Emma Thompson
Actress, screenwriter
Emma Thompson
Emma Thompson is a British actress, comedian and screenwriter. She first came to prominence in 1987 in two BBC TV series, Tutti Frutti and Fortunes of War. Her first major film role was in the 1989 romantic comedy The Tall Guy. In 1992, Thompson won multiple acting awards, including an Academy Award and a BAFTA Award for Best Actress, for her performance in the British drama Howards End.
Biography
Emma Thompson's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Emma Thompson from around the web
Get Ready For A 'Love Actually' Mini-Sequel
Huffington Post - 9 days
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); There’s a “Love Actually” reunion coming, which will inevitably provide an excuse to debate the movie’s merits outside the annual Christmas mudslinging. How great for all of us.  Some of the cast from the Yuletide love-it-or-hate-it romance has convened to make a short film for Red Nose Day, the biennial event that supports the British charity Comic Relief, which “Love Actually” director Richard Curtis co-founded in 1985. Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, Colin ...
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New ‘Beauty And The Beast’ Character Posters Will Make You Smile Like a Kid
Huffington Post - 28 days
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Once upon a time, it was announced that Emma Watson would star as Belle in a live-action version of Disney’s beloved animated film “Beauty and the Beast.” Ever since, there have been about a billion sneak peaks of the highly anticipated movie, slated to premiere on March 17. But Disney’s latest offering is quite enchanting. Stunning new posters of every major character have just been released. And each poster has a moving version of it as well — just fo ...
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Huffington Post article
'Alone In Berlin': A Grieving German Couple Sets Out To Undermine The Nazi Movement
NPR - about 1 month
Brendan Gleeson and Emma Thompson deliver strong performances, but director Vincent Perez's staid historical drama swathes its subjects' radical actions in too much art-house-reverence. (Image credit: IFC Films)
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NPR article
Fighting Child Sex Trafficking in India, Award-Winning Movie <em>SOLD</em> Goes Digital
Huffington Post - about 2 months
Film is incredibly democratic and accessible, it's probably the best option if you actually want to change the world, not just re-decorate it. - Banksy Giving voice to the millions of children who are sold into sex slavery, in India and beyond, this film adaptation of Patricia McCormick's haunting novel SOLD launches its digital release on January 10, 2017, after copping numerous awards on the film festival circuit. It is available for download on a variety of platforms (see below) in a wide-ranging, grassroots effort to fund the 'Taught Not Trafficked' campaign - one of the latest initiatives to combat what experts estimate is now a $150 billion criminal industry. 'Taught Not Trafficked' builds classrooms for children in Nepal, and provides safe housing, healing programs and vocational training for survivors of trafficking. Drenched in the vivid colors of its shooting locations, SOLD is anchored by powerful performances by 13-year-old newcomer Niyar Sakia as a ...
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Meryl Streep Is About To Add Another Major Award To Her Mantel
Huffington Post - 2 months
Meryl Streep will soon be able to add another prestigious award to her ever-growing résumé.  The Oscar, Emmy and Golden Globe-winning star will be honored with the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) Ally for Equality Award, in recognition of her longtime support of the LGBTQ community, in February. The actress, who was last seen on the big screen this summer in “Florence Foster Jenkins,” will be presented with the award at the 2017 HRC Greater New York Gala, slated for Feb. 11 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York. HRC President Chad Griffin praised Streep, 67, for standing up for the LGBTQ community “throughout her phenomenal career” in a blog post on his organization’s website.  “Whether through her iconic roles that raised the visibility of LGBTQ people, or by boldly speaking out for equality, Meryl Streep embodies the very nature of what it means to be an ally to our community,” he said. In August, Streep opened up about her connection to the LGBTQ community in an interview w ...
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11 new movie trailers you need to watch from this past week
Yahoo News - 2 months
It’s finally Star Wars week, which means you’re probably going to see  Rogue One this weekend. The first reviews are already in for the movie, and we’re looking at another Disney hit here. But with Rogue One now in theaters it means it’s time to start waiting for other hot movies to hit cinemas. Here’s this week’s trailers collection! Alone in Berlin Dunkirk may be one of the hottest World War 2 movies to watch next year, but you should also keep an eye out for Alone in Berlin . It’s the real story of a German couple, played by Emma Thompson and Brendan Gleeson, who started opposing the Nazis in Berlin in the 1940s in a very unusual and clever way soon after they learned their boy died on the front. Alone in Berlin launches on January 13th. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQaGazGtaZw Arsenal Nicholas Cage, John Cusack, and Adrian Grenier play in this mobster movie. Arsenal is about a mob guy who’s looking to save his kidnapped brother and hits theaters on January 6th. https://www.youtub ...
