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.”

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Mindy Kaling based her Late Night character on her early days on The Office

Mindy Kaling based her Late Night character on her own early days as a writer on The Office.The actress starred in and co-wrote many of the episodes of the U.S. comedy series, which was based on Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s hit U.K. show of the…

Mindy Kaling based her Late Night character on her own early days as a writer on The Office.

The actress starred in and co-wrote many of the episodes of the U.S. comedy series, which was based on Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s hit U.K. show of the same name.

Kaling first worked as a staff writer on the NBC show back in 2004, and she revealed that budding writer Molly Patel, who she plays in her recent comedy Late Night, was based on her own experiences in the all-male writers’ room.

“The character is based a lot on the way that I was when I started The Office,” she told Constance Wu in a chat for Variety’s Actors on Actors series. “I was the only person of colour and the only woman in a staff of seven. That was 2004.

“Now, that would be absolutely insane. But when I was a writer there, if I had a bad day or said something lame or unfunny, I was like, ‘Oh, this is what they think Indian women are like.'”

When asked by the Crazy Rich Asians star if the working atmosphere on The Office changed, Kaling noted that it significantly improved.

“It did. Every year, there were small changes. Now, there’s so much more financial incentive to hire people of colour. There’s way more scrutiny, in a good way, on our staffs,” she explained.

Elsewhere in the discussion, the 40-year-old confessed that she struggled to pitch Late Night to directors and studios, because it focused on the ambition of two women.

“Stories about women and ambition are tricky because ambition is such a stereotypically masculine trait. It’s not considered attractive,” Kaling shared. “This movie is about two women who are incredibly ambitious about their career. I wanted to find someone who had loving feelings toward ambition in women and thought of it as a beautiful thing.”

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Mindy Kaling champions body positivity with bikini snaps

Mindy Kaling has championed body positivity by sharing an empowering post on social media showing her sporting bikinis.The Late Night actress/writer, who recently turned 40, uploaded a series of photos of herself wearing various swimsuits to Instagram …

Mindy Kaling has championed body positivity by sharing an empowering post on social media showing her sporting bikinis.

The Late Night actress/writer, who recently turned 40, uploaded a series of photos of herself wearing various swimsuits to Instagram over the weekend, and urged her 4.3 million followers to wear whatever they wanted to wear this summer.

“IDK (I don’t know) who needs to hear this but… WEAR A BIKINI IF YOU WANT TO WEAR A BIKINI. You don’t have to be a size 0. Swipe for my storytime and have a great summer (heart emoji),” she captioned the post, before encouraging fans to tag her in their own bikini snaps. “If you want to buy ANY high waisted bikini and wear it, tag a pic so I can comment!”

Mindy, who welcomed her daughter Katherine in December 2017, also shared a video in which she explained it was a trip to visit her best friend in Hawaii that inspired her to post the swimwear photos.

“What I was struck about Hawaii is that everybody wears bikinis,” the star stated. “It does not matter what your body type is. You rock a bikini. ‘Cause you’re in Hawaii!

“There’s so much body positivity there that I, who was always really shy about my body, would wear bikinis. And it’s summertime, so I thought it’d be fun to do a little fashion shoot where I rock some high-bottomed bikinis!”

Mindy recently celebrated her milestone birthday by donating $40,000 (£32,000) to charities across the U.S., after asking her followers to recommend worthy causes.

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Late Night director Nisha Ganatra wants to be ‘female Paul Feig’

Late Night director Nisha Ganatra wants to be the female version of filmmaker Paul Feig.The new comedy-drama follows late-night talk show host Katherine Newbury (Emma Thompson) as she is forced to team up with one of her new writers, Molly Patel (Mindy…

Late Night director Nisha Ganatra wants to be the female version of filmmaker Paul Feig.

The new comedy-drama follows late-night talk show host Katherine Newbury (Emma Thompson) as she is forced to team up with one of her new writers, Molly Patel (Mindy Kaling), in an attempt to save the long-running programme.

Late Night was originally set to be helmed by Bridesmaids director Paul Feig, but he had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts, with Ganatra more than happy to follow in the footsteps of one of her Hollywood inspirations.

