Emma Thompson has no desire to play ‘beautiful’ characters onscreen

Emma Thompson has never wanted to portray “beautiful” characters in movies.The two-time Oscar winner discussed how the film industry has “oppressed” her lengthy career during a recent interview on The Pleasure Podcast, and revealed that she has spent y…

Emma Thompson has never wanted to portray “beautiful” characters in movies.

The two-time Oscar winner discussed how the film industry has “oppressed” her lengthy career during a recent interview on The Pleasure Podcast, and revealed that she has spent years purposefully avoiding playing certain characters if their appearance was described in the script.

“I’ve never been a Gwyneth Paltrow type. I didn’t ever fit the norms that are generally required to be a sexually castable person, if we are talking Hollywood, or even here,” the 60-year-old explained, noting that while she’s always been a “character actor”.

“If I was handed a script where it described the character I was going up for as ‘beautiful’, I wouldn’t go up for the role. I would just go, ‘That is not for me.’ So, I was relieved by it but I was oppressed by it. Of course.”

Now that she’s in her sixties, the Late Night star also admitted that she’s unfazed by the types of roles she gets offered, but can empathise with other Hollywood actresses her age.

“As you get older, you are relieved of all of that but I haven’t had the same trajectory as someone like, say, Michelle Pfeiffer, which must be very hard when you are considered a great screen beauty and then to see that drifting away,” Emma shared. “I don’t notice it really because I have done other things. And because I have a political response to it – which is a kind of energy in itself.”

© Cover Media

Awkwafina makes history with Golden Globes win

Awkwafina made history when she won the Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy prize at the 2020 Golden Globes on Sunday night. The Crazy Rich Asians actress, real name Nora Lum, beat Knives Out’s Ana de Armas, Booksmart’s Beanie Feldstein, Late Night’s …

Awkwafina made history when she won the Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy prize at the 2020 Golden Globes on Sunday night.

The Crazy Rich Asians actress, real name Nora Lum, beat Knives Out’s Ana de Armas, Booksmart’s Beanie Feldstein, Late Night’s Emma Thompson, and Cate Blanchett for Where’d You Go, Bernadette to win the Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical prize for her role in The Farewell.

With her win, the 31-year-old became the first person of Asian descent to win that category and win a lead actress Golden Globe for a film.

No Asian woman had ever been nominated in the category until last year, when her Crazy Rich Asians co-star Constance Wu landed on the shortlist and was subsequently beaten by Olivia Colman for The Favourite. At the 2019 awards ceremony, Sandra Oh became the first Asian to win Best Actress in a TV show for Killing Eve.

First-time nominee Awkwafina, whose father is Chinese-American and late mother was South Korean, acknowledged her historic win backstage by saying, “I just heard that fact and it was pretty mind-blowing. There’s also this other feeling that you want there to be more, and I hope this is just the beginning.”

In her acceptance speech, Awkwafina joked to the star-studded audience at The Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles, “This is great. If I ever fall on hard times, I’m gonna sell this, so that’s great.

“I’ve never been to the Golden Globes, so I’m here now and it’s this and it’s great. Most importantly, to Lulu Wang, our incredible director. You gave me this chance, this chance of a lifetime and taught me so much.”

She dedicated the award to her father, praised her paternal grandmother, whom she described as her “best friend”, and thanked her late mum, commenting that she “always hoped was watching from somewhere above and I hope she’s watching now.”

© Cover Media

Hugh Grant despised filming dance scene for Love Actually

Hugh Grant was highly anxious about filming his famous dance scene for Love Actually.The actor played a fictional U.K. prime minister named David in Richard Curtis’s star-studded romantic comedy back in 2003, with the flick going on to become one of th…

Hugh Grant was highly anxious about filming his famous dance scene for Love Actually.

The actor played a fictional U.K. prime minister named David in Richard Curtis’s star-studded romantic comedy back in 2003, with the flick going on to become one of the most popular festive films.

In one scene, David is seen celebrating a hard-won political victory against the U.S. president, as portrayed by Billy Bob Thornton, by dancing along to the disco classic Jump (For My Love) by The Pointer Sisters.

However, Hugh has now revealed that he was extremely uncomfortable shooting the dancing segment as he was uncertain how it would work.

“I thought, ‘That’s going to be excruciating, and it has the power to be the most excruciating scene ever committed to celluloid,'” the 59-year-old recalled in a new BBC documentary titled Hugh Grant: A Life on Screen.

