Talented, gracious, funny, witty, friendly, hard-worker, intelligent and the list of adjectives to describe Emma Thompson could go on and on. Two Academy Awards (one for her leading role in Howard’s End and another for the screenplay based on Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility), three BAFTAs, two Golden Globes, an Emmy, and many film critics awards endorse her almost 30-year-old career in the show business.
Thompson is one example of British actor who has been able to have a stable and remarkable career both in her native England and in Hollywood. She has worked with excellent directors such as James Ivory, Ang Lee, Richard Curtis, and marvellous castmates such as Anthony Hopkins, Meryl Streep, Daniel Day Lewis, and Kate Winslet. She has taken part in the famous iconic Harry Potter saga as Professor Sybil Trelawney alongside the elite of the British star system, and can proudly boast her ability to be convincing in both drama and comedy roles. And, let’s not forget that Thompson’s acting career started in comedy when she was in her 20s at Cambridge as part of the legendary Cambridge Footlights troupe with pals Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry, Tony Slattery.
Thompson has also distinguished herself as a writer. In addition to her Sense and Sensibility screenplay, she has also adapted for the big screen Christianna Brand’s book Nurse Matilda; she is now preparing a new remake of My Fair Lady.
Some people may think that a successful career full of awards and good reviews could make one complacent, but that is not the case with Ms. Thompson, who keeps challenging herself with every new project. When not working, she devotes herself to her family and her humanitarian work with the Refugee Council, Rebuilding Lives, and chairing the Helen Lamber Foundation.
Last year, she focused her attention on the subject of human trafficking, co-directing an art exhibit called Journey, which was shown all around the globe. In a few weeks, she’ll return – this time as a producer - to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where in 1981 she and her Cambridge Footlights partners received the very first Perrier Comedy Award, to present the Fair Trade, a thought-provoking play inspired by the testimony of two survivors of the sex slave trade. As you can see, the British actress likes to go deep into subjects that most of us would not dare explore.
August 6, 2010 will definitely be a date to remember for Emma Thompson. Coinciding with the upcoming release of the second installment of the Nanny McPhee franchise, Nanny McPhee Returns, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce honoured the actress with the 2,416th star of the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her motion picture career. It was placed next to a British pub (coincidence?).
Guest speakers at the ceremony included her Nanny McPhee co-star Maggie Gyllenhaal and long-time friend Hugh Laurie. Who better than someone who has known and worked with Emma for so long than Laurie. Close friends and colleagues since their days at Cambridge in Footlights, Laurie started his acting career where she started, possessing the energy, passion, wit and talent that she has.
Very well deserved! Congratulations, Ms. Thompson!