• Sunday, July 03, 2022

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‘It’s very challenging to be nude at 62:’ Emma Thompson on going full-frontal naked in her new movie

By: ShelbinMS

Actress Emma Thompson’s character Nancy Stokes hires an impossibly handsome, young sex worker in her new film, Good Luck To You, Leo Grande, after an unfulfilling married life.

The film surely makes audiences’ jaws drop for two reasons. Firstly, it openly explores a subject rarely seen on-screen: the fact that a retired widow might still have a sexual appetite and has no qualms about going to any lengths to satiate it.

Thompson not only does full-frontal nudity but a no-holds-barred sex scene too in the film. Talking about the same, she told a publication, Nancy’s a searcher. She’s someone who’s led a very restricted life. She’s ticked all the boxes in order to pass as someone who can be acceptable. I know these sorts of women from the shires so well.”

She went on to add, “They’re women who have lived their lives according to the rules and then suddenly find that the rules have not served them, emotionally or physically. They have in fact just locked them into a female stereotype. Nancy looks at this and suddenly thinks, “I need to change this.”’

Thompson said that this flight of boldness on Nancy’s part was one of the things that attracted her to the role.

“It was very easy for Nancy to have been repressed because one of the things that’s not regarded as acceptable for women is that they might have appetites of any kind. Nancy’s never had an orgasm, and I don’t think that’s unusual, even in modern life. She’s never had an orgasm. I don’t think that’s unusual, if nobody shows you you’re not going to learn. If you don’t know how and nobody’s said, “Look, this is how you do it,” then you’re not going to learn! But then she chooses suddenly to unleash herself – to unzip herself. It’s very courageous because what she’s doing is contrary to everything she’s been brought up with. She’s really breaking out of something, and I found that completely irresistible.”

She added the film would have been impossible without her co-star Daryl McCormack. The 29- year-old Irish actor plays sex worker Leo Grande.

“Chemistry’s a tricky one, isn’t it? Daryl won’t mind me saying he wasn’t the only actor we saw, but there was something about him. He and I went for a long walk on Hampstead Heath, which was very muddy at the time, and ended up just sliding about and sniggering. It was important to find out that we could just hold onto each other and laugh – in a way it was kind of emblematic of the whole film because that was really what we did for the entire time.”

The biggest challenge she had to face was a scene where her character goes completely naked. “Oh, God. Well, it’s very challenging to be nude at 62. Especially in a world where nothing has changed in the dreadful demands made on women to look a certain way. It’s something I’ve been thinking about writing on since I was in my 20s, and the young female actors I speak to now still suggest there’s the same thing going on, a sort of tyranny to make women lose their self-confidence,” said the 63-year-old actress.

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