His co-star Colin Firth, who played lovestruck Jamie in the movie, also confirmed that the actor was not looking forward to dancing in front of the cameras for the infamous routine in 10 Downing Street.

Yet, director Richard insisted Hugh rehearsed the scene ahead of time.

Love Actually also starred Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Bill Nighy, Laura Linney, and Keira Knightley.

Hugh Grant: A Life on Screen is now airing on the BBC.

© Cover Media

Emilia Clarke hasn’t read ‘unhelpful’ Last Christmas reviews

Emilia Clarke is refusing to read the reviews for her new festive flick Last Christmas as she believes the commentary is “not helpful”.Directed by Paul Feig from a script penned by Bryony Kimmings, Emma Thompson, and her husband Greg Wise, the film sta…

Emilia Clarke is refusing to read the reviews for her new festive flick Last Christmas as she believes the commentary is “not helpful”.

Directed by Paul Feig from a script penned by Bryony Kimmings, Emma Thompson, and her husband Greg Wise, the film stars Clarke as Kate, a cynical Christmas store worker who keeps running into a cheerful young man named Tom (Henry Golding) and begins to fall for him.

Last Christmas has received a mixed response from critics, yet, the British actress has now claimed that she has not read a single comment about the movie.

“I don’t look at them at all. It’s partly drama school training, and then you do a bit of theatre, and it’s just not helpful,” she told BBC News. “The way I see it, right, is that I stopped Googling myself within a year of Game of Thrones happening. Because I was like, ‘I don’t need to know what people think about the size of my bottom, thank you so much.

“And then when you stop Googling yourself, you then stop reading reviews.”

Among the critics who have panned Last Christmas is writer Dan Wootton from Britain’s The Sun newspaper, who deemed the feature “the worst festive film I have ever seen”.

“It’s a woke, remoaning, overly politically correct mess of a movie that manages to suck every inch of fun, joy, and togetherness out of the season where we should be jolly,” he added.

Wooton’s description refers to the movie’s references to Britain’s exit from the European Union, known as Brexit, along with the fact the movie’s central characters are immigrants.

At one point, Thompson’s character, a Yugoslav woman named Petra, states that the EU referendum result makes her feel unwelcome, while another scene shows Clarke’s Kate comforting passengers on a London bus after they had been verbally abused for not speaking English.

Yet, Thompson has insisted the references to Britain’s current political landscape are “very lightly brushed in” and are essential to understanding the overall narrative.

“Because it’s set in a very particular time as well, it’s set in 2016, we couldn’t avoid it,” the 60-year-old explained. “Having it not there would’ve been slightly psychotic. And I think what’s more important about what’s under the fun of the movie is a message about kindness.”

Last Christmas, which showcases the music of George Michael and Wham!, opens in the U.K. on Friday.

© Cover Media

Emilia Clarke annoyed by Last Christmas spoilers

Emilia Clarke was left frustrated when social media users guessed the twist in her new movie Last Christmas months before its release.In the new festive film, the Game of Thrones actress plays Kate, a young woman who finally realises she needs to buck …

Emilia Clarke was left frustrated when social media users guessed the twist in her new movie Last Christmas months before its release.

In the new festive film, the Game of Thrones actress plays Kate, a young woman who finally realises she needs to buck up her ideas and look after herself after meeting a stranger named Tom, played by Henry Golding.

After a trailer for the film was released in August, social media users and journalists came up with theories about a possible twist and some guessed correctly. Accordingly, the movie’s lead actress was not pleased that it was spoiled in advance.

“It’s b**ody annoying. Frustrating… It’s more complicated than people are guessing,” she told IndieWire, adding that Emma Thompson and her husband Greg Wise worked on the script for years to make sure viewers didn’t see the twist coming.

“Emma and Greg wrote this script together, but they sent the script to all of their friends and it was only ready when their friends didn’t see the twist coming and couldn’t guess until it happens, so that’s where it comes from… It’s just frustrating.”

The 33-year-old shared that, given the state of the world, she’s not surprised about people trying to spoil twists to films and petition for the final season of Game of Thrones, which was not well received, to be reshot.

“I’m careful with what the way that I’m wording this, but it’s no surprise, it’s common knowledge that the state of our world at the moment is scared and confused and there’s a lot of stuff going on that’s completely out of our control,” the star stated. “So, when it comes to signing petitions to reshoot the last season of a very popular TV show, or whether it’s spoiling a goddamn Christmas romcom, people are able to do something about that.”

