Emma Thompson


Emma Thompson
Emma Thompson

Thompson in Paris at the César Awards 2009
Born 15 April 1959 (1959-04-15) (age 52)
Paddington, London, England, United Kingdom
Alma mater Cambridge University
Occupation Actor, comedian, screenwriter
Years active 1979–present
Spouse Kenneth Branagh (1989–1995; divorced)
Greg Wise (2003–present; 2 children)

Emma Thompson (born 15 April 1959) is a British actress, comedian and screenwriter. 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. The following year Thompson garnered dual Academy Award nominations, as Best Actress for The Remains of the Day and as Best Supporting Actress for In the Name of the Father.

In 1995, Thompson scripted and starred in Sense and Sensibility, a film adaptation of the Jane Austen novel of the same name, which earned her an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role among other awards. Other notable film and television credits have included 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), An Education (2009), and Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang (2009).

Thompson is a patron of the Refugee Council and president of the Teaching Awards.

Contents

Early life

Thompson was born in Paddington, London, England. Her father was the actor Eric Thompson, best known for having written and narrated The Magic Roundabout, shown on BBC children's television in the 1960s and 1970s. Her mother is the Scottish actress Phyllida Law. Thompson's younger sister is actress Sophie Thompson. Thompson has spent part of her life in Scotland and has stated that she "feel[s] Scottish".[1]

Education

Thompson went to Camden School for Girls[2] and then read English at Newnham College at the University of Cambridge where she was a member (along with fellow actors Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie and Tony Slattery) and vice-president of the university's comedy troupe, the Footlights. Her acting talent was so impressive that agent Richard Armitage signed her to a contract while she was still two years away from graduation. Thompson graduated from Cambridge in 1980. Shortly afterward, she came to fame with a leading role opposite Robert Lindsay in the Leicester Haymarket Theatre's production of the musical Me and My Girl, which had just been rescripted by Stephen Fry.

Career

Thompson's earliest television appearances included the comedy sketch show Alfresco, broadcast in 1983 and 1984 (as well as its three-part pilot There's Nothing to Worry About, shown in 1982), which also featured Ben Elton, Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie. Also in 1984 she guested alongside Fry and Laurie in the episode "Bambi" of the sitcom The Young Ones, playing Miss Money-Sterling. Her breakthrough began in 1987 with her role as red-haired rock guitarist Suzi Kettles in the cult TV series Tutti Frutti. This was followed by acclaim for the BBC series Fortunes of War in which she starred with her then future husband, Kenneth Branagh. For these two 1987 roles she won a BAFTA for Best Actress. In 1988, she starred in and wrote the eponymous Thompson comedy sketch series for BBC1; the series was not successful with audiences or critics. Described in Time Out magazine as "very clever-little-me-ish",[citation needed] it has never been repeated in Britain despite her Oscar successes, and Thompson has not returned to the sketch comedy field.

Thompson's first major film role was in Richard Curtis's romantic comedy The Tall Guy (1989) co-starring Jeff Goldblum. Her career took a more serious turn with a series of critically acclaimed performances and films, beginning with Howards End (1992), for which she received an Oscar for best actress; the part of Gareth Peirce, the lawyer for the Guildford Four, in In the Name of the Father; The Remains of the Day opposite Anthony Hopkins; and as the British painter Dora Carrington in the film Carrington.

Thompson won her next Oscar in 1996, for best adapted screenplay for her adaptation of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, a film directed by Ang Lee, in which she also played the Oscar-nominated lead role opposite Hugh Grant. She has said that she keeps both of her award statues in her downstairs bathroom, citing embarrassment at placing them in a more prominent place.[3]

Thompson's recent television work has included a starring role in the 2001 HBO drama Wit, in which she played a dying cancer patient, and 2003's Angels in America, playing multiple roles, including one of the titular angels. Her Emmy Award was as a guest star in a 1997 episode of the show Ellen; in this episode she played a fictionalised parody of herself: a closeted lesbian more concerned with the media finding out she is actually American. She also appeared in an episode of Cheers in 1992 titled "One Hugs, the Other Doesn't".

