Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Emma Thompson on playing Mrs Potts in Beauty and the Beast and ageism towards women in film

woman.jpg

Emma Thompson is known for divulging exactly what's on her mind. 

And what's been filling Thompson's thoughts as of late? Britain's response to the refugee crisis, ageism in Hollywood and preparations for her role as the iconic Mrs Potts in the upcoming Beauty and the Beast remake. 

In a recent interview with Vulture, the star speaks out on feeling anxious about living up to Angela Lansbury's original take on the lovable teapot, having already played Mrs Lovett, one of Lansbury’s most famous roles, in a recent concert adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

“Imagine walking once more into Angela’s shoes!” Thompson, 56, says. “I think I just had to make her as warm and round and scouting as possible.”

“I have spent a lot of time considering the emotional life of crockery,” she adds.

The actress is to star alongside Ewan McGregor (Lumiere), Ian McKellen (Cogsworth) and Emma Watson (Belle), to name a few, in the film scheduled to be out on 17 March 2017. 

Emma Thompson is to play the lovable Mrs Potts

Emma Thompson is to play the lovable Mrs Potts in Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Thompson went on to express her frustrations toward the extreme age gap between male actors and the actresses that play their female love interests on screen, which has been up to 15 years in some films.

“The age thing is insane,” says the actress. “It was ever thus. I remember saying years and years ago, when I was 35, that they’d have to exhume somebody to play my leading man...Nothing’s changed in that regard. If anything, it’s got worse.”

In her recent film A Walk in the Woods, Thompson is cast as the wife of the decades-older Robert Redford, 79. She says she jumped at the chance to “play opposite a legend,” but she wants to continue to challenge ageism in the entertainment industry. “I remember somebody saying to me that I was too old for Hugh Grant, who’s like a year younger than me, in Sense and Sensibility. I said, ‘Do you want to go take a flying leap?’”

Robert Redford and Emma Thompson in A Walk in the Woods

Robert Redford and Emma Thompson in A Walk in the Woods

The actress also spoke out against women who don't consider themselves a feminist. “I’ve been a card-carrying, radical feminist since I was 19...Any woman who says they’re not a feminist is basically saying that they don’t believe in equal rights for women.”

“Any woman who says, ‘I hate my bum, I hate my body,’ is essentially expressing a kind of misogyny. All women who come up with that need to think very carefully about what it is they’re saying. Including me!”

Amid headlines on the refugee crisis in Europe, Thompson made an appearance on Newsnight last week saying the UK must open their doors to more refugees. “The idea of 3,000 people in Calais who have been through unspeakable things makes me feel very ashamed,” she said. “We're not even missing our quotas. That’s really shaming. So I think it's got a lot to do with racism. If these people were white, European, that were coming from some dictatorship in Bosnia...I think we would feel quite differently about it.”

The actress also spoke passionately about climate change for which she has come under fire for making inaccurate statements regarding timescales, today. In the interview, Thompson said, “If they take out of the earth all the oil they want to take out, you look at the science – our temperature will rise 4 degrees Celsius by 2030, and that’s not sustainable”. Scientists have since said she was off by a few decades but that Earth's temperature is expected to rise. 
 

Related

rexfeatures_5012017c.jpg

Anne Hathaway says she is losing film roles to 24-year-olds

suffragette-trailer.jpg

Watch the powerful new UK trailer for Suffragette

alexa chung brooke shields.JPG

This week's A-list Instagram highlights

10420311_442135085960346_5936089798371020228_n.png

This woman helps domestic abuse victims by offering free tattoos

Capture.JPG

Fawcett Society urges government to tackle “pathetic” gender pay gap

robin williams and daughter zelda williams instagram baby picture-stylist.co.uk.jpg

Robin Williams’ daughter writes open letter on grief and depression

hipster-barbie.jpg

Barbie account mocks the picture perfect lifestyle snaps of Instagram

jennifer lawrence highest paid actress stylist.co.uk.jpg

Gender pay gap scandal: yet more bad news from Hollywood

hero.jpg

Emma Thompson's most hilarious red carpet moments

Comments

More

Pippa Middleton’s wedding: all the pictures

The gown, the guests, the royal bridal party

21 May 2017

Gal Gadot explains why the new Wonder Woman is a feminist film

"People have a misconception about what feminism is"

by Moya Crockett
19 May 2017

Robin Wright is still receiving less pay for House of Cards role

She believed she was awarded the same pay as Kevin Spacey in 2016

by Jasmine Andersson
18 May 2017

“How renting out my spare room changed my life”

Four women reveal the transformative experiences they had through Airbnb

by Amy Swales
18 May 2017

Jennifer Lawrence has the best response to leaked pole dancing video

“I'm not going to apologise, I had a BLAST"

by Sarah Biddlecombe
18 May 2017

Solange Knowles writes powerful open letter to her teenage self

The star has a few words to say on the power of the female

18 May 2017

So Geri Halliwell recreated the Wannabe music video all by herself

Viva forever, Ginger Spice

by Kayleigh Dray
18 May 2017

Ched Evans wants you to drink less to avoid being raped

Ask a Feminist despairs at the latest comments from footballer, Ched Evans.

by Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett
18 May 2017

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Cannes Film Festival antics to Victoria Beckham's glam squad

by Nicola Colyer
18 May 2017

Ched Evans seriously just warned women about the dangers of drinking

Because – wait for it – “there are genuine rapists out there”

by Moya Crockett
18 May 2017