Last Christmas, directed by Paul Feig, is in cinemas now.

© Cover Media

Last Christmas took Emma Thompson eight years to make

Emma Thompson has been working on Last Christmas for eight years.The two-time Oscar winner was first approached to develop the story, based on the 1986 holiday hit George Michael recorded as a member of Wham!, back in 2011, but she initially struggled …

Emma Thompson has been working on Last Christmas for eight years.

The two-time Oscar winner was first approached to develop the story, based on the 1986 holiday hit George Michael recorded as a member of Wham!, back in 2011, but she initially struggled to turn the simple premise into a full feature.

She ended up recruiting her husband, Greg Wise, to help with the task, but it took a few more years before the project was picked up for production.

“We started writing this movie, me and my old man…, eight years ago, just on a walk… and we were talking about the story because it was supposed to be based on Last Christmas (the song)…,” Emma recalled on U.S. morning show Live with Kelly and Ryan.

“But if you think about the lyrics to that song, it’s not a lot of story… and I thought, ‘I don’t know how much interest I’m going to pull out of that.’ So then I had this idea about it, which I mentioned to my old man, and then we built it, but it took so long to get it made, because it always does.”

Emma is saddened the romantic comedy wasn’t completed before the 2016 death of pop icon George, who had given his blessing to the premise, but she’s glad they didn’t rush the film because they would never have landed Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke and Crazy Rich Asians hunk Henry Golding as the leads.

“In the meantime, I met George, and he was the most amazingly wonderful person,” she continued. “Then of course, sadly, in 2016, he died, so we lost him, but we would not have had Emilia, who, as it turns out, can really sing… and is brilliant, and Henry Golding, who we didn’t know could ice skate – he’s a great ice skater! We needed all of those things (for the movie).”

Emma also stars in Last Christmas, which is directed by Paul Feig.

© Cover Media

Emma Thompson wrote Last Christmas screenplay with George Michael’s blessing

Emma Thompson penned the Last Christmas screenplay after receiving George Michael’s blessing.The actress, who has a supporting role in Paul Feig’s upcoming romantic comedy, was tasked with developing a story based on the 1986 holiday hit George recorde…

Emma Thompson penned the Last Christmas screenplay after receiving George Michael’s blessing.

The actress, who has a supporting role in Paul Feig’s upcoming romantic comedy, was tasked with developing a story based on the 1986 holiday hit George recorded when he was a member of pop duo Wham!

However, she revealed during an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon that she was originally reluctant to take on the project as Last Christmas wasn’t her favourite festive song, but later began writing the story with her husband Greg Wise, and eventually sent it to George to get his approval.

“He was just the loveliest guy you could imagine,” Emma told host Jimmy Fallon. “(He loved) all of these themes in the movie, he was passionate about homelessness, and he had this great social conscience.”

Sadly, George passed away at the age of 53 on Christmas Day in 2016.

“I got really enthused and we started to write, and then of course he had that tragic early death…” the two-time Oscar winner explained. “So we lost him and I miss him so much.

“I wish he was here because I know he’d love it, because the film’s like being hugged, and all of his music – we’ve got 15 of his songs, including a new one at the end – is so cool. Heal the Pain, which is my favourite of his songs, it’s like it was written for the movie.”

Last Christmas, which stars Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding, will hit cinemas on 15 November.

© Cover Media

Ellen Burstyn and Emma Thompson to star in Peter Pan tale The Lost Girls

Ellen Burstyn and Emma Thompson are to lead the upcoming female-driven take on J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan tale.Coming-of-age fantasy-drama The Lost Girls will chronicle four generations of Darling women in the aftermath of their adventures with the boy wh…

Ellen Burstyn and Emma Thompson are to lead the upcoming female-driven take on J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan tale.

Coming-of-age fantasy-drama The Lost Girls will chronicle four generations of Darling women in the aftermath of their adventures with the boy who never grew up.

Livia De Paolis is adapting the story from Laurie Fox’s 2001 novel and directing the film. She’s also starring as Wendy, who struggles to find her creativity as she tries to escape Peter’s hold on her.

Thompson’s daughter, Gaia Wise, will play Wendy’s daughter Berry in the movie. At one point, Berry is wooed by Peter and Wendy must fight to save her family and her legacy.

Thompson will portray Berry’s grandmother in a cameo role, while Hollywood legend Burstyn is to take on the part of the family matriarch.

