Emma Thompson has to be one of the best-loved British faces on the screen. With a career that spans three decades, she got her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010. She dedicated this to her dad.
She won her first Oscar in 1993 for her performance in Howards End and the following year, she was nominated once again as Best Actress in a Leading Role for her part in The Remains of the Day.
With her sharp wit and high spirits, it is difficult to believe that in 1995, following her break-up from her first husband, Kenneth Branagh, she suffered from depression. She says that her role as the hired scriptwriter for an adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility kept her from going under. The script earned her an Oscar for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published, as well as a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Screenplay. She was nominated but failed to win a BAFTA for this script. However, she won a BAFTA for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for the film.
She has starred alongside some very big names, such as Anthony Hopkins, Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman and her repertoire includes period drama, as well as comedy and her acting is amazing in both. She wrote the script for and also took on the main role in the children’s films Nanny McPhee (2005) and Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang (2010). She was also the Divination teacher, Sybill Trelawney in three of the Harry Potter series instalments.
Her roles in Impromptu (1991) and Stranger Than Fiction (2006) are overshadowed by her performance in Love Actually (2003). She says of her stellar solo scene as heart-broken Karen that she’d had a lot of practice “crying in a bedroom, then having to go out and be cheerful” in real life.
2013 saw her play the part of P.L. Travers with Tom Hanks as Walt Disney in Saving Mr Banks. The film was well received and earned her multiple nominations for her performance. In November, just weeks before the film’s release, she accepted the honour of printing her hands and feet in the concrete at the Hollywood Chinese Theatre.
Emma’s latest project is Effie Gray which premièred in London on 5th October of this year. She not only wrote the script for this story, which is based on the true life of the art critic, John Ruskin and his marriage to Effie Gray, who is a teenager, but she also co-stars in it with her husband, Greg Wise.
When not on set, Emma is an environmental activist and earlier this year, joined a Greenpeace expedition to the Arctic Ocean.