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The 'Bridget Jones's Baby' Novel Proves Rom-Com Franchises Are A Mistake
Huffington Post - 4 months
You can be highbrow. You can be lowbrow. But can you ever just be brow? Welcome to Middlebrow, a weekly examination of pop culture. “Bridget Jones’s Baby” is that rarest of things: a third installment in a romantic comedy franchise. As someone who likes a healthy dollop of her entertainment served up frothy and sweet, I loved the original book and movie. The second, “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason,” struck me as silly and superfluous. The third? Well ... huh.   The latest film, “Bridget Jones’s Baby” actually startled me, because I’d read the third Bridget book from Helen Fielding, Mad About the Boy, and it was decidedly not about a baby. Instead, it portrayed a widowed Bridget, struggling to parent her children and get her mojo back after losing Mark Darcy to a landmine explosion during one of his humanitarian trips. Not to worry: Fielding has finally presented us with the book version of Bridget Jones’s Baby, set just over a decade before Mark shuffles premat ...
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9 WWII Novels Beyond Europe's Shores
Huffington Post - 5 months
By Erin Flaaen | Off the Shelf With readers around the world embracing novels like Gone to Soldiers, The Nightingale, and Everyone Brave Is Forgiven, it's clear that I'm not the only one who loves stunning and beautiful World War II fiction. Several months ago, I read All the Light We Cannot See by Marge Piercy and fell in love with its unique kaleidoscopic perspectives on the war. I have since been on a hunt for more World War II fiction that portrays the war from viewpoints outside of Europe. I have discovered many novels that show the war as it played out in Asia, America, and the Pacific. Here are just a few I most look forward to reading.   The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan After a lifetime of keeping the terrible truth about her past a secret, Winnie finally tells her daughter about her life on a small island outside Shanghai during World War II, detailing both the happy and desperate events that led her to immigrate to America after the war.   A Town Like ...
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'Bridget Jones's Baby' Is Worth The Wait, And A Whole Lot Of Fun
Huffington Post - 5 months
I’m ready for this, there’s no denying That lyric ― from Jess Glynne’s song “Hold My Hand” ― has been appropriately featured in the trailers for “Bridget Jones’s Baby,” and pretty much explains our feelings on the new installment of the beloved film franchise finally coming out. The rom-com is definitely worth the wait, and, let us assure you, it will make you belly laugh from beginning to end.  The film sees the long-awaited on-screen return of Renée Zellweger, who took six years off to focus on life outside of Hollywood. Of course, it was the one and only Bridget Jones who convinced the actress to re-enter her career, and our hearts, once again. “It was pretty selfishly motivated, actually,” Zellweger told AOL Build host Ricky Camilleri of reviving the character. “She’s kind of fun. She’s really fun to play!” Thinking back, Zellweger beat out a competitive list of actresses to nab the coveted role of Bridget, an accident-prone, self-conscious, love-hungry ...
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Guess which movie people want to see even more than ‘The Force Awakens’ and ‘Civil War’
Yahoo News - 9 months
Disney has been on a roll for the past 12 months, having released not one but two huge blockbusters including Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Captain America: Civil War . As big as those two movies were, the company also has plenty of other highly anticipated titles in the making and it looks like there's one trailer that people wanted to watch even more than The Force Awakens or Civil War . DON’T MISS: Microsoft’s just turned Windows 10 into malware You’ve probably seen the first teaser for the Beauty and the Beast live-action film that’s due March 17, 2017. It’s a 90-second video that will immediately remind you of the animated version of the story, also a Disney favorite. How excited are people for this movie? The teaser generated 91.8 million views in its first 24 hours, beating The Force Awakens (88 million views for the second trailer), Civil War (61 million) and Avengers: Age of Ultron (55 million), The Hollywood Reporter notes. The teaser trailer debuted on ABC’s Good Morning A ...
