British actress Emma Thompson, who plays a widow and former teacher Nancy in the highly acclaimed film ‘Good Luck to You, Leo Grande’, which was recently screened at Berlinale, revealed that her role in the film propelled her to new paths as a actor where she learned to accept her body on screen.
During the Berlin press, she was asked about a key scene in which her character in the film stands motionless in front of a mirror. According to Variety, the actress spoke passionately about the challenge of delivering an “untreated body” in a movie.
Emma Thompson told a room full of reporters: “It was hard. This is homework for all of you. We’re just used to seeing bodies that, you know, trained. I knew Nancy wasn’t going to go to the gym. She would have the normal body of a 62-year-old woman who has had two children.”
Emma Thompson continued: ‘I can’t stand in front of a mirror like that. When I stand in front of a mirror, I always draw something in [or do] something. I can’t just stand there. Why would I do that? It’s horrifying. But that’s the problem, isn’t it? Women have been brainwashed all our lives. That’s the fact. And everything around us reminds us how imperfect we are and how everything is wrong. Everything is wrong, and we have to look like this.”
Emma Thompson and her co-actor Daryl McCormack, who plays the titular role of Leo Grande, were later asked about the physicality of the film. In response, Thompson said “We did a lot of work on the body” with a few days of rehearsal that “saved us a lot”.
“We would lie on the floor and draw around our bodies and then (point out) the places you think you like or don’t like or things that have happened to your body. And then one day we have no clothes on all day because we had to get used to it,” she continued.
Thompson also spoke about how female pleasure is something that doesn’t get a lot of attention: “I don’t think female pleasure has ever topped the list of things the world wants to know for sure.”
She added: “In my country (the UK) it is not considered important that we have fun. Nancy doesn’t grow up or live in a world that says, ‘Did you actually have fun?’”
McCormack added: “Sophie has created such a beautiful foundation for us. On the sixth day of rehearsal, we finally got to the intimate scenes and were ready to jump over that threshold of vulnerability.”
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