Profile: Emma Thompson
15 April 1959, London.
Her mum Phyllida Law is a respected Scottish actress who has appeared alongside her wee lassie in The Winter Guest and Peter’s Friends while her dad Eric only went and created The Magic Roundabout. Her sister Sophie appeared in EastEnders as the seriously disturbed lover of Phil Mitchell who eventually kills herself on their wedding day.
Although Thompson has become synonymous with costume dramas such as Howard’s End (for which she won the Best Actress Oscar) and Sense and Sensibility (for which she won the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar), her early career in comedy helped carve her future. As part of a pretty impressive Cambridge Footlights line-up including Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, she won the first ever Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1981 and went on to appear in The Young Ones, Tutti Frutti and The Tall Guy.
What’s she up to now?
The sequel to Nanny McPhee is here with another family needing the desperate help of the bewarted and big-toothed government-sponsored Mary Poppins figure.
On the Nurse
Matilda books which resulted in Nanny McPhee ‘I think I liked them because they’re not patronising. They’re very well written and kind of grown-up in their funniness, but still extremely appealing to children. They reminded me a little bit of my dad’s work on The Magic Roundabout which was appealing to children even though they didn’t know what the word mollusc meant or what Dougal meant when he was rushing around trees going, “I’m going to take this up with the government!” It’s that slightly grown-up but very mad writing that’s always appealed to me and it was, I suppose, an attempt to make something that was as enjoyable for an adult to watch as it is for a child.’
Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang is on general release from Fri 26 Mar.