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Yahoo News article
Jay Armstrong Johnson - In Bernstein's 'On the Town' - This Week with SF Symphony
Huffington Post - 9 months
Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony will present Leonard Bernstein's On the Town in a semi-staged concert version this week at Davies Hall. There will be four performances, 5/25-26 and 5/28-29. The cast includes members from the 2014/15 Broadway Production - Clyde Alves (Ozzie), Jay Armstrong Johnson (Chip), Tony Yazbeck (Gabey), Megan Fairchild (Ivy), and Alysha Umphress (Hildy). The cast also includes opera star Isabel Leonard (Claire), Shuler Hensley (Pitkin), Sheri Greenawald (Madame Dilly), and Peabody Southwell (Diana Dream/Dolores). I spoke to Jay Armstrong Johnson shortly after his acclaimed appearance in New York at Feinstein's/54 Below. It was a sell-out. "The show was recorded for a live album. Right now we're working on getting it mastered and produced. Hopefully, it will be available in the fall. It was a completely eclectic set. My inspiration is a monologue that Whoopi Goldberg delivers in Sister Act 2. She teaches her music class the word 'eclectic' ...
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Hollywood and White Victimology
Huffington Post - 12 months
The controversy over the whiteness of this year's Oscar nominees reveals an important lesson about the psychology of many mainstream white people -- they hunger to see themselves as racial victims. The Academy Awards' announcement of a slate of all-white nominees for the second year in a row revived the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag, created by editor April Reign, and sparked a potential boycott. Journalists responded by asking various white actors their opinion of the controversy. Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling claimed that the potential Oscar boycott is "racist to whites" and that "these days everyone is more or less accepted." Julie Delpy, a former Oscar nominee, asserted there's "nothing worse than being a woman in this business" and that "women can't talk. I sometimes wish I were African American because people don't bash them afterward." (Delpy was effectively bashing women like Jada Pinkett Smith, who called for the boycott, even as Delpy claimed that black women's race im ...
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Why should Emma Thompson ‘shut her cakehole’?
Guardian (UK) - about 1 year
The Sun has lashed out at the ‘pro-EU super-luvvie’ for affectionately calling the UK a ‘misery-laden, grey old island’ Name: Emma Thompson. Age: 56. Continue reading...
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Guardian (UK) article
Emma Thompson will vote to keep Britain in Europe
Reuters.com - about 1 year
British star Emma Thompson says Britain is a "cloud-bolted, rainy corner of sort-of Europe" and that she will be voting to stay in the EU. Edward Baran reports.
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Reuters.com article
That Voice -- Remembering Alan Rickman
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Not been a great week, folks. I saw a tweet this morning that suggested we should call an early end to it and head over to the pub to drown our sorrows. The news of actor Alan Rickman's passing from cancer at the age of 69 has left me inclined to agree. Between him and David Bowie earlier this week, we're losing too many of our heroes. People we were never going to meet and who never knew of our own existence but still occupy that special place in our hearts reserved for family. Alan Rickman was a compelling actor for whom no one ever seemed to have a bad word, either in regard to his work or the man himself. And yet it's surprising to know that for someone who provided so many indelible, endlessly quotable screen moments, he was never nominated for an Academy Award, never broke out of the character actor mold for a really meaty lead part, never achieved the level of stardom someone of his talents really deserved -- although by the reaction seen on social media, it's clear that he wa ...
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Huffington Post article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Emma Thompson
    FIFTIES
  • 2016
    Age 56
    As of September 2016, Thompson has two upcoming roles.
    More Details Hide Details She will appear as Mrs Potts in Disney's upcoming live action film Beauty and the Beast, and has a supporting role as a hippy in Noah Baumbach's dramedy Yeh Din Ka Kissa, both scheduled for 2017. Thompson is widely considered to be one of the finest actresses of her generation and one of Britain's best-known actresses, accepted in Hollywood. Early in her career, when she was closely associated with her first husband Kenneth Branagh, she was somewhat unpopular and considered a "luvvy". The public warmed to her after the separation, and she became one of the key actresses of the 1990s. Her status has continued to grow; in 2008, journalist Sarah Sands stated that Thompson has improved with age and experience, and Mark Kermode and said of her performances, "There is something about her which is - you just trust her. You just think 'I'm in proper hands here.'... She's up there with the great, I mean really great, British female performers".
    In 2016, she starred with Brendan Gleeson in the World War II-drama Alone in Berlin, based on the story of Otto and Elise Hampel.
    More Details Hide Details She also co-wrote the screenplay for Bridget Jones's Baby and appeared in the comedy as a doctor.
