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.”