Emma Thompson Is Fighting For Better Female Roles & Rights


She just celebrated her 55th birthday on April 15, but don’t put British actress Emma Thompson in any “old aged pensioner” category just yet!

This feisty, funny woman is snapping up lead roles left, right and center and is proving to the world (and other women) that aging has nothing to do with your value or your talent.

In an interview with BBC radio that categorizing movie-goers into segregated groups is a bad idea, because it can breed contempt of things such as age and gender.

Her latest film is called ‘The Love Punch’ and also stars Pierce Brosnan as her husband. While the main cast of the film would be considered older than the “A list” star of the moment, Emma says it isn’t just older audiences who watch films like this and it shouldn’t be marketed that way.

“This film isn’t for older people, that would be a tragic mistake to indicate that we were making this for older people,” she said.

“What I find really fantastic about it is that it’s young people who seem to enjoy it just as much, if not more.”

What pisses her off the most is the fact that the film industry likes to determine the value of something and someone according to their age, which shouldn’t be the case.

“I don’t see where age has to come into it – it’s been made to entertain everybody in the groups that we’re supposed to be in, which is a selection of ages.”

“The fact is that the film industry has tried to separate us into groups, and it’s a mistake culturally, artistically and economically.”

The BBC points out that films such as ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’, ‘Last Vegas’, and ‘Philomena’ which all starred older actors did phenomenally at the box office which proves it is not just the retired population watching them on screen.


Emma has not been quiet about her problem with the way Hollywood portrays women. In an interview with the BAFTA foundation before the 2014 award ceremony she hammers home to her fans that they shouldn’t let anyone define who they are, and that an industry shouldn’t dictate what is aesthetically pleasing. We as audiences have that power and we should be wielding it more often!

“I long for the day where we don’t have to talk about our age as actresses,” said Celia Imrie, Emma’s co-star in ‘The Love Punch. And she’s not the only one with that desire!

Emma goes on to say how much harder it is for an older actress in Hollywood, which mirrors what older women sometimes experience in the real world also.

“[We’re] not only fighting for the roles, but fighting for female rights in general.”

“For women a lot of the time, the only power that they do have in their roles on screen is the sexual power,” Thompson added.

“So when that sexuality becomes older, and therefore a great deal more threatening, the roles dry up – because women don’t have access to the kinds of power that create the kind of story that people are writing about.”

“The roles of women in life – in political life, business life, everything – are absolutely mirrored by what we see in cinema.”

Having had a varied repertoire which includes films such as ‘Love Actually’, ‘Sense and Sensibility’ and more recently ‘Saving Mr. Banks’, Emma wants to constantly challenge herself and push the boundaries to show audiences that no one should be stereotyped or pushed into a corner simply based on how they look.

“If you challenge yourself to do something different, I think the more experience you have the more interesting it is to meet that challenge, and sometimes really surprising things come out of it.”



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