  • 2015
    Age 55
    Thompson's first film of 2015 was A Walk in the Woods, a comedy adapted from the book by Bill Bryson, where she appeared opposite Robert Redford and Nick Nolte.
    More Details Hide Details She next starred with Robert Carlyle in his directoral debut The Legend of Barney Thomson. Her role was his 77-year-old mother, a Glaswegian foul-mouthed, chain-smoking former prostitute. Neither film was a critical success, although the latter received some positive reviews and Empire magazine wrote that Thomson was "unforgettable". Later that year, she had a supporting role in John Wells' restaurant-based film Burnt, alongside Bradley Cooper.
  • 2014
    Age 54
    In 2014, Thompson provided the narration for Jason Reitman's film Men, Women & Children, before seeing the release of a project she had been working on for many years.
    More Details Hide Details The period drama Effie Gray, based on the true-life story of art critic John Ruskin's marriage and affair, was written by Thompson but was subject to a copyright case before being cleared for cinemas where American playwright Gregory Murphy claimed that the screenplay was an infringement on his play The Countess, which deals with the same story. In March 2013 the judge in the case ruled that although there were some insignificant similarities, the films were "quite dissimilar in their two approaches to fictionalising the same historical events". Effie Gray was released in October 2014, to a modest reception. Thompson also appeared in the film, alongside her husband Greg Wise and actress Dakota Fanning, but declined to promote it.
    In March 2014, she made her first stage appearance in 24 years – and her New York debut – in a Lincoln Center production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
    More Details Hide Details She appeared in the musical for five nights, and her "playful" performance of Mrs Lovett was highly praised; the critic Kayla Epstein wrote that she "not only held her own against more experienced vocalists, but wound up running off with the show." She received her sixth Emmy nomination for the televised version of the show.
  • 2013
    Age 53
    Her first film of 2013 was the fantasy romance Beautiful Creatures, in which she played an evil mother.
    More Details Hide Details The film aimed to capitalise on the success of The Twilight Saga, but was poorly reviewed and a box office disappointment. Film critic Peter Travers was critical of Thompson's performance and "outrageously awful Southern accent", and feared "the damage this crock may do to her reputation". Conversely, her next appearance was so successful that it led one journalist to write "Emma Thompson is back, firing on all cylinders." Saving Mr. Banks depicted the making of Mary Poppins, and starred Thompson as P. L. Travers, curmudgeonly author of the source novel, and Tom Hanks as Walt Disney. The actress considered it the best screenplay she had read in years and was delighted to be offered the role. She considered it to be the most challenging of her career because she had "never really played anyone quite so contradictory or difficult before", but found the inconsistent and complicated character "a blissful joy to embody". The film was well-received, grossed $112 million worldwide, and critics were unanimous in their praise for Thompson's performance. The review in The Independent expressed thanks that her "playing of Travers is so deft that we instantly warm to her, and forgive her her snobbery", while Total Films critic felt that Thompson brought depth to the "predictable" film with "her best performance in years". Thompson was nominated for Best Actress at the BAFTAs, SAGs and Golden Globes, and received the Lead Actress trophy from the National Board of Review.
  • 2012
    Age 52
    Also in 2012, Thompson played Queen Elizabeth II in an episode of Playhouse Presents, which dramatised an incident in 1982 when an intruder broke into the Queen's bedroom.
    More Details Hide Details
    In 2012, Thompson made a rare appearance in a big-budget Hollywood film when she played the head Agent in Men in Black 3 – a continuation of the popular sci-fi comedy franchise starring Will Smith.
    More Details Hide Details With a worldwide gross of $624 million, MIB3 is Thompson's biggest commercial hit outside of the Harry Potter films. This mainstream success continued with the Pixar film Brave, in which Thompson voiced Elinor – the Scottish queen despairing at her daughter's defiance against tradition. It was her second consecutive blockbuster release, and critics were generally kind to the film.
  • 2010
    Age 50
    Five years after the original, Thompson returned to Nanny McPhee with 2010's Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang.
    More Details Hide Details Her screenplay transported the story to Britain during the Second World War, and incorporated a new cast including Maggie Gyllenhaal. Building on the first film's success, it was another UK box office number one and the sequel was widely seen as an improvement. The same year, Thompson reunited with Alan Rickman for the BBC television film The Song of Lunch, which focused on two unnamed characters meeting at a restaurant 15 years after ending their relationship. Thompson's performance earned her a fourth Emmy Award nomination.
