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Exclusive: Helena Bonham Carter Reveals Why ‘One Life’ Was a Compelling Tale to Share

Bonham Carter Discusses Her Role in ‘One Life’

Expressing a deep connection to her character in the film “One Life,” Bonham Carter shares that portraying the role felt almost obligatory, as if it were her own story to narrate. Growing up in London, with a grandfather renowned for aiding Jews during World War II, the narrative of the movie resonated profoundly with her personal history. The actress elaborates on her family background, highlighting her French Jewish grandmother and the significant influence of her heritage on her portrayal in the film.

The biographical drama “One Life,” slated for release in 2023 and helmed by James Hawes, delves into the heroic endeavors of Nicholas Winton, portrayed by Anthony Hopkins and Johnny Flynn at different life stages. Winton’s valiant efforts in rescuing numerous Jewish children from the clutches of the Nazi regime form the crux of the storyline, with Bonham Carter portraying the pivotal role of Winton’s mother, Babi, who actively supports her son’s noble mission.

Despite the emotionally charged nature of the narrative, Bonham Carter articulates her unwavering commitment to the role, emphasizing a sense of duty and personal connection to the story being told. She acknowledges the parallelism between her own lineage and the acts of heroism depicted in the film, underscoring the profound impact of ancestral legacies on her artistic interpretation.

Reflecting on the complexities of her character, Babi, Bonham Carter delves into the intricate emotions of a mother torn between pride in her son’s altruism and the inherent risks involved. She underscores the poignant dilemma faced by Babi, encapsulating the essence of maternal sacrifice and unwavering support for her son’s altruistic endeavors.

Drawing inspiration from the profound themes of the film, Bonham Carter contemplates the intrinsic value of a singular life and the profound ripple effects of individual actions. Quoting poet Mary Oliver, she muses on the diverse interpretations of “one life,” drawing parallels to Winton’s transformative impact and the timeless adage of saving a life equating to saving the world.

In a candid reflection on her character portrayal, Bonham Carter reveals a sense of admiration and aspiration towards Babi’s unwavering courage and conviction. She acknowledges the transformative power of embodying such resolute characters, expressing a desire for a semblance of their extraordinary qualities to resonate within her own persona.

As the conversation shifts towards the overarching message of the film, Bonham Carter underscores the empowering narrative that transcends the confines of challenging times. She emphasizes the film’s ability to instill a sense of agency and empowerment in viewers, showcasing the transformative potential of individual actions in the face of adversity. Through the lens of Winton’s remarkable journey, the actress highlights the enduring relevance of courage, resilience, and the indomitable human spirit in effecting positive change.