Thompson at the London premiere of Nanny McPhee, 2005

More recently, Thompson appeared in supporting roles such as Sybill Trelawney in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. In 2002, she voiced Captain Amelia in Disney's Treasure Planet, an adaptation of Treasure Island. She also appeared in the 2003 comedy Love Actually. The film Nanny McPhee, adapted by Thompson from Christianna Brand's Nurse Matilda books, was first released in October 2005. Thompson worked on the project for nine years, having written the screenplay and starred alongside her mother (who has a cameo appearance). In the film Stranger than Fiction she plays an author planning on killing her main character, Harold Crick, who turns out to be a real person. Most recently, Thompson made a short uncredited cameo as a doctor introducing the cure for cancer in the form of measles in the latest film adaptation of I Am Legend, and starred in Last Chance Harvey opposite Dustin Hoffman, Eileen Atkins and Kathy Baker. In 2009, she appeared in An Education and The Boat That Rocked, the new Richard Curtis film, which also starred Gemma Arterton, Philip Seymour Hoffman, January Jones, Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy, Nick Frost, Jack Davenport and Rhys Ifans.

Thompson reprised her role as Sybill Trelawney in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2.[4] She will also voice Queen Elinor in the upcoming 2012 Pixar film Brave.[citation needed]

Personal life

While at Cambridge, Thompson was romantically involved with actor Hugh Laurie,[5] a fellow Footlights member and an undergraduate at Selwyn College, just across the road from Newnham. Thompson continues her friendship with Laurie.

She married actor Kenneth Branagh on 20 August 1989. They acted together several times, in the TV series Fortunes of War, and in hit movies such as Dead Again, Henry V and Much Ado About Nothing. They divorced in October 1995.

Thompson married actor Greg Wise in 2003 in Dunoon, Scotland, where she has a second home.[6] The couple have a daughter, Gaia Romilly, born in 1999. In 2003, the couple informally adopted a 16-year-old Rwandan refugee named Tindyebwa Agaba. They successfully resisted his deportation back to Rwanda, his family having been killed in the genocide.[7]

Activism

Environmental work

Thompson in 2008

Thompson is a supporter of Greenpeace. It was announced on 13 January 2009 that, with three other members of the organisation, she had bought land near the village of Sipson, under threat from a proposed third runway for Heathrow Airport.[8] It was hoped that possession of the land, half the size of a football pitch, would make it possible to prevent the government from carrying through its plan to expand the airport.

Bought for an undisclosed sum from a local land owner, the plot was to be split into small squares and sold across the globe. Thompson said, "I don't understand how any government remotely serious about committing to reversing climate change can even consider these ridiculous plans. It's laughably hypocritical. That's why we've bought a plot on the runway. We'll stop this from happening even if we have to move in and plant vegetables."[9]

Political and religious views

Thompson has said of her religious and political views: "I'm an atheist; I suppose you can call me a sort of libertarian anarchist. 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."[10] Despite this, she says that the guiding moral principles, ethical principles and much of the philosophy of Christianity is very good and that she celebrates Christmas.[11] She told the BBC Andrew Marr Show in March 2010 that she had been a member of the Labour Party "all my life."[12] Thompson is also a Palestinian human rights activist, having been a member of the British-based ENOUGH! coalition that seeks to end the "Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip and West Bank."[13]

Infringement Accusation

In 2011, playwright, Gregory Murphy, accused Emma Thompson of misappropriating his Off-Broadway and West End theatre 2009 play and subsequent screenplay, "The Countess," about the bizarre "love triangle" between John Ruskin, Effie Gray and John Everett Millais.[14] Murphy asserts that copies of his play and screenplay were sent to her and her husband, Greg Wise, through a mutual friend. After obtaining a copy of a screenplay titled, "Effie", credited to Thompson and Wise, Murphy contacted the film's producers, noting that "Effie" was distinctly related to Murphy's own screenplay in its "time-frame, character development, structure and tone."[15]

Thompson asserts that she has never seen "The Countess", read its screenplay, or ever received a copy from the mutual friend, who is willing to testify that he never gave her a copy. She maintains that all similarities between "Effie" and "The Countess" are simply the result of them being based on the same historical events.[15]

Thompson met with Murphy at her home in an attempt to reach an agreement, and there followed over a number of months discussion of a possible writer's credit on the film and payment to Murphy. However no settlement could be reached to the satisfaction of both parties.

