Helena Bonham Carter is an English actress who played the role of Ari in the 2001 're-imagined' film, Planet of the Apes.

In late 2000, an 'Ape School' of movement training classes for the actors who would portray apes in the forthcoming movie was organized by Charlie Croughwell on Stage 5 at Los Angeles Center Studios. Ape School instructors were ex-Cirque du Soleil acrobat Terry Notary and John Alexander, who had played the title role in Mighty Joe Young and 'Digit' in Gorillas in the Mist. For six intensive weeks, they trained the principals (including Tim Roth, Glenn Shadix, Lisa Marie, Helena Bonham Carter and David Warner), teaching them to walk, run, eat, grunt and fight like apes.[1][2] Bonham Carter admitted she "flunked" Ape School. "I had to go back and learn how to be still. I had to learn an economy of movement, but to be immensely focused. To stop intellectualizing and instead make everything physical and be present and alive in the moment, which is completely ape-like. Apes are more sensual and tactile than we are. They've got a much better sense of smell, and their intuition is much greater. But their focus is absolutely 100 percent, which is very useful for me as a human being. Actually, it wouldn't be a bad idea if everyone went to Ape School."[3]


  • Jonas - one of the chimps playing Pericles - reportedly attacked Helena Bonham Carter in one incident during filming.[1]
  • Helena Bonham Carter became the partner of director Tim Burton after working together on the Planet of the Apes movie.
  • Bonham Carter is descended from a number of noted politicians, bankers and industrialists. Her great-grandfather was H.H. Asquith, Liberal Party Prime Minister of the U.K. 1908-1916.

External Links


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Planet of the Apes Chronicles, by Paul A. Woods
  2. Inside the Planet of the Apes, by Mark Cotta Vaz - Cinefex #87 (October 2001)
  3. Monkey Business, by Marina Dundjerski - UCLA Magazine (Fall 2001)

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