Helena Bonham Carter has revealed the “massive grief” she experienced following her split from long-time partner Tim Burton.
The couple went their separate ways in 2014 after 13 years and two children, Billy, 12, and Nell, eight, together.
“You go through massive grief — it is a death of a relationship, so it’s utterly bewildering. Your identity, everything, changes,” Bonham Carter told Harper’s Bazaar UK.
The quirky British actress said she wanted to put a “handle with care” sign on her forehead following the breakup.
“Everyone always says you have to be strong and have a stiff upper lip, but it’s okay to be fragile,” she said.
The 49-year-old said she now has a good relationship with American director Burton, who was pictured kissing a mystery blonde following a cinema date in North London in September 2013.
“We really do get on, so that’s good. I understand him very well and he understands me,” Bonham Carter said about her ex. “It might be easier to work together without being together any more. He always only cast me with great embarrassment.”
The pair met in 2001 when Burton directed Carter in "Planet of the Apes." They’ve worked together on movies including "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," "Alice in Wonderland" and "Dark Shadows."
The "Room With A View" actress is currently promoting her new movie, "Alice Through The Looking Glass," which she said has inspired her to stay strong.
“You’ve got to take very small steps, and sometimes you won’t know where to go next because you’ve lost yourself,” she said. “There’s a great quote I’ve stuck next to the kettle. It’s from Alice: ‘I can’t explain myself … because I’m not myself’.”
At the time of the breakup, sources said Bonham Carter and Burton had lived separate lives for more than a year.
In the UK, they were nicknamed “Mr and Mrs Mad Hatter” after they bought two houses next to each other. They lived in each separately, but joined the homes with a communal room.