05/04/1992 at 01:00 AM EDT
Some things just go together. Colds and chicken soup. Videos and Chinese takeout. E.M. Forster and Helena Bonham Carter. If the fragile British actress seems plucked from an earlier age, it isn't just her lush figure and Pre-Raphaelite tresses (hair extensions, alas; hers are straight). She also happens to be filming her way through the Forster oeuvre: A Room with a View, Maurice and now the critically acclaimed Howards End. Bonham Carter, 25, has two links to Edwardian England. "I like that deathly ill look; I think it's great," she says. And one great-grandfather—Herbert Henry Asquith—"was Prime Minister at the time of Howards End." Says producer Ismail Merchant, who cast Bonham Carter in a trio of Forsters: "There is a kind of translucent quality about her skin that never fades." The actress was Cambridge-bound when she won the lead in 1984's Lady Jane. Non-Forster roles include Ophelia in the Mel Gibson Hamlet and Don Johnson's drug-head fiancée on Miami Vice. Admired for her ethereal beauty, Bonham Carter admits she nonetheless has a wish list: "A different nose—and concave thighs!''