Helena Bonham Carter Joins “Cinderella”

Helena Bonham Carter will grant wishes.

Good news if you’re a fan of delightfully eccentric on screen presences! Bad news if you’re a pretty ingenue who’s appearing in “Cinderella!”

Here’s what I mean: Disney announced yesterday that Helena Bonham Carter has joined the cast of “Cinderella,” the new live action version of the classic “is that my glass slipper?” tale. She will play the fairy godmother. So you there’s the delightfully eccentric screen presence. However, Bonham Carter’s casting makes life even more difficult for Lily James, who is playing the title character; she already had to contend with the formidable Cate Blanchett, one of the greatest actresses of our time, in the role of the wicked stepmother, and now she gets Bonham Carter eating up the screen as well. James is going to need the star power equivalent of PEDs to manage to hang on in scenes with them.

I really don’t mean anything against James–I would have said this about anyone cast as Cinderella, because what does she have to work with? The fairy godmother gets to be zany and the wicked stepmother gets to be wicked. Cinderella gets to be good and pretty. Yippee. Not the kind of thing that wins an actor attention.

“Cinderella” is shooting in London this fall. Richard Madden plays the Prince. Kenneth Branagh, who worked with Bonham Carter in the strange and bad 1993 “Frankenstein,” directs.

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