Helena Bonham Carter

Helena Bonham Carter

I take myself so much less seriously than I used to

British actress Helena Bonham Carter is dedicating all her time to researching DAME Elizabeth Taylor as she prepares to play the late superstar in a new U.K. TV drama.

Carter will play the actress in upcoming mini-series Burton and Taylor opposite The Wire's Dominic West as the star's onoff husband Richard Burton, and the Harry Potter regular admits she is enjoying learning all she can about the screen icon.

She tells Britain's Vogue magazine, "The research is what I get off on. My mum is a psychologist and I'm very similar to her. I love the challenge of working a character out. Ultimately, I don't agree to do a film because I think it's going to be a success. I do it because I think I'm going to learn something from the character I'm playing. I'm not sure what yet, but I know I am going to learn something from Elizabeth. I know that, somehow, I'm going to grow as a soul from playing her".

Carter goes on to insist she has learned to be less critical of her work and enjoy her job as an actress, adding, "There's less pressure on it. Which, of course, means I do it better. But I also find it's less important to me now whether I'm c**p or good. I take myself so much less seriously than I used to. I used to be so self-critical, it was painful. Now I think, 'OK, so I acted badly today. I'll try and act better tomorrow.' I mean, for God's sake, it's not like I'm a surgeon or anything. It doesn't really matter, does it?" Burton and Taylor will air in the U.K. later this year (13).