  • FORTIES
  • 2009
    Age 49
    Thompson's two 2009 films were both set in 1960s England, and in both she made cameo appearances: as a headmistress in the critically praised drama An Education and as a "tippling mother" in Richard Curtis's The Boat that Rocked.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2008
    Age 48
    Following a brief, uncredited role in the post-apocalyptic blockbuster I Am Legend (2007), Thompson played the devoutly Catholic Lady Marchmain in a 2008 film adaptation of Brideshead Revisited.
    More Details Hide Details Critics were unenthusiastic about the film, but several picked Thompson out as its highlight. Mark Kermode said "Emma Thompson is to some extent becoming the new Judi Dench, as the person who kind of comes in for 15 minutes and is brilliant... then when she goes away, the rest of the movie has a real problem living up to the wattage of her presence". Thompson was further acclaimed for her work in the London-based romance Last Chance Harvey (2008), where she and Dustin Hoffman played a lonely, middle-aged pair who cautiously begin a relationship. Critics praised the chemistry between the two leads, and both received Golden Globe nominations for their performances.
  • 2005
    Age 45
    The year 2005 saw the release of a project Thompson had been working on for nine years.
    More Details Hide Details Loosely based on the Nurse Matilda stories that she read as a child, Thompson wrote the screenplay for the children's film Nanny McPhee – which centres on a mysterious, unsightly nanny who must discipline a group of children. She also took the lead role, alongside Colin Firth and Angela Lansbury, in what was a highly personal project. The film was a success, taking number one at the UK box office and earning $122 million worldwide. Commenting on Thompson's screenplay, film critic Claudia Puig wrote that its "well-worn storybook features are woven effectively into an appealing tale of youthful empowerment". The following year, Thompson appeared in the surreal American comedy–drama Stranger than Fiction, playing a novelist whose latest character (played by Will Ferrell) is a real person who hears her narration in his head. Reviews for the film were generally favourable.
  • 2004
    Age 44
    In 2004, she played the eccentric Divination teacher Sybill Trelawney in the third Harry Potter film, the Prisoner of Azkaban, her character described as a "hippy chick professor who teaches fortune-telling".
    More Details Hide Details She later reprised her role in the Order of the Phoenix (2007) and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011), and has called her time on the popular franchise "great fun".
  • 2003
    Age 43
    In 2003, Thompson and Wise were married in Dunoon.
    More Details Hide Details The family's permanent residence is in West Hampstead, London, on the same road where she lived in her youth. Also in 2003, Thompson and her husband informally adopted a Rwandan orphan and former child soldier named Tindyebwa Agaba. They met at a Refugee Council event when he was 16, and she invited him to spend Christmas at their home. "Slowly," Thompson has commented, "he became a sort of permanent fixture, came on holiday to Scotland with us, became part of the family." Tindy became a British citizen in 2009. Thompson has said of her religious views: "I'm an atheist... I regard religion with fear and suspicion. It's not enough to say that I don't believe in God. I actually regard the system as distressing: I am offended by some of the things said in the Bible and the Qur'an and I refute them." Despite this, she has said that she approves of the "guiding moral principles" of the Christian tradition "if applied properly", and that she observes Christmas. She is politically liberal and a supporter of the Labour Party; she told the BBC Andrew Marr Show in 2010 that she had been a member of the party "all my life." She supports the socialist Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. She has also expressed support for the Women's Equality Party.
    Thompson continued with supporting roles in the 2003 drama Imagining Argentina, where she played a dissident-journalist abducted by the country's 1970s dictatorial regime.
    More Details Hide Details Antonio Banderas played the husband who tries to find her, in a film that most critics disliked. The film was booed and jeered at when it was screened at the Venice Film Festival and received a scathing article in The Guardian. Thompson had greater success that year when she worked with HBO for a second time in the acclaimed miniseries Angels in America (2003). The show, also featuring Al Pacino and Meryl Streep, dealt with the AIDS epidemic in Reagan-era America. Thompson played three small roles – a nurse, a homeless woman, and an angel – and was again nominated for an Emmy Award.
  • 2002
    Age 42
    Thompson's only credit of 2002 was a vocal performance in Disney's Treasure Planet, an adaptation of Treasure Island, where she voiced Captain Amelia.
