‘Awards Chatter’ Podcast — Emma Thompson (‘Good Luck to You, Leo Grande’)

Emma Thompson, the guest on this episode of The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast, is a British actress and screenwriter who is the only person who has ever won Academy Awards for both acting and writing.

In addition to those two Oscars, the former for 1992’s Howards End and the latter for 1995’s Sense and Sensibility, she has also won three BAFTA Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, one Emmy Award and one Critics Choice Award, with other credits including 1993’s The Remains of the Day and In the Name of the Father, 1998’s Primary Colors, 2003’s Love Actually and the miniseries Angels in America, 2004’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, 2006’s Stranger Than Fiction, 2007’s Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, 2009’s An Education, 2013’s Saving Mr. Banks, 2017’s The Meyerowitz Stories, 2019’s Late Night and this year’s Good Luck to You, Leo Grande — all of which might explain why the 2018 citation in which Queen Elizabeth II made her a Dame describes her as “one of Britain’s most versatile and celebrated actresses,” why Vanity Fair has said she “redefined our image of female stardom,” why Interview has called her “the rarest of cinematic talents” and why The Observer’s Mark Kermode once said, “She’s up there with the great — I mean really great — British female performers.”

Over the course of our conversation — which Thompson recorded from her London home after being honored at a luncheon by the U.K. Critics’ Circle, the oldest association of critics in the world, for her Services to the Arts, and at which she gave a speech about the impact of film critics — the 63-year-old and I discussed the origins of her pursuit of acting and of her deep and passionate feminism; the peaks and valleys of a long career as a woman in the business; why, in Sophie Hyde’s 2022 Searchlight film Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, she agreed to play a retired schoolteacher who was recently widowed and hires a sex worker to help her finally experience an orgasm; plus much more.

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