Helena Bonham Carter at Alice In Wonderland Fan Event. Photo: Made In Hollywood via Wikimedia Commons.
Jewish British actress Helena Bonham Carter has joined the cast of the upcoming drama “One Life” about the late Sir Nicholas George Winton, who saved more than 600 children from the Nazis.
Bonham Carter will play Winton’s German-Jewish mother Babi Winton and will star alongside two-time Oscar-winning actor Anthony Hopkins and Johnny Flynn. Both actors will play the humanitarian but at different ages. The drama, which was first announced in 2020, is currently in production, according to See-Saw Films.
In a case of reality mirroring fiction, Bonham Carter’s maternal grandfather helped thousands of French Jews escape the Holocaust while her British paternal grandmother campaigned against antisemitism as a volunteer air-raid warden and helped Jews from across Europe seek refugee in Britain.
“One Life” is based on the book “If It’s Not Impossible…The Life of Sir Nicholas Winton,” which was written by his daughter Barbara Winton.
The film tells the true story of how the London stockbroker helped rescue 669 children, mostly Jewish, in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia before the start of World War II. He arranged for the children to travel safely to England, where they were taken in by British foster families. He was later nicknamed the “British Schindler” for his efforts and knighted in 2003 by Queen Elizabeth II for “services to humanity, in saving Jewish children from Nazi Germany.” He died in 2015 at the age of 106.
The cast of “One Life” includes Jonathan Pryce, Romola Garai, Alex Sharp and Lena Olin, who will play Winton’s wife Grete Winton. Nicholas kept his rescue efforts a secret but Grete was the one who publicized them after discovering in their home attic a scrapbook featuring the names and new addresses of the children who were saved.
“One Life” is being directed by James Hawes, who is making his film directorial debut with the project. Hawes directed the first six episodes of the Apple TV+ spy drama “Slow Horses” starring Gary Oldman and is an executive producer on the series. He also directed the television shows “The Alienist” and “Black Mirror.”