    More Details Hide Details The animation earned far less than its large budget and was considered a "box office disaster". This failure was countered the following year by one of Thompson's biggest commercial successes, Richard Curtis's romantic comedy Love Actually. As part of an ensemble cast that included Liam Neeson, Keira Knightley, and Colin Firth, she played a middle-class wife who suspects her husband (played by Alan Rickman) of infidelity. The scene in which her stalwart character breaks down was described by one critic as "the best crying on screen ever", and in 2013, Thompson mentioned that she gets commended for this role more than any other. She explained, "I've had so much bloody practice at crying in a bedroom then having to go out and be cheerful, gathering up the pieces of my heart and putting them in a drawer." Her performance received a BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
  • 2000
    Age 40
    She was not seen on screen again until 2000, with only a small part in the British comedy Maybe Baby, which she appeared in as a favour to its director, her friend Ben Elton.
    More Details Hide Details For the HBO television film Wit (2001), however, Thompson happily took the lead role in what she felt was "one of the best scripts to have come out of America". Adapted from Margaret Edson's Pulitzer Prize winning play, it focusses on a self-sufficient Harvard University professor who finds her values challenged when she is diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Thompson was instrumental in bringing Mike Nichols to direct the project, and the pair spent months in rehearsal to get the complex character right. She was greatly drawn to the "daredevil" role, for which she had no qualms about shaving her head. Reviewing the performance, Roger Ebert was touched by "the way she struggles with every ounce of her humanity to keep her self-respect", and in 2008 he called it Thompson's finest work. Caryn James of The New York Times also described it as "one of her most brilliant performances", adding "we seem to be peering into a soul as embattled as its body." The film earned Thompson nominations at the Golden Globes, Emmys and Screen Actors Guild Awards.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1999
    Age 39
    When she became a mother in 1999, Thompson made a conscious decision to reduce her workload, and in the following years many of her appearances were supporting roles.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1996
    Age 36
    Thompson was absent from screens in 1996, but returned the following year with Alan Rickman's directorial debut, The Winter Guest.
    More Details Hide Details Set over one day in a Scottish seaside village, the drama allowed Thompson and her mother (Phyllida Law) to play mother and daughter on screen. She then returned to America to appear in an episode of Ellen, and her self-parodying performance received a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series. For her second Hollywood role, Thompson starred with John Travolta in Mike Nichols's Primary Colors (1998), playing a couple based on Bill and Hillary Clinton. Thompson's character, Susan, is described as that of an "ambitious, long-suffering wife" who has to deal with her husband's infidelity. The film was critically well received but lost money at the box office. According to Kevin O'Sullivan of the Daily Mirror, Americans were "blown away" by her performance and accent, and top Hollywood producers became increasingly interested in casting her. Thompson rejected many of the offers, expressing concerns about living in Los Angeles behind walls with bodyguards, and stated "LA is lovely as long as you know you can leave". She also admitted to feeling tired and jaded with the industry at this point, which influenced her decision to leave film for a year. Thompson followed Primary Colors by playing an FBI agent opposite Rickman in the poorly received thriller Judas Kiss (1998).
  • 1995
    Age 35
    Thompson was living alone as the relationship with Branagh deteriorated, and entered into clinical depression. While filming Sense and Sensibility in 1995, she began a relationship with her co-star Greg Wise.
    More Details Hide Details Commenting on how she was able to overcome her depression, she told BBC Radio Four, "Work saved me and Greg saved me. He picked up the pieces and put them together again." In 1999, the couple had a daughter, Gaia, born when Thompson was 39. The pregnancy was achieved through IVF treatment; afterwards Wise and Thompson attempted to have another child using the same method. Three years of further IVF treatment were unsuccessful.
  • 1994
    Age 34
    In 1994, Thompson made her Hollywood debut playing a goofy doctor alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito in the blockbuster Junior.
    More Details Hide Details Although the male pregnancy storyline was poorly received by most critics, Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle praised the lead trio. She returned to independent cinema for a lead role in Carrington, which studied the platonic relationship between artist Dora Carrington and writer Lytton Strachey (played by Jonathan Price). Roger Ebert remarked that Thompson had "developed a specialty in unrequited love", and the TV Guide Film & Video Companion commented that her "neurasthenic mannerisms, which usually drive us batty, are appropriate here". Thompson's Academy success continued with Sense and Sensibility (1995), generally considered to be the most popular and authentic of the numerous film adaptions of Jane Austen's novels made in the 1990s. Thompson—a lifelong lover of Austen's work—was hired to write the film based on the period sketches in her series Thompson. She spent five years developing the screenplay, and took the role of the spinster sister Elinor Dashwood despite, at 35, being 16 years older than the literary character. Directed by Ang Lee and co-starring Kate Winslet, Sense and Sensibility received widespread critical praise and is one of the highest-grossing films of Thompson's career. Shelly Frome remarked that she displayed a "great affinity for Jane Austen's style and wit", and Graham Fuller of Sight and Sound saw her as the film's auteur. Thompson received a third nomination for Best Actress and won the award for Best Adapted Screenplay, making her the only person in history to win an Oscar for both acting and writing.
