Helena Bonham Carter loves playing queens so she can pretend to be a royal.

The British actress - who plays the Queen Mother in new movie 'The King's Speech' alongside Colin Firth (King George VI) and Geoffrey Rush (Lionel Logue) - enjoys taking on regal characters as she gets the opportunity to pretend she is real-life royalty, although she is glad to take off the crown at the end of the day.

Helena told BANG Showbiz: "You try them on at home otherwise it wouldn't be fun. I certainly would never want to be royal, even though I effortlessly am at times. In fact that's partly why I did play it. We could behave outrageously and people would just say, 'Oh they're getting into the part.'

"I've played a few queens recently and I find them really enjoyable. I just do queens! It's enjoyable to put it on and pretend, but then you can take the crown off and throw it across the room."

The 44-year-old star, who is in a long-term relationship with Hollywood director Tim Burton, learnt to respect the Queen Mother - who died in 2002 - for her role as a "professional public figure" but admits she doesn't want to look like the royal.

She said: "She, the Queen Mother, was extraordinary because she was a professional public figure and expert at it.

"You do all the reading but ultimately you have to serve the story. I took what was relevant and I watched a bit. Obviously I don't look like her, I hope. No, I don't mean that in a disrespectful way, I mean her latter years!"

'The King's Speech' opens in cinemas in January.