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Emma Thompson targets Hollywood's "utterly unbalanced" sexual double standards

The Oscar winner says her new film might help to correct views of older women with younger men.

Emma thompson
Published: Wednesday, 23rd December 2020 at 10:59 pm

Emma Thompson is playing a widow who takes the opportunity to revive her life with a night with a young sex worker in upcoming film Good Luck To You, Leo Grande and has targeted Hollywood double standards in its depiction of age-mismatched couples.


She told the CultureBlast podcast (via EW): "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."

Dame Emma plays 55-year-old recently widowed woman Nancy Stokes, who stayed for years in a stale marriage but seizes the opportunity to explore her sexual life with a man in his early 20s in the film of a script written by UK comedian Katy Brand.

The Last Christmas star added: "If Leo Grande, the film that we make, speaks to people and people aren’t averse to seeing someone who’s 61 largely naked with a very much younger person, it’s going to be very interesting. We’ve got to keep being brave about that."

It will be interesting to see how the sex scenes are filmed because in the past Dame Emma has played them for laughs.

She described filming a scene on 1989 film The Tall Guy, co-starring Jeff Goldblum, for the My Dad Wrote a Porno podcast in 2018: "Because it was a comedy sex scene, we were shagging on the piano, we were shagging in the breakfast things. There was shots of my arse with bits of toast stuck to it. Two f***ing days of being nude on set.

"And when the campaign came out, the Campaign Against Pornography… said that if they were to show their children a sex scene, they would show that one, because it was fun, and funny, and full of humor. Because I noticed at the time that all sex scenes, everyone was so angry. They’re angry! You look at people’s faces, you look at Basic Instinct. Sharon Stone… livid! So cross!"

Good Luck To You, Leo Grande director Sophie Hyde told Variety earlier: “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.”

Good Luck To You, Leo Grande will film in 2021.


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