Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Specialty Box Office: 'True Story' and 'Child 44' Flop as 'Ex Machina' Lures Audiences Specialty Box Office: 'True Story' and 'Child 44' Flop as 'Ex Machina' Lures Audiences Tribeca Film Festival Matches George Lucas with Stephen Colbert: “I’m gonna tear you a new one, George" Tribeca Film Festival Matches George Lucas with Stephen Colbert: “I’m gonna tear you a new one, George" 10 Films Booed at Cannes That Every Cinephile Should See 10 Films Booed at Cannes That Every Cinephile Should See 5 Things You Didn't Know About Lars von Trier, Who's Going Back to Work 5 Things You Didn't Know About Lars von Trier, Who's Going Back to Work The Eerie Connection Between 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' and 'Tomorrowland' The Eerie Connection Between 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' and 'Tomorrowland' Digging Into the Cannes Lineup: More Vet Auteurs and Women, No Netflix Digging Into the Cannes Lineup: More Vet Auteurs and Women, No Netflix Ryan Gosling in Talks for 'Blade Runner' Sequel, Damien Chazelle's 'La La Land' Ryan Gosling in Talks for 'Blade Runner' Sequel, Damien Chazelle's 'La La Land' You Can Now Read Over 200,000 Leaked Sony Emails and Documents You Can Now Read Over 200,000 Leaked Sony Emails and Documents Watch: The New 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Trailer Has Landed Watch: The New 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Trailer Has Landed Watch the Teaser Trailer for Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' Watch the Teaser Trailer for Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' Russia Bans Tom Hardy Thriller 'Child 44,' "A Bloody Mass of Orcs and Ghouls" Russia Bans Tom Hardy Thriller 'Child 44,' "A Bloody Mass of Orcs and Ghouls" Watch: This Exclusive Tribeca Trailer Promises a Vérité Southern Gothic in Malick Vein Watch: This Exclusive Tribeca Trailer Promises a Vérité Southern Gothic in Malick Vein 7 Things to Learn from 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner About Compelling Storytelling (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO) 7 Things to Learn from 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner About Compelling Storytelling (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO) 'Queen of Earth,' Starring a Gloriously Unhinged Elisabeth Moss, Goes to IFC 'Queen of Earth,' Starring a Gloriously Unhinged Elisabeth Moss, Goes to IFC LA Film Fest Adds 10 Buzzy Indies and First-Ever TV Gala to Lineup LA Film Fest Adds 10 Buzzy Indies and First-Ever TV Gala to Lineup Cary Fukunaga Takes Over Long-Stalled 'The Alienist' as TV Series Cary Fukunaga Takes Over Long-Stalled 'The Alienist' as TV Series Why the Istanbul Film Festival Cancelled Its 2015 Competition Why the Istanbul Film Festival Cancelled Its 2015 Competition The Dramatic Story Behind Satyajit Ray's 50s Masterpiece 'The Apu Trilogy' (Exclusive) The Dramatic Story Behind Satyajit Ray's 50s Masterpiece 'The Apu Trilogy' (Exclusive) The New Ladder: Anatomy of Indie Women's Picture 'Farah Goes Bang' The New Ladder: Anatomy of Indie Women's Picture 'Farah Goes Bang' Lars von Trier's Last Cannes Q & A: "Stupid" Statements, Melancholia, "I Am Not a Nazi," Dunst, Cruz Lars von Trier's Last Cannes Q & A: "Stupid" Statements, Melancholia, "I Am Not a Nazi," Dunst, Cruz

Emma Thompson Talks Oscars, Herpes, 'Saving Mr. Banks,' and Talking Back to Ang Lee in 'A Life in Pictures' BAFTA Q&A

Photo of Matt Mueller By Matt Mueller | Thompson on Hollywood November 25, 2013 at 12:03PM

With her role as "Mary Poppins" author P.L. Travers in "Saving Mr. Banks" injecting fresh impetus into a career that’s already blessed with two Oscars (Best Actress for "Howard's End" and Best Adapted Screenplay for "Sense And Sensibility"), Emma Thompson made the ideal candid subject for BAFTA’s latest installment of their “A Life In Pictures” series.
0
Emma Thompson BAFTA

On Richard Curtis’s "Love, Actually…":

“I remember when we first saw it, Hugh Grant coming up behind me and saying, ‘Either that’s very good or it’s the most psychotic thing I’ve ever been in.’ And I sort of knew what he meant because Richard’s the most unusual man. He’s just built, it seems to me, of the milk of human kindness. Actually made of it. So that’s what his movies are like and we [Brits] can’t cope with it because so many of us are bitter, cynical, twisted little islanders who can’t cope with the idea of happiness, never mind someone trying to present it on film. Whereas we get very over-excited when we make films that show truly how utterly miserable the course of human life can be.”

On basing her "Stranger Than Fiction" character on Judy Davis:

“She was heaven to play, this very, very twisted, tortured writer. She smokes all the time and one of the people that I tried to base her on was Judy Davis, who I worked with once. She’s a wonderful actress -- arthritic with tension -- and she smoked like that. There was this tension in her all the time, that’s probably one of the reasons she’s such a great actress. I remember thinking, ‘I want to do Judy smoking.’ Ironically, cigarettes were the only thing keeping that character alive.”

On working with actors who aren’t professional or “can’t be bothered”:

“If people are late, I say, ‘You can’t do this because it’s disrespectful to your crew. These are people who work very hard to make sure that your image is going to be on the screen so you just can’t do this.’ I don’t know what I would do if I were to work with someone who was late in a kind of psychotic way, like Robert Redford, who’s weirdly late, even when he’s directing. How did 'All Is Lost' work? I’m really fascinated to know.”

On Hollywood and the star system:

“It’s not a good system because it’s all heirarchical and I think that’s revolting. It’s revolting for actors to become grand. Just not excusable and very unattractive to watch… I love Hollywood, I love going there, some of the most intelligent people I know live there. But as ["Nanny McPhee"producer] Lindsay Doran says, they always find a way to make you feel bad. The thing we struggle with all our lives, which is the better-than, less-than judgment that you’re making upon yourself and upon others every single moment of your lives, Hollywood is particularly good at. That’s the one thing I really hate about it. We don’t do it as much here.”

On P.L. Travers being the hardest role she’s ever had:

“She was so inconsistent. You look at some of my other roles and you see that essentially they have a moral arc that goes in much the same way through the film. You know how Margaret Schlegel is going to behave, and you know how Karen in 'Love Actually' is going to behave. But you didn’t know how [Travers] was going to behave from one minute to the next. I thought, ‘Everybody’s going to think that I’m just making mistakes, that I’m just doing something different for no good reason.’ But it was the inconsistency that made her such a blissful joy to embody.”

This article is related to: Interviews, Interviews , Emma Thompson, BAFTA


E-Mail Updates