About (Late) Last Night: Helena Bonham Carter says 'it's OK to look catastrophically dressed' [Video]
British actress Helena Bonham Carter has a well-deserved reputation for red carpet eccentricity. True to form, the "King's Speech" star turned up at the recent Golden Globe awards wearing a busy Vivienne Westwood gown, a huge bouffant of curls, and -- the piece de resistance -- a pair of mismatched shoes. In a sea of boringly tasteful champagne-colored gowns, Bonham Carter was a breath of funky air.
Tuesday night, the actress, now up for an Oscar for her performance as Queen Elizabeth (later known to most of us as the Queen Mum), stopped by "The Tonight Show." In contrast to so many stars whose talk-show appearances seem painfully scripted and controlled, Bonham Carter seemed wonderfully human.
She explained that she actually prefers not winning Oscars -- she was nominated once before, for "The Wings of the Dove" -- because "people like you better if you lose." She then drew an analogy between being an Academy Award also-ran to being an intentional fashion disaster.
"It's a bit like my dress sense. I get things deliberately wrong," she said. "Perfectionism is completely overrated." Bonham Carter claimed that she provides a service for the average person, who, were it not for her intentional fashion disasters, would open up magazines and see nothing but taut, tasteful perfection.
"People feel inadequate, which is absurd because they've been through three hours of hair and makeup and retouching. At least I make somebody go, 'Yay, it's OK to look catastrophically dressed.'" Just for that added human touch, the actress clutched a straw throughout the interview, explaining that she had brought it along so she could sip water and not smear her crimson lipstick.
Bonham Carter even had a reasonable excuse for her two-toned Globes footwear. She had planned to wear a pair of precipitous black heels -- the same ones she was wearing for her "Tonight Show" appearance -- but opted for lower heels. "The feet hurt. I can't do it," she said. Unable to settle on a color, Bonham Carter decided simply to wear one of each. Her rationale? "I'm a Gemini."
Stars: Sometimes, they are just like us.
-- Meredith Blake