Emma in handcuffs during the shooting of the TV series “Years and Years” in which she plays the part of Vivienne Rook, an ambiguous and dividing political character.
A good performer passes without difficulties from one role to another and he/she perfectly inhabits the character.
Emma is incredibly talented, she completely inhabits the characters she plays from the inside. Emma is so versatile, she is a comedienne and also a great dramatic actress, she can make you laugh or cry.
She can completely hide her personality during the performance, and become that person and behave the same way that person would!
She makes us believe she is going through whatever her character is going through and she is able to change voice and gestures according to her character (for instance P.L. Travers in “Saving Mr Banks” or Petra in “Last Christmas”). Acting as Petra she was so busy with her role and immersed in the part that during the rehearsal she talked to director and to other actors speaking like a real Croatian immigrant!
She has also accepted bad roles, as Vivienne Rook, a divisive character with negative attitudes but with adoring crowd following her name. Emma has given birth to a fascinating figure, a complex antihero with a strong personality that arouses admiration in people thanks to her overflowing populism. She brought into her character the worst populism, with rhetorical speeches and themes, without making a mockery of her or turning her into a caricature.
Emma is extremely believable in the part despite her being completely different in real life.
Vivienne Rook dancing during the vote – Years and years
In Years and years, Emma stars as Vivienne Rook, an unsettling acclaimed British businesswoman turned into a far right politician who achieves success as the world is falling apart and a dystopic future is upon us.
The incredible rise of this charming and charismatic leader (despite the bad things she offers) and the screaming crowd that helps her get in power, should awaken our consciences and make us reflect on today’s political and social landscape.
Vivienne Rook looks similar to some populist politicians that we can recognise from real life.
Emma Thompson, playing this role, said she feels frightened for the fast rise of populism in the world and she is afraid for young people’s future.
Emma fights everyday for human rights and for minorities and we know she is also against Brexit, so seeing her play the role of a woman so different from her way of being is mesmerizing and chilling at the same time.
Emma reflects that, “If you give that kind of rhetoric air time, it proliferates because people find it a lot easier to hate and discriminate than they do to include and to feel compassion and empathy about people who aren’t directly related to them. It’s easy to scare people into feeling loathing, and we’ve seen it happen again and again. I try to make her as funny, self-deprecating and as charming as possible because we need to understand why people vote for her. But she turns into an absolute monster.”
This stunning performance as a negative character shows us once again how great an actress she is!