Helena Bonham Carter uses acting as a 'coping' mechanism

Helena Bonham Carter uses acting as a way of "coping" with difficult times.

The 'Harry Potter' star endured a difficult childhood as her mother suffered mental health problems and her father was struck down by a stroke, and she has revealed she "ran away" to become an actor as a way of escaping the pressure and anxiety of real life.

She told OK! magazine: "When I was young, I had to deal with big things so I did not have the space to be a child. When I was 13 I I felt a sense of wanting to stay young and I wanted to prolong my childhood.

"My response to what happened to my mum and dad was me running away and becoming an actor as I thought I could create my own reality and control that."

She went on to insist she still uses her job as a way of escaping every day pressures. Helena added: "It's my way of coping. I feel so lucky I get the chance to be other people. It is such a relief."

She added: "Living is hard. That's it. Full stop. A day can throw anything at you and sometimes it's an assault course ... I do always say 'put magic into the day' and that is from my mother."

It comes after Helena admitted she plans to stick with acting because there's no way she would be able to turn her hand to writing scripts or becoming a producer.

In an interview with the Guardian newspaper, she said: "I can write a postcard, I could never write a script. And lack of focus definitely would hinder my efforts at producing, which takes about seven years each project."