Thompson is expected to go into production on "Effie" in August 2011. However, she must "be able to demonstrate that there is no validity to Mr. Murphy's claim of infringement" to close the financing for the film.[14]

Filmography

Film

Year Film Role Notes
1989 Henry V Catherine of Valois
1989 Tall Guy, TheThe Tall Guy Kate Lemmon
1991 Dead Again Grace
Margaret Strauss
1991 Impromptu Claudette, Duchess d'Antan Nominated – Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female
1992 Howards End Margaret Schlegel Academy Award for Best Actress
BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
David di Donatello Award for Best Foreign Actress (Migliore Attrice Straniero)
Evening Standard British Film Awards – Best Actress
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
National Board of Review Award for Best Actress
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
1992 Peter's Friends Maggie Chester Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Actress
1993 Much Ado About Nothing Beatrice Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Actress
Nominated – Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead
1993 Remains of the Day, TheThe Remains of the Day Miss Kenton David di Donatello Award for Best Foreign Actress (Migliore Attrice Straniero)
Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Actress
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
1993 In the Name of the Father Gareth Peirce Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
1994 Junior Dr. Diana Reddin Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1995 Carrington Dora Carrington National Board of Review Award for Best Actress
Society of Texas Film Critics Award for Best Actress
1995 Sense and Sensibility Elinor Dashwood Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Screenplay
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Writer
Evening Standard British Film Awards – Best Adapted Screenplay
Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Screenplay
National Board of Review Award for Best Actress
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Screenplay
Society of Texas Film Critics Award for Best Actress
Society of Texas Film Critics Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
USC Scripter Award
Writers Guild of America Award for Best Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published
Writers' Guild of Great Britain Award for Film – Screenplay
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated – Chlotrudis Award for Best Actress
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
1997 Winter Guest, TheThe Winter Guest Frances Pasinetti Award for Best Actress
Nominated – British Independent Film Award for Best Actress
Nominated – European Film Award for Best Actress
Nominated – Chlotrudis Award for Best Actress
1998 Primary Colors Susan Stanton Nominated – American Comedy Award for Funniest Actress in a Motion Picture (Leading Role)
Nominated – Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actress – Drama
Nominated – European Film Award for Outstanding European Achievement in World Cinema
1998 Judas Kiss Sadie Hawkins
2000 Maybe Baby Druscilla
2002 Treasure Planet Captain Amelia animated film (voice only)
Nominated – Annie Award for Outstanding Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production
2003 Imagining Argentina Cecilia
2003 Love Actually Karen Empire Award for Best Actress
Evening Standard British Film Awards – Best Actress
London Film Critics Circle Awards for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Ensemble
Nominated – Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Ensemble Acting
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
2004 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Professor Sybill Trelawney
2005 Nanny McPhee Nanny McPhee writing credits
2006 Stranger than Fiction Karen Eiffel Nominated – Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – London Critics Circle Film Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
2007 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Professor Sybill Trelawney
2007 I Am Legend Dr. Alice Krippin uncredited cameo
2008 Brideshead Revisited Lady Marchmain Nominated – Audience Award for Best International Actress
Nominated – British Independent Film Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – London Film Critics Circle Awards for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
2008 Last Chance Harvey Kate Walker Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
2009 Education, AnAn Education Headmistress
2009 Boat That Rocked, TheThe Boat That Rocked Charlotte
2010 Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang Nanny McPhee known as Nanny McPhee Returns in North America
2011 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 Professor Sybill Trelawney
2012 Brave Queen Elinor Voice
2012 Men in Black III Agent O Filming

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1982 Cambridge Footlights Revue various characters TV-special, 1 episode
1982 There's Nothing to Worry About! Mrs. Wally TV-series, 3 episodes
1983–84 Alfresco various characters TV-series, 13 episodes
1984 Young Ones, TheThe Young Ones Miss Money-Sterling TV-series, episode Bambi
1987 Tutti Frutti Suzi Kettles BBC TV Series starring Thompson and Robbie Coltrane bringing both to national prominence. Written by John Byrne
1987 Fortunes of War Harriet Pringle British Academy Television Award for Best Actress (jointly with work on Tutti Frutti)
1988 Thompson Various Roles TV-series
1989 Look Back in Anger Alison Porter TV film
1990 Winslow Boy, TheThe Winslow Boy Catherine Winslow TV production
1992 Cheers Nanette Guzman TV-series, 1 episode
1994 Blue Boy, TheThe Blue Boy Marie Bonnar TV-film
1997 Ellen Herself TV-series, 1 episode
Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress – Comedy Series
1997 Hospital! Elephant Woman TV-series, 1 episode
2001 Wit Vivian Bearing TV-film
Best Actress at the Valladolid International Film Festival
Humanitas Prize for 90 Minute or Longer Cable Category
Christopher Award for Television & Cable
Nominated – Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards for Best Actress – TV-Film
Nominated – Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated – Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie
2003 Angels in America Nurse Emily
the Homeless Woman
the Angel America
TV-series
Nominated – Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie
2010 Song of Lunch, TheThe Song of Lunch She

