Helena Bonham Carter defends toy boy relationship: 'Collagen is not the only form of sexiness'

Rye Dag Holmboe and Helena Bonham Carter arrive at the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards 2021 at Television Centre on June 6, 2021 in London, England.
Helena Bonham Carter is dating Rye Dag Holmboe, who is 21 years her junior. (Getty Images)

Helena Bonham Carter has insisted that "collagen is not the only form of sexiness" as she defends her toy boy relationship.

The actress, 56, is currently dating writer and art historian Rye Dag Holmboe, 35, who she met at a wedding in 2018.

Speaking to The Sunday Times magazine about their 21-year age gap, she said that her partner was an “old soul in a young body” noting that "people aren’t necessarily their chronological age."

The star explained: "But there are people I’ve been involved with who aren’t necessarily their age, maturity-wise, whereas [Rye] is ageless.”

Director Tim Burton and actress Helena Bonham Carter attend 'A Night Of Funk & Soul 2013' for Save The Children UK at The Roundhouse on March 20, 2013 in London, England.
The actress was previously with film director Tim Burton, with whom she shares two teenage children. (Getty Images)

Bonham Carter joked: “His eyesight is going, so we say I’m siphoning off his youth at night.”

The actress added: “Good on the men for appreciating different kinds of beauty and finding other things sexy.

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"Collagen is not the only form of sexiness; there’s character, fun, mischief and humour. As long as you’ve got the laughter, the intimacy will be there.”

Before meeting her current partner, the Oscar-winning star was with director Tim Burton for 13 years – and the pair share two children, son Billy, 19, and daughter Nell, 14.

Kenneth Branagh & Helena Bonham Carter during
The star dated Kenneth Branagh, who was previously married to Emma Thompson, for five years. (Getty Images)

In the same interview, Bonham Carter – who has appeared in the likes of The Crown and the Harry Potter franchise as well as Sweeney Todd and Fight Club – also opened up about experiencing scrutiny over her past romances.

It was particularly intense with her five-year relationship with Kenneth Branagh, which is claimed to have started in 1995 as an affair while he was still married to fellow actress Emma Thompson.

Read more: Emma Thompson reveals real-life heartbreak behind 'Love Actually' scene

She said: "I’d read these profiles about me and go, ‘My God, is that true?’ I was very vulnerable, but I learnt you can’t put your self-esteem in the hands of strangers.

"A lot of it is their projection: as a famous person, you’re an object.”

Watch: Helena Bonham Carter defends Johnny Depp from 'cancel culture'