‘It’s completely unbalanced’: Emma Thompson, 61, slams double standards in casting age-gap love interests…ahead of playing a widow who has sex with a younger man
Emma Thompson has slammed the double standards behind casting actor’s and actress’ love interests in films.
The star discussed how it’s considered normal for male actors to have much younger partners in scripts, saying usually if she’s to have a romance in a movie ‘they’d have to exhume someone, because I’m 61 now’.
Speaking ahead of her role as a widow who has sex with a younger man, Emma said: ‘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.
Not impressed: Emma Thompson has slammed the double standards behind casting actor’s and actress’ love interests in movies (pictured in 2019)
‘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.’
Appearing on the first episode of podcast CultureBlast with Farah Nayeri, Emma also discussed how her next role – in Good Luck To You, Leo Grande – is different to this.
Emma said: ‘It’s very interesting with this woman I’m about to play. What she says to this young man, who asks why she can’t find another chap to sleep, is “the only people who want to sleep with me, are my age… I want someone younger”.
‘Now, I’ve never heard a woman say that on screen, with men it’s completely acceptable.
Industry talk: The star, 61, discussed how it’s considered normal for male actors to have much younger partners in scripts compared to female leads, saying if she was to have a romantic interest in a movie ‘they have to exhume someone, because I’m 61 now’ (pictured in January)
‘If Leo Grande speaks to people and they aren’t adverse to someone who’s 61 and largely naked with a younger person it’s going to be interesting. And we have to keep being brave, doing that.’
Elsewhere in the podcast when asked if perceptions of woman as objects of sexual desire was changing in films, Emma said: ‘It is changing, but not nearly fast enough.’
The star went on to discuss how lots of women’s ‘heroism’ is hidden as women have just been given the same parts as men, not ‘turned into their own lives to find stories’, using the example of giving birth.
The upcoming film sees Emma play widow Nancy Stokes, 55, who hires sex worker Leo Grande, who is in his 20s, for a night of sexual bliss, reports Variety.
The movie is based on a screenplay by Katy Brand and will be directed by Sophie Hyde. It is set to go into production in London in 2021.
Speaking after Emma was cast, Sophie said: ‘I’m thrilled to be working with the tremendously funny and heartbreakingly honest Emma Thompson to explore intimacy and desire, and to put on screen a relationship that feels unexpected and delightful.
‘At a time when our need for each other is so vividly present, it will be a delight to create and show this connection between two people, which is funny, sexy and moving.’
Emma has often been open about discussing sex and previously said it should be called ‘shavoom’ and pornography is the ‘Kingdom of Ick’.
The award-winning actress created a hand written sex and emotional manual for her 21-year-old daughter Gaia to help with the pressure of growing up.
Mother and daughter: Emma has often been open about discussing sex and previously said it should be called ‘shavoom’ and pornography is the ‘Kingdom of Ick’, a book written for her daughter Gaia, now 21, when she was 10 (pictured in 2019)
The details of the manual, which Emma wrote when her daughter was ten, was revealed by Gaia on a joint interview on a popular comedy podcast in 2018.
Gaia read aloud from the book which began by explaining that Emma hated the word sex as it made her feel ‘slightly queasy’ and instead should be referred to ‘shavoom’.
She also encouraged Gaia to trust the ‘icky sense of unease’ she might feel in an uncomfortable sexual situation.
She wrote in the book: ‘If anyone does anything, says anything, implies anything, shows anything or suggests anything that makes you feel ick, move away, get away, say no thank you. Or even just no without the thank you.’
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