  • 1992
    Age 32
    Early in 1992, Thompson had a guest role in an episode of the American comedy series Cheers as Frasier Crane's first wife.
    More Details Hide Details A turning point in Thompson's career came when she was cast opposite Anthony Hopkins and Vanessa Redgrave in the Merchant Ivory period drama Howards End (1992), based on the novel by E. M. Forster. The film explored the social class system in Edwardian England, with Thompson playing an idealistic, intellectual, forward-looking woman who comes into association with a privileged and deeply conservative family. She actively pursued the role by writing to director James Ivory, who agreed to an audition and then gave her the part. According to the critic Vincent Canby, the film allowed Thompson to "come into her own", away from Branagh. Upon release, Roger Ebert wrote that she was "superb in the central role: quiet, ironic, observant, with steel inside." Howards End was widely praised, a "surprise hit", and received nine Academy Award nominations. Among its three wins was the Best Actress trophy for Thompson, who was also awarded a Golden Globe and BAFTA for her performance. Reflecting on the role, The New York Times writes that the actress "found herself an international success almost overnight."
  • 1991
    Age 31
    Her second release of 1991 was another pairing with Branagh, who also directed, in the Los Angeles-based noir Dead Again.
    More Details Hide Details She played a woman who has forgotten her identity, and the thriller was number one at the US box office for two weeks.
    Thompson returned to cinema in 1991, playing a "frivolous aristocrat" in Impromptu, a period drama about the life of George Sand that starred Judy Davis and Hugh Grant.
    More Details Hide Details The film received positive reviews, and Thompson was nominated for Best Supporting Female at the Independent Spirit Awards.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1989
    Age 29
    The couple married in 1989 and proceeded to appear in several films together, with Branagh often casting her in his own productions.
    More Details Hide Details Dubbed a "golden couple" by the British media, the relationship received considerable press interest. The pair attempted to keep their relationship private, refusing to be interviewed or photographed together. In September 1995, Thompson and Branagh announced that they had separated; their statement to the press blamed their work schedules, but it later emerged that he had fallen in love with actress Helena Bonham Carter.
    In 1989, she and Branagh—who had formed a romantic relationship—starred in a stage revival of Look Back in Anger, directed by Judi Dench and produced by Branagh's Renaissance Theatre Company.
    More Details Hide Details Later that year, the pair starred in a televised version of the play. Thompson's first cinema appearance came in the romantic comedy The Tall Guy (1989), the feature-film debut from screenwriter Richard Curtis. It starred Jeff Goldblum as a West End actor, and Thompson played the nurse with whom he falls in love. The film was not widely seen, but Thompson's performance was praised in The New York Times, where Caryn James called her "an exceptionally versatile comic actress". She next turned to Shakespeare, appearing as Princess Katherine in Branagh's screen adaptation of Henry V (1989). The film was released to great critical acclaim. Thompson and Branagh are considered by American writer and critic James Monaco to have led the "British cinematic onslaught" in the 1990s. She continued to experiment with Shakespeare in the new decade, appearing with Branagh in his stage productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream and King Lear. Reviewing the latter, the Chicago Tribune praised her "extraordinary" performance of the "hobbling, stooped hunchback Fool".
    Thompson's first film role came in the 1989 romantic comedy, The Tall Guy, and in the early 1990s she frequently collaborated with her then husband, actor, and director, Kenneth Branagh.