Theatre

The following is a partial list of Thompson's theatre credit:

See also

  • List of awards and nominations received by Emma Thompson

Further reading

  • Hewison, Robert (1984). Footlights! A Hundred Years of Cambridge Comedy. Methuen, London. ISBN 0-413-56050-3. 
  • Branagh, Kenneth (1989). Beginning. St. Martin's Press, New York. ISBN 0-312-05822-5. 
  • Shuttleworth, Ian (1994). Ken and Em. Headline Book Publishing, London. ISBN 0-7472-1225-2. 
  • Nickson, Chris (1997). Emma: The Many Facets of Emma Thompson. Taylor Publishing. ISBN 0878339655. 

References

  1. ^ Rick Fulton (12 October 2005). "It's nanny McMe". http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/tm_objectid=16236943&method=full&siteid=66633&headline=it-s-nanny-mcme-name_page.html. Retrieved 18 November 2007. 
  2. ^ Thomas, Liz. "'Innits' and aints' drive me insane! Emma Thompson hits out at teenagers' sloppy English after visit to her old school". http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1315774/Emma-Thompson-hits-teenagers-sloppy-English.html. Retrieved 22 October 2011. 
  3. ^ "Movie & TV News – WENN". IMDb.com. 17 January 2006. http://www.imdb.com/news/wenn/2006-01-17. Retrieved 18 January 2009. 
  4. ^ "Clémence Poésy confirms Emma Thompson's Deathly Hallows reprisal". This is South Wales. 19 March 2010. http://www.snitchseeker.com/harry-potter-news/cl-mence-po-sy-confirms-emma-thompsons-deathly-hallows-reprisal-71643/. Retrieved 19 March 2010. 
  5. ^ Tim Walker 9:56 pm GMT 12 Jan 2009 (12 January 2009). "The Telegraph, January 2009". The Daily Telegraph (UK). http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mandrake/4224331/Hugh-Lauries-elemental-about-Emma-Thompson.html. Retrieved 3 May 2011. 
  6. ^ "It'S Nanny Mcme". The Daily Record. 12 October 2005. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/tm_objectid=16236943&method=full&siteid=66633&headline=it-s-nanny-mcme-name_page.html. Retrieved 23 February 2011. 
  7. ^ Alison Boshoff (7 March 2008). "The young refugee who was adopted by a famous actress". Daily Mail (London). http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/showbiz/showbiznews.html?in_article_id=528573&in_page_id=1773. Retrieved 7 March 2008. 
  8. ^ "Protesters buy up Heathrow land". London: BBC News. 13 January 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7825169.stm. Retrieved 18 January 2009. 
  9. ^ "Celebs buy Heathrow expansion land". pa.press.net. MSN News UK. 13 January 2009. http://news.uk.msn.com/uk/article.aspx?cp-documentid=12726578&icid=toptodayuk. Retrieved 18 January 2009. [dead link]
  10. ^ Cornwell, Jane (15 October 2008). "Acting on outspoken beliefs". The Australian. http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,,24497883-15803,00.html. Retrieved 23 February 2011. 
  11. ^ Allen, Jenny. "Between Friends". Good Housekeeping. http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/family/celebrity-interviews/maggie-gyllenhaal-emma-thompson-interview-3. Retrieved 14 November 2011. 
  12. ^ "Andrew Marr show interview". BBC News. 28 March 2010. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/8590095.stm. Retrieved 30 March 2010. 
  13. ^ "Emma Thompson bids for Palestinian Rights". Electronicintifada.net. http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article6451.shtml. Retrieved 23 February 2011. 
  14. ^ a b Owen Bowcott (9 February 2011). "Emma Thompson's Effie Facing Copyright Fight". The Guardian (London). http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2011/feb/09/emma-thompson-effie-copywright. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  15. ^ a b Gregory Murphy (24 April 2011). "The Day I Sat in Emma Thompson's Kitchen and Accused Her of Stealing My Movie". Daily Mail (London). http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1379933/The-day-I-sat-Emma-Thompsons-kitchen-accused-stealing-movie.html. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 

External links


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