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Quote of the Day: Emma Thompson on Fighting for Female Roles and Women's Rights

by Inkoo Kang
April 14, 2014 3:00 PM
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Emma Thompson

Emma Thompson rarely misses an opportunity to speak out on behalf of women in the film industry, and a recent appearance on the BBC Radio 4's Front Row to promote her new comedy with Pierce Brosnan, The Love Punch, proved no different.

Thompson's 61-year-old castmate Celia Imrie stated, "I long for the day where we don't have to talk about our age as actresses," to which the Saving Mr. Banks star added that, as female thespians grow older, they "not only [are] fighting for the roles, but fighting for female rights in general."

Thompson continued, "For women a lot of the time, the only power that they do have in their roles on screen is the sexual power.... So when that sexuality becomes older, and therefore a great deal more threatening, the roles dry up, because women don't have access to the kinds of power that create the kind of story that people are writing about. The roles of women in life -- in political life, business life, everything -- are absolutely mirrored by what we see in cinema."

Thompson stressed the need to challenge herself as an actress, and revealed that she got a bit of thumping encouragement from her mother: "I think it was after Sense and Sensibility [that] my mum said, 'So what are you going to do next, are you going to play another good woman in a frock?' And I thought, 'Bloody hell, thanks, Mum.' But I know what she meant."


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More: Emma Thompson, Ageism

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  • C. Peter Roberts | April 15, 2014 12:16 PMReply

    Oaivnao's comments might have more bite to them if there was even a suggestion that they came from a person with minimal reading comprehension, analytical skills, or empathy. But it's good to know that the release of Gravity has eliminated decades of underrepresentation, I guess.

  • Nancy | April 15, 2014 11:45 AMReply

    You have to wonder why someone as hostile to feminism as Oaivnao would read this site. Oh right, to be a troll.

    Women make up half of humanity but you would never know it based on Hollywood movies where 3 out of 4 people shown on screen are male. That right there is sufficient evidence of discrimination and misogyny.

  • oaivnao | April 14, 2014 3:59 PMReply

    I wonder if she might retrospectively find her mom's statement as ironic considering who wrote Sense and Sensibility. Oh. It was directed by a man. Male gaze, I guess.

    And how arrogant is she to say that the roles of women are mirrored by their roles in society? Along with that point, are we just dying to see the story of a female CEO because, apparently, there are none (there are and she's stupid)? Do positions of power just automatically make great drama? Jesus, this feminist rhetoric is just so simple minded.

    Maybe she thinks Bruce Willis is getting so much more work because he's a man the same age as her and not just a once varied actor who now strictly works in action movies because he wants easy money and action movies generally require two hours to write in script form. I guess she forgot Gravity, too.

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