WHO IS IT? For my first Celebrities in Classics post and final hurrah for Austen in August 2013, I have chosen Emma Thompson. Emma is one of my favourite celebrities in classics because she is an amazingly talented actress, comedian and writer. To top it all off, she wrote The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit to commemorate the 110th anniversary of Beatrix Potter’s classic The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
WHY I LOVE THIS ACTRESS: I love Emma not only because she is talented and entertaining, but because she never seems to take herself too seriously. She deeply loves her craft and is interested in having a meaningful relationship with the audience and her fellow castmates and crew. Without a doubt, Emma is the wisest and funniest actress in the business.
FIRST ENCOUNTER: I first saw Emma Thompson in Much Ado About Nothing which she starred in with her then husband, Kenneth Branagh — although at the time, I didn’t know anything about either of them or that they were married. When her character, Beatrice, is introduced there’s a close-up of Emma looking tan and beautiful in a white summer dress. Of course, Beatrice is wise, confident and funny, so it was the perfect role for Emma.
MY FAVE CLASSICS MOVIE/SCENE: Of course, my favourite Emma Thompson movie is Sense and Sensibility which she not only starred in as Elinor, but won awards for acting and screenwriting. Emma was criticized for being too old for the role since the character is only nineteen in the book, but I thought she was wonderful. Emma brought all of Elinor’s idiosyncracies to life on screen and made it so clear how painful it was for the eldest Dashwood sister to hide secrets and keep her feelings to herself. Of course, this all culminates with my favourite scene in the movie where Elinor breaks down.
CLASSIC BOOK FILMOGRAPHY
The following list of classic book adaptations is just a tiny fragment of Emma’s body of work.
1989 – Henry V
1992 – Howards End
1993 – Much Ado About Nothing
1993 – The Remains of the Day
1995 – Sense and Sensibility
2008 – Brideshead Revisited
GREAT QUOTE: I think books are like people, in the sense that they’ll turn up in your life when you most need them. After my father died, the book that sort of saved my life was Gabriel García Márquez’s novel One Hundred Years of Solitude. Because of that experience, I firmly believe there are books whose greatness actually enables you to live, to do something. (Source: O Magazine)
Who are your favourite Celebrities in Classics?