Helena Bonham Carter and Dominic West to play Taylor and Burton

Pair will recreate period when acting couple reunited for a play following their divorce

Helena Bonham Carter and Dominic West are to play Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in a new biopic being produced by the BBC.

The film will focus on the period when Burton and Taylor were reunited after their divorce in 1974 to appear in the Noel Coward play 'Private Lives' in the US in 1983.

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Burton and Taylor... tempestuous relationship set for the BBC (Copyright: Rex)

The couple were under the intense gaze of the public who, obsessed with their relationship, were hoping the pair would reconcile.

“Elizabeth was 51, still every inch a star, still beautiful and they still needed each other but this was professional,” Bonham Carter told the Daily Mail.

“They were doing Noel Coward’s 'Private Lives' on stage playing a couple who used to be married. People wondered if they were still in love and whether they’d be playing themselves or their characters in the play. It sounds familiar and has echoes of their own marriages and relationship.”

“It’s about this sliver of their lives together. They were huge stars and they’d never been on stage together before.”

But Bonham Carter says that the performance in the film won't be an impersonation.

“I look nothing like her for a start but it’s about capturing the essence of them at a particular time,” she said. “She was and continues to be a fascinating woman and she was a huge star. There’s no one comparable around now.”

The last screen outing for the story of Taylor and Burton was not successful, however.

Lindsay Lohan had her performance in TV movie 'Liz and Dick' panned by critics.