Emma and Fionn Whitehead have said that they formed a special bond while filming the movie The Children Act.
The dynamic about and between Emma Thompson and Fionn Whitehead constitutes the film’s intensity. She plays an irreproachable but yet very human judge who sees her life intertwined with a very involving judicial case concerning a young Jeovah’s witness who refuses blood transfusion. He feels a strong attraction to her because she listens to him, she represents the outside world, made of questions, music and poetry. She introduces him to Yeats poems and he likes being young and foolish.
Whitehead shares his admiration for Thompson. “She’s a lovely human being and a safe pair of hands,” he tells “I felt so comfortable around her and we got along like a house on fire. Both the book and the film are at the most basic level about human connection. That was the easiest thing to do with Emma because she’s so giving and open.”
“Every scene we had felt like it had an incredibly high level of distress and emotion, plus a lot never felt like they had a definite ending. But it was made so much easier by having Emma around – she was so loving and kind. It was really great to be able to talk to her openly and chat and joke around and everything to defuse the tension at the end of the day”.
“Before we started, we did a few rehearsals and got a bit of time to hang out and chat. I went to her house and she made me breakfast one day with Richard Eyre. That was really amazing, just to be able to get to know each other before we stepped on set. I always think that the more you know someone, the better you’ll be able to act together. We talked about the script, talked about the role but we also told each other how we were and had some food together. I couldn’t have asked for more from her – on or off set.”
Before he began shooting his first important movie, Sense and Sensibility, Greg Wise received a psychic prediction from a friend that he’d meet his future wife on the film’s set.
“Whereas everyone else on the film set was married,” Wise revealed “I thought, It had to be Kate Winslet”. So he invited her to the Glastonbury music festival. But she was bored and he thought “it won’t work!”.
Emma and Branagh divorced and Kate Winslet helped make a love connection for the pair.
Emma and Greg Wise were married in 2003, they have a daughter, Gaia, and an adopted son, named Tindyebwa Agaba, coming from Rwanda.
Emma says that Greg can cook, wash up, clean, entertain children, understand maths homework, put up shelves, and get on with her mother.
Emma and Greg co-wrote the script of Last Christmas, a 2019 romantic comedy film.
In 2020 they have become honorary citizens of Venice.
During their “Merchant Ivory period”, Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins developed a fantastic chemistry on screen, they generated electricity on screen and their performances in both Howards End and The Remains of the Day are stunning!
They have been poignant and believable as a loving couple despite the age difference.
While Howards End was Emma’s movie (it earned her an Oscar), The Remains of the day belongs to Anthony Hopkins and he gives probably his best performance ever.
Emma affirmed that there is something similar about their characters in both films, “especially the fact that it’s based on tremendous attraction.”
In that period they were defined the new Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy.
Ivory said “Hopkins and Thompson jointly create such an absolutely magical world, onscreen and off, that I never try to twist out of shape what they do.”
They played together recently on King Lear and Emma told they were happy to meet and work together again after so many years, and she also said aging has its bright sides, “isn’t it wonderful being old? it doesn’t matter what we do, we don’t care what we do because we have no fear anymore, we are not frightened and if it fails it doesn’t matter!”.
Emma acted alongside Alan in a number of films and the pair became great friends over the course of their careers.
Since co-starring in Sense and Sensibility they worked together on The Winter Guest, Judas Kiss, Love Actually, Harry Potter and The Song Of Lunch.
Theirs was a wonderful example of an affectionate and respectful friendship.
Shortly after Alan’s death, Emma released a heartbreaking statement, saying goodbye to her longtime friend.
“Alan was my friend and so this is hard to write because I have just kissed him goodbye. What I remember most in this moment of painful leave-taking is his humor, intelligence, wisdom and kindness. His capacity to fell you with a look or lift you with a word. The intransigence which made him the great artist he was — his ineffable and cynical wit, the clarity with which he saw most things, including me, and the fact that he never spared me the view. I learned a lot from him. He was the finest of actors and directors. I couldn’t wait to see what he was going to do with his face next. I consider myself hugely privileged to have worked with him so many times and to have been directed by him. He was the ultimate ally. In life, art and politics. I trusted him absolutely. He was, above all things, a rare and unique human being and we shall not see his like again”.
When a journalist asked them if there was anything they hadn’t done together, Emma answered: “We’ve had no children, but pretty much everything else.”
They worked together on The children act, in which they played a married couple struggling with intimacies issues, and in Beauty and the beast.
Of her part in Beauty and the beast, Emma joked, “It was fun playing furniture and crockery.”
Stanley Tucci recently stated that he had a crush on Emma years ago. “He never told me back in the day, I might not have been married!” she exclaimed. “Something could have come of it! It’s no good telling people 25 years after the fact! That’s just a waste of opportunity!”
When Graham Norton asked Hugh Grant how he felt about the leading ladies he’s worked with, he said Emma Thompson is “clever, funny, and mad as a chair”.
Emma and Hugh worked together in Impromptu, The remains of the day, Sense and sensibility and Love actually.
Edward’s proposal scene is very romantic. When Elinor finds out that he is not married, she bursts into uncontrollable tears. This has become an iconic scene, but during the shooting Hugh Grant said: “Are you going to cry all the way through my speech? You absolutely can’t, you’ll ruin it!” and Emma answered: “I promise I won’t but let’s do it, that’s funny!”.