Hugh Grant Was Annoyed by Emma Thompson’s ‘Sense and Sensibility’ Crying Scenes: He Was ‘So Cross’

"He said, 'You’re going to cry all the way through my speech?'" Thompson recalled Grant asking.
SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, 1995
"Sense and Sensibility"
©Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

Emma Thompson’s emotive acting style has ruffled a few feathers, actually.

The Oscar winner, who iconically wept to Joni Mitchell in “Love Actually,” revealed that her two-time co-star Hugh Grant was frustrated with her improvising tears during 1995’s “Sense and Sensibility.” Thompson won the Academy Award for the screenplay for the film.

Thompson played Elinor Dashwood, who is secretly in love with Grant’s character Edward Ferrars, who is engaged to someone else. After learning that Edward did not, in fact, get married, Elinor is overcome with emotion.

“She was not aware of what was inside her, and it suddenly emerges,” Thompson said in a New Yorker profile, previously writing in her diary, “I was trying to make it as involuntary as possible. A case of the diaphragm taking over.”

Yet Thompson’s scene partner Grant was upset that Thompson’s tears took away from his big monologue.

“Hugh Grant was so cross,” Thompson said. “He said, ‘You’re going to cry all the way through my speech?’ I said, ‘Hugh, I’ve got to. That’s the gag. It’s funny.’ And he says, ‘Yeah, but I’m speaking.’ I said, ‘I know.'”

Thompson previously told an entertainment reporter in 2018 that Grant was shocked by how “Love Actually” turned out.

“I remember him walking out behind me after we saw the premiere and saying, ‘I don’t know about you, but that’s the most psychotic thing I’ve ever appeared in,'” Thompson recalled Grant telling her. “We had no idea people would become so fond of it.”

Grant later said that same year that Thompson is a “genius” but “not remotely sane,” joking, “She’s nuttier and nuttier as the years go on.”

Since collaborating with Grant onscreen in two films, Thompson penned the screenplay for “Bridget Jones’ Baby,” the first franchise installment sans Grant’s character.

This year, Thompson appears in three films, with “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande,” “What’s Love Got to Do With It?,” and “Road Dahl’s Matilda the Musical.” The Academy Award winner is also writing a “Nanny McPhee” musical based on the “Nurse Matilda” novels. Thompson wrote the screenplay for the 2005 adaptation and its 2010 sequel, “Nanny McPhee Returns.”

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