Hollywood veteran and star of “Cruella” Emma Thompson disclosed that she had been a victim of body shaming for years. Ahead of her new film, “Good Luck To You, Leo Grande,”– where she plays a retired widow who enlists the services of a sex worker to give her her first orgasm– Thompson shared in an interview that she had never been offered sex roles and scenes.
Despite her impressive acting chops and awards, she revealed that her male executives weren’t willing to see her in a sexual light.
Read on for more of what she had to say.
‘I Was Told I Didn’t Have The Right Kind Of Body For Sex’
In an interview with The Times, Thompson recalled that she had never been offered a sex scene because she was told she didn’t have the “right body” for sex.
“I’ve never really been offered sex scenes,” she said. “As my mother said, I’ve basically played a series of ‘good’ women. I do ‘cerebral.’ And I have also never conformed to the shape or look of someone they might want to see naked.”
She continued, “And by ‘they,’ I mean male executives. I’m too mouthy, not pretty enough, not the right kind of body. And, crikey, you are constantly told what kind of body you have.”
Thompson also divulged that she had been subjected to many disparaging remarks regarding her body in the industry.
“In one interview I did, the male journalist wrote that I’d put on a lot of weight since I appeared in Fortunes of War, and that my legs were ‘now like tree trunks,’ and that I’d ‘let myself down,'” Thompson said. “I was 31 and, quite frankly, no longer starving myself. I don’t think anyone realizes quite how thin most actresses are in real life. They look quite unreal.”
As a result, the actress hasn’t been able to look at her naked body without judging it.
“When I’m looking in the mirror, I’m always trying to make myself look “better” – turning this way or that, checking out my a–e, pulling something in.”
She concluded, “Simply revealing my utter incapacity to accept my body as it is.”
She Just Got Her First Sex Scene In New Movie
In “Good luck To You, Leo Grande,” Thompson plays the role of Nancy, a retiree who pays a sex worker to help her achieve her first orgasm.
Written by Katy Brand, it tells the story of a widowed woman seeking the human connection and touch she was deprived of in her marriage to her husband.
This was also the first time the “Sense and Sensibility” actress acted in a sex scene on camera.
She had previously spoken to Entertainment Weekly about the intense rehearsal process where she, co-star Daryl McCormack and producer Sophie Hyde got stark naked.
“Sophie, Daryl, and I rehearsed entirely nude,” she explained. “And talked about our bodies, talked about our relationship with our bodies, drew them, discussed the things that we find difficult about, things we like about them, described one another’s bodies.”
Thompson also added that while she eventually got on with the schedule, it was initially hard for her to be nude.
“She stands in front of a mirror alone, and she drops her robe,” she added of her character. “It’s very challenging to be nude at 62.”
This New Role Is A Change For Emma Thompson
In the same interview, the actress revealed that she decided to take on the role of addressing the myth and taboos relating to female pleasures and sexuality.
“The energy that comes from one’s sort of perennial fury at what’s done in the world – to women in particular, but all injustice. It informs my decisions and my writing and everything I do. Maybe it would be nice to ignore it. But for me, it’s just not possible.”
She also added that the new role had changed her in many ways. Before this time, she used to be afraid of looking at a body without judging, but now, she can look at her body and “marvel” at it.
“In the movie, Nancy’s body has just given her these seconds of pure pleasure and she is marveling at it – not ‘it’ as it looks, but ‘it’ as it has become to her. A place where she can be happy. A place she can find genuine bliss,” she added.
Emma Thompson Blasts Hollywood’s Double Standards
In an interview with The Sun two years ago, Thompson opened up about the double standards in her industry relating to sex and how unfair it was. She then mentioned how male characters could get away with sleeping with a younger female character, but all hell would be let loose if the tables were turned.
“It’s completely acceptable for George Clooney – who is delightful – to have someone who is 40 years younger than him or 30 years younger than him. If I have someone playing opposite me in a romantic way, they have to exhume someone, because I’m 61 now. Do you see what I mean? It’s completely and utterly unbalanced.”