    More Details Hide Details The pair became popular in the British media, and co-starred in several films including: Dead Again (1991) and Much Ado About Nothing (1993). In 1992, Thompson won an Academy Award and a BAFTA Award for Best Actress for the period drama, Howards End. In 1993, she garnered dual Academy Award nominations for her roles in The Remains of the Day as a stately housekeeper, and In the Name of the Father as a lawyer. Thompson scripted and starred in Sense and Sensibility (1995), which earned her (among other awards) an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, and a BAFTA Award for Best Actress. Other notable film and television credits include: the Harry Potter film series, Wit (2001), Love Actually (2003), Angels in America (2003), Nanny McPhee (2005), Stranger than Fiction (2006), Last Chance Harvey (2008), Men in Black 3 (2012), and Brave (2012). In 2013, she received acclaim and several award nominations for her portrayal of P. L. Travers in Saving Mr. Banks.
  • 1987
    Age 27
    Thompson achieved another breakthrough in 1987, when she had leading roles in two television miniseries: Fortunes of War, a World War II drama co-starring Kenneth Branagh, and Tutti Frutti, a dark-comedy about a Scottish rock band with Robbie Coltrane.
    More Details Hide Details For these performances, Thompson won the British Academy Television Award for Best Actress. The following year, she wrote and starred in her own sketch comedy series for BBC, Thompson, but this was poorly received.
  • 1985
    Age 25
    At the end of 1985, she wrote and starred in her own one-off special for Channel 4, Emma Thompson: Up for Grabs.
    More Details Hide Details
    In 1985, Thompson was cast in the West End revival of the musical Me and My Girl, co-starring Robert Lindsay.
    More Details Hide Details It provided a breakthrough in her career, as the production earned rave reviews. She played the role of Sally Smith for 15 months, which exhausted the actress; she later remarked "I thought if I did the fucking "Lambeth Walk" one more time I was going to fucking throw up."
  • 1982
    Age 22
    Thompson had her first professional role in 1982, touring in a stage version of Not the Nine O'Clock News.
    More Details Hide Details She then turned to television, where much of her early work came with her Footlights co-stars Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry. The regional ITV comedy series There's Nothing To Worry About! (1982) was their first outing, followed by the one-off BBC show The Crystal Cube (1983). There's Nothing to Worry About! later returned as the networked sketch show Alfresco (1983–84), which ran for two series with Thompson, Fry, Laurie, Ben Elton, and Robbie Coltrane. She later collaborated again with Fry and Laurie on the acclaimed BBC Radio 4 series Saturday Night Fry (1988).
    In 1982, Thompson's father died as a result of circulatory problems at the age of 52.
    More Details Hide Details The actress has commented that this "tore family to pieces", and "I can't begin to tell you how much I regret his not being around". She added, "At the same time, it's possible that were he still alive I might never have had the space or courage to do what I've done... I have a definite feeling of inheriting space. And power."
  • 1980
    Age 20
    In 1980, Thompson served as the Vice President of Footlights, and co-directed the troupe's first all-female revue, Woman's Hour.
    More Details Hide Details The following year, Thompson and her Footlights team won the Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for their sketch show The Cellar Tapes.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1977
    Age 17
    In her youth, Thompson was intrigued by language and literature, a trait which she attributes to her father who shared her love of words. In 1977, she began studying for an English degree at Newnham College, University of Cambridge.
    More Details Hide Details Thompson believes that it was inevitable that she would become an actress, commenting that she was "surrounded by creative people and I don’t think it would ever have gone any other way, really". While there, she had a "seminal moment" that turned her to feminism and inspired her to take up performing. She explained in an interview in 2007 how she discovered the book The Madwoman in the Attic, "which is about Victorian female writers and the disguises they took on in order to express what they wanted to express. That completely changed my life." She became a self-professed "punk rocker", with short red hair and a motorbike, and aspired to be a comedian like Lily Tomlin. At Cambridge, Thompson was invited into Footlights, the university's prestigious sketch comedy troupe, by its president, Martin Bergman, becoming its first female member. Also in the troupe were fellow actors Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, and she had a romantic relationship with the latter. Fry recalled that "there was no doubt that Emma was going the distance. Our nickname for her was Emma Talented."
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1959
    Born
    Thompson was born in Paddington, London, on 15 April 1959.
    More Details Hide Details A member of a show business family, her mother is the Scottish actress Phyllida Law, while her English father, Eric Thompson, was involved in theatre and the writer–narrator of the popular children's television series The Magic Roundabout. Her godfather was the director and writer Ronald Eyre. She has one sister, Sophie Thompson, who also works as an actress. The family lived in West Hampstead in north London, and Thompson was educated at Camden School for Girls. She spent much time in Scotland during her childhood, and often visited Ardentinny where her grandparents and uncle lived.
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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