Helena Bonham Carter to play Liz Taylor in TV feature

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 12 February 2013
Helena Bonham Carter

Helena Bonham Carter

Helena Bonham Carter and Dominic West have been cast as Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in new BBC feature-length TV drama 'Burton and Taylor'

Helena Bonham Carter is to play Elizabeth Taylor in a feature-length TV drama.

The actress will star opposite 'The Hour' actor Dominic West in 'Burton and Taylor' which will be a 90-minute drama screened on BBC Four.

The TV movie - to be directed by Richard Laxton - will tell the story of the couple's ill-fated decision to appear together in a 1983 revival of Noel Coward's play 'Private Lives'.

BBC controller of drama Ben Stephenson announced the project and revealed the commission is part of the corporation's plans to embrace Britishness just as director Danny Boyle did when he organised the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony.

Stephenson said: "It is about applying the Danny Boyle vision to our work - a bold, adventurous, authorial approach that exports because of its Britishness not despite it."

The story will open with a press conference announcing the tempestuous ex-lovers are to star together in 'Private Lives' and the drama will focus on the apparent parallels between the play's characters and Taylor and Burton's real life relationship.

A source said: "'Burton & Taylor' is a drama about one of the most fascinating, glamorous and tempestuous relationships of the 20th century, that of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor ... who played out their love affair right in the public eye."

Although 'Cleopatra' star Taylor was married to seven different men during her lifetime, she considered Burton to be the true love of her life and she tied the knot with him twice before their romance ultimately ended in a second divorce in 1976.

Taylor and Burton were recently portrayed in a Lifetime's TV film, 'Liz & Dick', which starred Lindsay Lohan as the late screen icon and Grant Bowler as Burton.

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