Emma Thompson and the Challenge of Baring All Onscreen at 63

by 24USATVJune 16, 2022, 4:01 a.m. 18
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“It’s not fair to say, ‘No, I’m just this shape naturally.’ It’s dishonest and it makes other women feel like [expletive],” she said. “So if you want the world to change, and you want the iconography of the female body to change, then you better be part of the change. You better be different.”

For “Leo Grande,” the choice to disrobe was hers, and though she made it with trepidation, Thompson said she believes “the film would not be the same without it.” Still, the moment she had to stand stark naked in front of a mirror with a serene, accepting look on her face, as the scene called for, was the most difficult thing she’s ever done.

“To be truly honest, I will never ever be happy with my body. It will never happen,” she said. “I was brainwashed too early on. I cannot undo those neural pathways.”

She can, however, talk about sex. Both the absurdities of it and the intricacies of female pleasure. “I can’t just have an orgasm. I need time. I need affection. You can’t just rush to the clitoris and flap at it and hope for the best. That’s not going to work, guys. They think if I touch this little button, she’s going to go off like a Catherine wheel, and it will be marvelous.”

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