“I love Paul Feig’s movies, and I’ve always wanted to be the female Paul Feig,” she said in an interview for Collider.com. “When I was reading the script, I was like, ‘Oh, my God, this is my story!’ When do you ever get to read something that you didn’t write, that is so close to your experience and to your story?”

In addition to starring in the feature, Kaling also wrote the screenplay. Accordingly, Ganatra was thrilled to be working alongside someone who had similar experiences.

“I think the two of us realised that we were in a unique position, where the two Indian-American women working in comedy could collaborate together. It’s sadly radical, but the cool thing about it was that I didn’t have to explain anything to her, and she didn’t have to explain anything to me,” the 44-year-old stated.

Elsewhere in the chat, Ganatra praised Thompson’s “collaborative spirit” and deemed it a dream come true to work with the Oscar-winning actress. But she also divulged that a few funny moments in the film were edited out, and she wishes fans could see the deleted scenes.

“I’m bummed that I had to take out all of the very funny jokes that didn’t make it in,” she smiled. “And there were so many improvs from Emma and Mindy, and so many from the cast, that we couldn’t include all of them. I wish there were DVDs, so that we could do DVD extras again.”

Late Night, also featuring Hugh Dancy and John Lithgow, is now showing in cinemas.

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Nancy Meyers insists obsession with her movie kitchens is sexist

Nancy Meyers has called out the sexist comments aimed at her movie kitchen sets.The filmmaker and screenwriter has built up a reputation for including luxurious kitchens in her movies, with large countertops, double sinks and hanging pots and pans all …

Nancy Meyers has called out the sexist comments aimed at her movie kitchen sets.

The filmmaker and screenwriter has built up a reputation for including luxurious kitchens in her movies, with large countertops, double sinks and hanging pots and pans all featuring in the mise-en-scene of 1998’s The Parent Trap, 2003’s Something’s Gotta Give, and 2009’s It’s Complicated.

However, in a recent interview with Mindy Kaling at the 2019 Produced By Conference in Los Angeles, Meyers noted how she finds the conversation about her backdrops to be a “cheap shot”.

“I don’t love when a critic or journalist will pick up on that aspect, because they are missing the boat and they are missing why (the movie) works,” she stated, according to editors at The Hollywood Reporter, before going on to insist that critics are less likely to make comments about kitchens in films made by male directors. “It is a cheap shot… It’s never done to male directors who make gorgeous-looking movies, where the leads live in a great house. It’s never brought up. With me, it’s an easy thing to go after, but I am not going to change it.”

In the wide-ranging chat, Meyers and Late Night writer-actress Kaling also discussed what is like to write for big stars, the development of modern comedy and studio marketing.

And while The Holiday director still keeps tabs on what is happening in the industry, she confirmed she has no projects in the pipeline.

“I am taking a break,” the 69-year-old said. “The business has changed in a way that is somewhat unrecognisable to me. I am not sure how much I want to do it.”

Meyers’ last major film, The Intern – starring Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro – was released in 2015. Meanwhile, Kaling’s Late Night, featuring Emma Thompson, is now showing in cinemas.

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Mindy Kaling wrote Late Night character for Emma Thompson

Mindy Kaling wrote the lead role in Late Night for Emma Thompson and had no back-up plan if she’d turned the part down. While penning the script for her new comedy, the Ocean’s 8 star only had the British actress in mind for the role of veteran late-n…

Mindy Kaling wrote the lead role in Late Night for Emma Thompson and had no back-up plan if she’d turned the part down.

While penning the script for her new comedy, the Ocean’s 8 star only had the British actress in mind for the role of veteran late-night talk show host Katherine Newbury, who is struggling to stay relevant and compete against fresher programmes in the ratings.

During an appearance on Monday’s episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Mindy revealed that she was so focused on giving her idol Emma a comedy role that she had no plan B had the Oscar winner turned her down.

“She’s done so much drama and not that much comedy, but she’s really funny and came from comedy,” Mindy told Ellen. “It was a stupid thing to do. I’m in L.A. creepily writing this movie about a woman I was a fan of. She’s hilarious and never gets to do funny parts. She just turned 60, and I was excited to see her in this kind of role.”

