Helena Bonham Carter cheated as she researched her role as QUEEN ELIZABETH in THE KING'S SPEECH - she "sped-read" through history books because there was so much material on the royal.
The Planet of the Apes star portrays King George VI's wife Elizabeth in the Oscar-nominated drama, opposite Colin Firth as the stammering monarch.
But Bonham Carter confesses she took a short cut through Elizabeth's early years up until 1939 because she didn't have enough time to properly learn all about Queen Elizabeth II's mother, who died in 2002 at the grand old age of 101.
She says, "I just pretended to research. No, the thing is, I'm actually a swot (geek). But the thing about playing the Queen mum is, she did last for a hell of a long time... All the books are really, really thick, and I only had three weeks to prepare.
"At least I only got up to 1939, so I just sped read. I did not play her in her mid-60s."
But the star's lack of research didn't harm her performance - she's earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for next month's (Feb11) ceremony.