Bonham Carter plays sadistic sorceress in fifth Harry Potter film

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

LONDON -- Some actors might balk at being cast as an evil witch. Not Helena Bonham Carter.

The British actress revels in the role of sadistic sorceress Bellatrix Lestrange -- fanatical follower of evil Lord Voldemort -- in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," the fifth film adapted from J.K. Rowling's wizarding saga.

Bonham Carter blazes her way across the screen in her one big scene -- a dramatic battle between Voldemort's Death Eaters and Harry's ragtag band of friends.

"I had about five lines and I think they cut about three of them," Bonham Carter, 41, said. "So I knew I had to be conspicuous."

Black-clad, wild-haired and cacklingly sadistic, Bellatrix escapes from Azkaban prison to join the resurgent Voldemort in his quest to destroy Harry.

Like other fans worldwide, Bonham Carter is awaiting the July 21 publication of Rowling's seventh and final Potter novel, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," to learn the characters' fate. But she's been given a hint that Bellatrix may play a part.

While she was considering whether to accept the small role in "Order of the Phoenix," she says, "J.K. Rowling sent a message saying she's going to be very significant in the last one."

"Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," a Warner Bros. Pictures release, opens in theaters around the world starting Wednesday.

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