In addition to writing her first feature film, the 39-year-old produces and stars in the flick, playing Molly Patel, who is employed to add diversity to Katherine’s writing team, which consists of only white males.

As part of her commitment to diversity in her projects, Mindy hired Nisha Ganatra, who is also of Indian descent, as director, and the filmmaker was full of praise for The Mindy Project creator during a recent chat with Variety.

“She just put her money where her mouth is,” she said. “A lot of people talked about inclusion and hiring women directors and hiring directors of colour, (but) very few are actually doing it. And Mindy did it on her first movie out. She could have gone with that really experienced white dude, but she didn’t, and that says a lot.”

Nisha’s previous directing projects include Chutney Popcorn and Cosmopolitan as well as episodes of TV shows Transparent and Shameless.

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Emma Thompson was blown away by Mindy Kaling’s Late Night script

Emma Thompson was in awe of Mindy Kaling’s sharp wit after reading the Late Night script.In the upcoming film, the British actress plays a legendary talk show host, who hires her first female writer, played by Kaling, in a bid to save her long-running …

Emma Thompson was in awe of Mindy Kaling’s sharp wit after reading the Late Night script.

In the upcoming film, the British actress plays a legendary talk show host, who hires her first female writer, played by Kaling, in a bid to save her long-running series.

The Office actress wrote the screenplay with Thompson in mind for the lead character, and although the 60-year-old was flattered, she was a little hesitant to agree to the film straight away because she wasn’t sure what to expect.

“I’d never met her (Kaling) before, but I admired her from afar, and then she met with me, we had a drink together, and she said, ‘I’ve written something for you.’ I was very surprised – you’re always surprised when young people find you relevant – and I said, ‘How lovely!’ But I didn’t know what to expect,” she said during an appearance on U.S breakfast show Today. “You never know, because sometimes when people have an idea about you or they project something onto you, it’s often not quite right.

“She wrote one of the best scripts I’d read in years and it was such fun to make… Mindy, I think, is absolutely remarkable.”

Thompson also dabbled in writing, penning the scripts for her films Nanny McPhee, Bridget Jones’s Baby and Sense and Sensibility, the last of which bagged her an Oscar.

Late Night, directed by Nisha Ganatra, also stars Hugh Dancy, John Lithgow, Reid Scott, and Amy Ryan.

It hits cinemas from 7 June.

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Mindy Kaling helped style Late Night co-star Emma Thompson

Mindy Kaling offered up her fashion expertise to the wardrobe department who styled her Late Night co-star Emma Thompson. While working on the upcoming film, in which the former star of The Mindy Project portrays a budding late night TV writer, the ac…

Mindy Kaling offered up her fashion expertise to the wardrobe department who styled her Late Night co-star Emma Thompson.

While working on the upcoming film, in which the former star of The Mindy Project portrays a budding late night TV writer, the actress teamed up with costume designer Mitchell Travers to help him and his team perfect Thompson’s “masculine-sexy” fashion moments.

“To dress a female late-night talk show host on a major network was actually an incredibly interesting costume design challenge, because you don’t really have too many points of reference,” Paling tells The Hollywood Reporter. “For a major network show, there hasn’t been a female late-night talk show host.”

Kaling admits she was inspired by U.S. cable TV personalities like Busy Philipps’ and Samantha Bee, adding she didn’t want Thompson’s character to dress like the guys.

“We didn’t want it to be that she just wore a dark-coloured suit, like all the guys. Emma’s tall and loves wearing pants and she can pull off wearing masculine-sexy really well. So, the costumes on that are great, but it wasn’t my character wearing them. It was different styling someone else’s character, but very fun to help out with.”

When it comes to her own wardrobe choices, the 39 year old is a fan of DSW, a brand for which she’s as a spokeswoman. The partnership reminds her of forming a bond with her mother over fashion.

“I have shopped there since I was a kid. My mom and I, we weren’t outdoorsy or did spin together, whatever people in New York or L.A. do. We would just go shopping together,” she shares. “That was how we bonded, so I would get back-to-school shoes there. I got prom shoes there. I got everything therer.”

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