, changes,” she said.

The Fight Club actress, 49, says she longed to put “handle with care” tape on her forehand after her romance of 13 years ended. She says the tape would have acted as an obvious warning, “just saying: I’m not myself at the moment, so be careful.” Instead, she had to settle for pinning a hedgehog brooch from her mother on her clothes.

The unconventional couple never married or cohabited, instead living in adjoining houses in London. They share a 12-year-old son, Billy, and an 8-year-old daughter, Nell. Now, Bonham Carter says that she and the director, 57, are friendly and he even produced her latest film, Alice Through The Looking Glass, in which she reprises her role as the Queen of Hearts. “We really do get on, so that’s good. I understand him very well and he understands me,” she said.

“It might be easier to work together without being together any more. He always only cast me with great embarrassment,” Carter revealed. The eccentric pair met when Burton directed her in the 2001 remake of Planet of the Apes and later worked together on several projects, including Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and Alice in Wonderland.

After more than a year to recover from the heartbreak, she says she could see herself falling in love again eventually, but doesn’t feel the need to be in a relationship right now. “I feel very self-sufficient at the moment,” the British star told the fashion mag. "I’m just going to work out who I am on my own, and it’s quite liberating."

"I’m not in a hurry — I’ve never been someone who needs to be necessarily half of something,” she continued. "And I have my children, which is the most important thing.”

Carter also opened up about another loss she recently experienced: her Alice Through The Looking Glass costar Alan Rickman. The beloved actor voiced a blue butterfly (who was a caterpillar in the first installment) in the fantasy film before he died in January after a private battle with cancer. Carter and Rickman also starred together in the Harry Potter films as Bellatrix Lestrange and Severus Snape, respectively. “That was a total shock. It was too soon. He really was an extraordinary man. Such emotional generosity,” she said. “ I thought there was something very poignant about the fact that he had become a butterfly.”

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