Helena Bonham Carter took her role as the sadistic Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter films to such lengths, that she ended up perforating Matthew Lewis’ (Neville Longbottom) eardrum with her wand.
In a 2007 interview with EW around the release of the fifth film – Order of the Phoenix – Bonham Carter admitted to “taking the sadism a bit too literally” and actually causing her co-star some damage. Describing Bellatrix, she says; “You know how kids can be like savages before they get civilised? There’s that sadist quality. Y’know, like boys who like to pick apart an insect for the sake of it. She’s a sadist. She’s very sick. She’s a racist, obsessed with blood purity. Like Adolf. And she’s in love with Voldemort, really.”
However, she took things a little too far with poor Matthew Lewis; “I did something terrible. By mistake, I poked him in his ear. I thought I could brandish the wand like a sort of Q-tip, and clean out his ear. Sort of torture it. But unfortunately he moved toward the wand as I was prodding it. And it actually perforated his eardrum.”
Bonham Carter continues; “Isn’t that horrific? I damaged him! He’s such a nice young man, he didn’t admit to me that he actually had some internal bleeding about three days later. It wasn’t permanent. But there was pain, and blood. Well, torture happens. Sorry! Oops! I think I took my sadism a bit too literally. Stupid, though! Dangerous! I did feel awful when they told me.”
EW asks if Bonham Carter apologised to Lewis and she replies; “Oh yeah. But he was deaf, so he couldn’t hear me. [Laughs wildly] And then ever after I was always shouting, ‘ARE YOU ALL RIGHT, LUV?'”
We’re looking forward to seeing HBC return as the Holmes matriarch – and mother of Sherlock, Mycroft and Enola – in Enola Holmes 2 later this year.