“I have been fascinated with the hidden meanings of fairy tales since childhood, so when I read Laurie Fox’s novel The Lost Girls I was immediately on board with the way she reinvents J.M. Barrie’s timeless fairy tale for a contemporary audience,” De Paolis told Deadline.

The Lost Girls will mark Wise’s biggest movie role to date, after appearing in 2008’s Last Chance Harvey and A Walk in the Woods in 2015.

Chris Curling and Meta Valentic will serve as producers, while Peter Touche – who helped develop the project – is executive producing alongside Kirk D’Amico.

D’Amico also teased plans to add more big names to the cast.

“We are delighted to be working with the producers and with writer/director Livia de Paolis who has a vision for this retelling of the Peter Pan story in the #MeToo era. The strong material has attracted an equally strong cast including Emma Thompson and Gaia Wise and others to be added soon,” he said in a statement.

© Cover Media

Fans share excitement over first Last Christmas trailer

Film fans have taken to social media to share their excitement over the first official trailer for Last Christmas. Directed by Paul Feig from a script co-written by Bryony Kimmings and Emma Thompson, the upcoming romantic comedy is loosely inspire…

Film fans have taken to social media to share their excitement over the first official trailer for Last Christmas. 

Directed by Paul Feig from a script co-written by Bryony Kimmings and Emma Thompson, the upcoming romantic comedy is loosely inspired by the music of George Michael, especially his 1984 Wham! hit Last Christmas, and stars Emilia Clarke as Kate and Henry Golding in the role of Tom.  

Producers at Universal Pictures posted the three-minute trailer for Last Christmas online on Tuesday, with the YouTube clip already racking up more than 100,000 views and garnering a largely positive reaction on social media.  

“The Last Christmas movie is a big chunk of fan service ALL FOR ME. It combines all of my favourite things, Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, Christmas and GEORGE MICHAEL. It’s just perfect. I’m so excited although I feel like it’ll break my heart,” one user wrote on Twitter, while another commented, “Last Christmas is about to become a classic holiday movie. I’m already excited to watch this every year.” 

And a third added: “I love everything about this already. George Michael’s tunes, Emilia Clark (sic), Henry Golding, the cheesy Christmas romance of it all. Just take my money now, please and thank you!”  

However, one fan was pleased to see that the narrative of the film was different from what they had anticipated.  

“I was worried for a second there that this would be a movie where she’s the only person who remembers George Michael,” they wrote, poking fun at Danny Boyle’s The Beatles-inspired movie Yesterday.

Last Christmas, also starring Thompson and Michelle Yeoh, is set to hit cinemas in November. It will also premiere previously unreleased material by Grammy Award-winning artist Michael, who died at the age of 53 on Christmas Day in 2016.  

© Cover Media

Paul Feig: ‘Last Christmas is my love letter to London’

Paul Feig’s upcoming romantic comedy Last Christmas is his “love letter” to London.The movie, starring Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding and co-written by Oscar winner Emma Thompson, is inspired by Wham!’s festive hit of the same name. Feig put himself…

Paul Feig’s upcoming romantic comedy Last Christmas is his “love letter” to London.

The movie, starring Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding and co-written by Oscar winner Emma Thompson, is inspired by Wham!’s festive hit of the same name.

Feig put himself under pressure to shoot the film in London at Christmas, and packed the movie with some of the city’s famous sights in just three weeks.

“I was hell-bent on (shooting) in London before Christmas so we could use all the lights and the decorations that were naturally here,” the 56-year-old told Entertainment Weekly. “I finally get to make the love letter to London I’ve always wanted to make.”

The cast also spent a week shooting in Covent Garden, which is the location of fictional Christmas shop Yuletide Wonderful, where Clarke’s character Kate works.

“It’s an over-the-top place with more Christmas than you would ever see in one building, but it’s absolutely lovely and classy,” he explained. “But it’s overload, especially if you’re like Emilia’s character in the movie and not entirely in the Christmas spirit.”

Love Actually actress Thompson began writing the romantic comedy with playwright Bryony Kimmings several years ago, when Wham! frontman George Michael was still alive.

Feig revealed that the movie had the music icon’s blessing, and even features new music from the late singer, who died on Christmas Day in 2016.

“The great sadness is that he’s not here to be a part of this,” he said. “But he knew it was going to happen, and that gives me such joy. We feel like he’s here with us.”

Last Christmas is released on 8 November.

© Cover Media