Richard Eyre is an English film, theatre, television and opera director.
He worked to the BBC. In 2017 he directed the drama film The children act based on the novel of the same name by Ian Mc Ewan.
He was awarded Knight Bachelor of the Order of the British Empire for his services to drama.
I think Richard Eyre is right when he says that no other actors in the world could play dramatic roles the way Emma does it.
Please, take a look at the scene which is the core of the whole movie “The children act”. Emma (Fiona Maye) is reached by the young man who has fallen in love with her and is stalking her. The boy almost makes a monologue and she listens to him, while the director squeezes on her face with a powerful close-up. No other actor do this so well. No one could convey so many different moods in a five minutes scene.
They both feel a swirl of emotions but he shows them with the ardor of a teenager, she tries to keep emotions at bay using rationality instead. Emma speaks with her eyes, all is written on her face: at first she feels concern and shows disappointment, then turmoil and embarrassment, finally tenderness and almost love mixed with sadness because she must send him off.
I really think she is a genius! She thrills the audience, that’s the greatness of an actor! She is always in touch with her soul and this makes her so distinctive and unique.
It’s fascinating to watch Emma when she is not speaking.
Everything that happens around her, affects her intensely and you can read it on her face, as if what she sees and what she hears struck her face, sometimes softly sometimes harshly.
“The way you have of listening, of thinking, I watched you thinking”
This is a quote from the film, which Adam (Fionn Whitehead) pronounces referring to Fiona (Emma Thompson) listening to him.
This clearly explains what it feels like in front of such a good performer!
When she gives life to a character, it’s not hers anymore but this character becomes like a real person with a life of its own that belongs to the audience, giving the viewer the chance to possess it and make it live and act each time the viewer wants, again and again.
I can enjoy Emma’s smile whenever I want, all I have to do is press a botton and start the movie and the game is done!
She plays for me, I can enjoy the depth of her gaze, the sweetness of her smile, the sound of her voice. I can do it hundreds of times by rewinding the scene. This is so great, it’s a miracle!
The main character in the movie “The children act” is a workaholic High Court judge, harsh but human, with a troubled marriage and a work going well. Why the film director chose Emma Thompson to play this role?
Richard Eyre, the famous English film director, talks about Emma Thompson:
“When Ian Mc Ewans and I were first talking about making a movie of his novel, we discussed who could play it and the difficult thing is that there is only one person in the world who can play this part and it’s a terrible position to be in, if you wanting to make a film and there is only one actor in the world who can do it and if that one actor says no, then there is no film.
And it’s true, it would have been folly to make this story without Emma because she is definitive and she really carries you emotionally and intellectually to play scenes that are really complicated and profound.
She has a warmth about her, she is immediately sympathetic, you feel she is somebody who you can love, you want to be part of her life, and her intelligence and her wit which shines through”.
That’s the best compliment an actor could receive!