All About Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton’s 2 Children, Billy and Nell

Helena Bonham Carter has spoken openly about parenting her children, Billy and Nell.

The English actress welcomed her kids with her ex-partner Tim Burton, whom she was in a relationship with from 2001 to 2014. While the Harry Potter star is a doting mom to Billy, born in 2003, and Nell, welcomed in 2007, she has previously spoken about the trials and tribulations of parenthood.

Three years after Nell’s birth, Bonham Carter opened up to E! News about attending parenting classes. “I’m not working right now,” she said. “I need to be a mom. It’s much harder being a mom than an actress.”

“They’re teaching me some really interesting things, like it’s not your job to know everything,” she added. “You’ve got to get them to think for themselves. What a relief. I don’t have to know everything.”

Bonham Carter and Burton split “amicably” in 2014, and the pair were granted joint custody. While it took “time to adjust,” the actress revealed it worked out in the end for everyone.

“The kids are fine, they get to have a dual life. At first it’s a horrible thing to get used to, not having your children around [when you share custody],” she told The Guardian in 2020 of the separation.

Bonham Carter continued, “The cruelty of divorce is extraordinary. But then you get to a point where you’re like, ‘Oh, I get this week off!’ Some parts are very much to be recommended.”

Here’s everything to know about Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton’s children, Billy and Nell.

Billy Raymond Burton, 20

Tim Burton, with his children Billy and Nell attend the ‘Dumbo’ European premiere on March 21, 2019 in London, England.

Stuart C. Wilson/Getty 

Bonham Carter and Burton’s first child, Billy Raymond, was born on Oct. 4, 2003, in London. He was named after his grandfathers, carrying on the name for both sides of the family.

Three years after Billy’s birth, Bonham Carter told The Guardian that her life completely changed after welcoming her son.

“On the day Billy was born, it was like walking through a mirror and everything was Technicolor,” she said. “My life had been very work-orientated, and all in close-up. Once I had the family it went into sudden widescreen.”

Billy didn’t fall far from the creative tree and also loved everything mythical growing up. During the promotional run for 2010’s Alice in Wonderland, Bonham Carter told Fearnet that she was reliving her childhood with Billy.

“Wave wands and pretend … that’s all he does,” she shared. “So I’m growing up with him again, and we’ve got a lot to talk about.”

Not only was Billy a fan of the genre, but he was also excited about his mother’s work, once asking her, “‘Mom, do you have to be a queen or a witch tomorrow?’ ” To which Bonham Carter said that she’s “lucky” because “it’s pretty much like that — I’m a witch one day or a queen the other.”

Tim Burton with his children Billy and Nell attend the European Premiere of “Alice Through The Looking Glass” on May 10, 2016 in London, England.

Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty

While he didn’t get a chance to play a wizard himself, having famous parents working in the fantasy genre paid off for Billy. He has had cameos in many of Burton’s films, including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and Dark Shadows.

Still, the couple made a point never to give their son speaking roles.

“I want [my kids] to be lawyers or accountants,” Bonham Carter told the Evening Standard in 2008. “I don’t think any actor wants their children to follow them into the profession.”

Billy made a rare public appearance with his mother in 2021 when the two were spotted taking a selfie outside London’s Westminster Abbey, per Metro.

The former couple’s elder child made another public appearance that year when he joined his dad and sister on the red carpet at the 16th Rome Film Festival, where Burton was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Nell Burton, 16

Tim Burton with his kids, Billy Raymond Burton and Nell Burton, and Levi the dog attend the Tim Burton Close Encounter red carpet during the 16th Rome Film Fest on October 23, 2021.

Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty

Bonham Carter and Burton’s second child, daughter Nell, was welcomed on Dec. 15, 2007, in London.

The actress found out that she and Burton were expecting again in the middle of production for Sweeney Todd, the 2007 musical directed by Burton.

“I was working so hard at the time. The first three months being pregnant while filming, I felt totally spaced out,” she recalled to The Telegraph in 2007. “You do need to multi-task with acting. You’ve got to remember your marks, your lines, singing, everything, and actually — you have no brain!”

Bonham Carter continued, “Suddenly your own brain is growing another person’s brain, so yours goes defunct. It wasn’t ideal, but then I was so happy to be pregnant.”

Speaking about her daughter to the Evening Standard in 2008, Bonham Carter explained that she was still trying to think of a name five weeks after the birth. The mother of two described Nell as “very tall” and a “chill” baby with a full head of hair.

“I’m totally in love. I even loved the birth. I’d do it again in a flash,” she said at the time. “Since then, I’ve been in a chair on breastfeeding duty, trying to think of a name.”

Tim Burton and his children, Billy Raymond Burton and Nell Burton, attend the European premiere of ‘Dumbo’.

Matt Crossick/PA Images/Getty 

Eventually, the couple settled on Nell, a homage to “all the Helens in the family.”

While Bonham Carter has said she hopes that her children don’t follow in her footsteps, her daughter has inspired her career, especially when she took on the role of the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland.

“I thought: well, she’s a toddler, because she’s got the big head,” the Academy Award-nominated actress said in a press conference ahead of the film’s London premiere, per The Guardian. “She’s a tyrant … toddlers are tyrants. The ‘no sympathy for any other living creature’ — that’s our toddler, in fact.”

She added, “[There’s] no empathy, just commands. She just bosses us around — dictatorship. No please, no thank you. ‘Mummy come here,’ ‘Mummy go,’ ‘Mummy! Watch telly.’ And another toddler quality — it’s all about me, it’s all about her. So the toddler thing was a big inspiration.”

Like her brother, Nell has also made cameos in her father’s films, including Dark Shadows, Big Eyes and Alice in Wonderland. She was by his side during a rare public outing to the Rome Film Fest in 2021 as well.

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