Helena Bonham Carter Recalls Being on “One Life” Set with Anthony Hopkins When Queen Elizabeth Died (Exclusive)

Carter, who played Princess Margaret in 'The Crown' tells PEOPLE of the Queen's death, "We just thought she'd carry on forever"

<p>Steve Granitz/WireImage; Jeff Spicer/Getty</p> Helena Bonham Carter; Queen Elizabeth

Steve Granitz/WireImage; Jeff Spicer/Getty

Helena Bonham Carter; Queen Elizabeth

Helena Bonham Carter is looking back on the moment she learned of Queen Elizabeth's death.

In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE, the actress, 57, spoke about filming her new film One Life, which tells the true story of the British stockbroker Nicholas Winton's (played by both Anthony Hopkins and Johnny Flynn) journey to helping Jewish children flee from the approaching Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia before the start of World War II.

During one day of production on the film in 2022, Carter had gone to watch Hopkins, 86, film a scene, although she was just on set to get her makeup test done.

"I went to watch him in this scene with him and Pryce, Jonathan Pryce, that dining room scene," she recalled. "Just like the take after take...he always really does invent in the moment and with such humor too and such observation of how people actually speak and think and Winton himself."

“He's a great soul,” she added. “Weirdly, that day was the day when while he was doing that scene, the death of the Queen was announced.”

The actress recalled they learned of her death “as I was saying hi to [Hopkins].”

“It was a very strange afternoon,” she recalled. "It was a very, very odd moment, but yeah, we shared that together, totally.”

<p>Yui Mok - WPA Pool/Getty</p> Helena Bonham Carter curtsies to Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace reception in Feb. 2014

Yui Mok - WPA Pool/Getty

Helena Bonham Carter curtsies to Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace reception in Feb. 2014

Related: What Claire Foy, Olivia Colman and Imelda Staunton Each Brought to Role of Queen Elizabeth in The Crown (Exclusive)

Queen Elizabeth died on Sept. 8, 2022. The history-making British monarch who reigned for 70 years was 96.

"It was this shock, real shock to the national psyche,” Carter added. "We just thought she'd carry on forever. She'd been around for so long."

In addition to meeting Queen Elizabeth on several occasions, Carter had a tie to the royal family after playing Princess Margaret, the Queen's sister, in seasons 3 and 4 of The Crown.

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<p>Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty</p> Helena Bonham Carter during the BFI Preview of "Nolly" in London on January 26, 2023

Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty

Helena Bonham Carter during the BFI Preview of "Nolly" in London on January 26, 2023

Carter isn't the only cast member of The Crown who spoke out about their feelings after the Queen’s death. In December, Imelda Staunton, 68 — who was the third actress to play the monarch in the Netflix series, for seasons 5 and 6 — spoke out on an episode of The Graham Norton Show about how emotional she became after learning about her death.

Lesley Manville, who plays Princess Margaret, and myself were filming, and at lunchtime, we were told we might hear some sad news,” she said, recalling that when the crew finally alerted her to the Queen’s death, they asked if she wanted to pause filming.

“We carried on and finished the day, ... and weirdly, in the schedule, I had 10 days off, which was the 10 days of mourning," she continued. "I was inconsolable that night. And I would have been sad, but obviously, I think it was fueled by living with her for so long.”

One Life, which stars Carter as Winton’s mother Babi, is in theaters now.

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