Celebrities in Classics – Emma Thompson

CelebClassicsButtonWHO 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.


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 QUOTEI 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?


9 comments on “Celebrities in Classics – Emma Thompson

  1. Charlene
    August 23, 2013

    Ooh I love this feature! There are so many period dramas I love, and the actors are one of the reasons I love them so much. I hope to participate in this! Do you plan to do this as a weekly feature?

    Emma Thompson is so great – and I didn’t realize how many period dramas she’s done – I need to watch more. Much Ado About Nothing is probably my favorite of hers though!


    • ebookclassics
      August 23, 2013

      I would love to have your participate! I wasn’t sure how much interested there would be, so I thought I would make it an anytime thing.

      I really need to watch Much Ado again because it’s so funny and with so many talented actors. Although, if I remember right Keanu Reeves was wooden as ever.


  2. lauratfrey
    August 23, 2013

    Do you have the peter rabbit book? It’s great, and comes with a recording of her reading it. My kids love it!


    • ebookclassics
      August 23, 2013

      I honestly didn’t even know about it until I was doing research. I’m going to look for it, although not sure how my oldest will react since he can’t stand in the cartoon when Peter gets chased by the fox.


  3. DoingDewey
    August 28, 2013

    I loved her in this and I adore her version of Much Ado About Nothing, but I hadn’t actually realized they were the same actress until I read your post! Obviously, I don’t pay much attention to actors. I’ll be looking for more of her movies now though, since the two I’ve seen are such great ones 🙂


    • ebookclassics
      August 29, 2013

      Emma is such a versatile actress and I’ve loved her in both comedies and dramas. Some of my favourite non-period drama movies are Love Actually, Carrington and Stranger Than Fiction. She’s also great in Harry Potter and Nanny McPhee.


  4. Naomi
    December 10, 2015

    I don’t know when you did this one, but I was just searching to see if you’d covered Emma Thompson (because I was thinking of Sense and Sensibility), and here she is. I LOVE this version of S and S! And that is my favourite scene. I have watched the movie several times just to get to that scene (because it’s not as good if you don’t watch the whole movie first). 🙂


    • ebookclassics
      December 10, 2015

      Emma Thompson is one of my favourite actresses and I could watch her version of S&S over and over, and never get sick of it. Thinking of women to profile for Celebrities in Classics is tough and really highlights for me how there haven’t necessarily been a lot of great roles for women in movies. Hopefully that changes.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Naomi
        December 11, 2015

        I also tried Kate Winslet, but you have covered as well. 🙂


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This entry was posted on August 22, 2013 by in Headlines and tagged .

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