Helena Bonham Carter, 56, claims acting industry ‘is still ageist’ against women


Helena Bonham Carter has claimed the acting industry ‘is still ageist and women get the brunt of that’.

Appearing on Friday’s The Graham Norton Show to promote her new show Nolly, the actress, 56, admitted Hollywood has ‘got better in terms of men calling the shots’.

She went on to joke the upcoming ITVX drama – which portrays the life of Crossroads star Noele Gordon – is  like ‘Me Too’ but without the sex.

Unjust: Helena Bonham Carter has claimed the acting industry ‘is still ageist and women get the brunt of that’, while joking her new show Nolly is ‘Me Too’ without the sex

Helena said: ‘It’s getting better. We’ve lots of women producers and more women making the decisions, but I think it is still ageist and women get the brunt of that.’

She was joined by Russell T Davies to discuss their latest project Nolly, which portrays the life of Crossroads star Noele Gordon and is set for release sometime this year.

Russell, talking about the legendary soap opera said, ‘The first thing I ever wrote was a script for Crossroads. I sent it off and they invited me to Birmingham.

‘I was so excited to be there because I loved it so much, but I could see the fear in their eyes when they realised, I was a super fan.

What?! Helena plays the late Crossroads star Noele, who was axed without ceremony, warning or explanation at the height of the show's success in 1981

What?! Helena plays the late Crossroads star Noele, who was axed without ceremony, warning or explanation at the height of the show’s success in 1981 

‘I went away and wrote a proper script and sent it off. Five days later the show was axed. I waited 40 years and finally got to write it so got there in the end!’

Helena added, ‘The person who would love it the most is Noele Gordon. She was a wonderful woman. I wasn’t exactly conscious of who she was but when I read the script it was a gift, a love letter to her and to any actor.

‘It was beautiful and hilarious. She had guts and was so gallant and told things exactly how they were. The show is ‘Me Too’ without the sex because she took on the bullies. Everyone needs a Nolly in their lives.’

Helena plays the late Crossroads star Noele, who was axed without ceremony, warning or explanation at the height of the show’s success in 1981.

Getting better: Appearing on Friday's The Graham Norton Show, the actress, 56, admitted Hollywood has 'got better in terms of men calling the shots', however

Getting better: Appearing on Friday’s The Graham Norton Show, the actress, 56, admitted Hollywood has ‘got better in terms of men calling the shots’, however

Exciting: She was joined by Russell T Davies to discuss their latest project Nolly, which portrays the life of Crossroads star Noele Gordon

Exciting: She was joined by Russell T Davies to discuss their latest project Nolly, which portrays the life of Crossroads star Noele Gordon

Gushing about her role, according to The Mirror, she said: ‘When I read the script, it was like a gift. A dream. It’s like meeting someone and falling in love.

‘I watched Crossroads. So I knew Noele Gordon as a figure, but I hadn’t really taken on board the sacking.’ Mark added that his part was ‘a joy’ to film. 

The three-part miniseries, penned by Russell, will explore the all-powerful reign and fall from grace of the inimitable Noele, who died in 1985.

Noele was declared the ‘Queen of the Midlands’ thanks to iconic role as Meg Mortimer in Crossroads and was the darling of the establishment until it turned on her.

As flame-haired widow Meg in the long-running soap opera Crossroads, Noele became one of the most famous people in Britain. 

Then in 1981, at the height of the show’s success and the peak of her fame, she was axed without ceremony, without warning and with no explanation, with the soap eventually ending two years later.

With the boss’s words ‘all good things must come to an end’ ringing in her ears, Noele found herself thrown out of the show that was her life for over 18 years.

A love letter to a legend of television, and to the madcap soap she starred in, Nolly will be an entertaining ride through Noele’s most tumultuous years, and a sharp, affectionate and heart-breaking portrait of a forgotten icon.

The Graham Norton Show, BBC One, Friday January 20 at 10.40pm. Also available on BBC iPlayer. 

Uncanny: The BAFTA winner said: 'When I read the script, it was like a gift. A dream. It's like meeting someone and falling in love' (pictured in-character)

Exciting: As flame-haired widow Meg (archive photo) in the long-running soap opera Crossroads, Noele became one of the most famous people in Britain

Uncanny: The BAFTA winner said: ‘When I read the script, it was like a gift. A dream. It’s like meeting someone and falling in love’ (pictured, left in-character. Archive photo of Meg, right)

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk