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Emma Thompson takes up patron role

Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson has become the patron of Edinburgh College’s Performing Arts Studio of Scotland.
The Nanny McPhee and Sense And Sensibility star, who is also a screenwriter and human rights activist, described the studio as “an exciting, high-octane, cutting-edge centre that will attract much of the wealth of talent in Scotland and beyond”.
She said: “I’m very proud to be patron.”
Thompson was introduced to the studio by former Scottish Youth Theatre (SYT) student John Naples-Campbell who is now an acting and theatre performance lecturer at Edinburgh College.
He said: “I first met Emma when I was 18 years old at the SYT. She came along to the theatre to hold a Q&A session with SYT students and after listening to her talk about her career in the industry, I felt driven to continue with my career in performing arts which is why I am an acting and theatre performance lecturer today.


‘Saving Mr. Banks’ to Close BFI London Film Festival

Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks, starring Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks and directed by John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side), will close this year’s BFI London Film Festival, organizers announced Thursday.

Thompson plays the London-based author of “Mary Poppins,” P.L. Travers, with Hanks portraying Walt Disney in the film about the duo’s relationship and how the book was brought to the movie screen. Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti and Ruth Wilson are also in the movie, which will get its European premiere at the festival.


Emma talks “Saving Mr Banks”

She was a woman of quite eye-watering complexity and contradiction,” says Thompson, whose first-ever movie-going experience was seeing a Disney movie, Fantasia, as a child. “Often I play people who are controlled by some very clear guiding moral principles. Like Margaret Schlegel [in Howards End], guided by the early principles of feminism and equal rights, and Elinor Dashwood [in Sense and Sensibility], guided by the principles of decency and honor. There are very clear moral prisms these women pour life through, and I understand that very well. And [Travers] was not like that at all. She was far more chaotic and confused and morally various.”

Travers, who died in 1996, wrote five Mary Poppins stories and many other books. She was a private person whose personal life has remained unknown to many who love her work. But Thompson, who is a writer as well as an actor (and wrote the screenplay for 2005?s Nanny McPhee), says that any Poppins fan knows one thing about Travers: her complete devotion to her books, characters and audience. Her emotional complexities notwithstanding, Travers’ wariness about the Mary Poppins movie was understandable.

“There’s a tendency to cast aside a children’s author or children’s film and make it seem less important than those for an adult audience. Of course, I think it’s the other way around,” says Thompson. “You can get away with dropping the ball from time to time with adult audiences but children know. You’ve really got to do your best. Letting them down is a serious failure in your artistic integrity.”

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Emma Thompson and mother Phyllida Law receive honorary degrees in Glasgow

Emma Thompson has said receiving an honorary degree alongside her mother Phyllida Law is their “best starring role together”.

The acting duo were awarded honorary doctorates in drama from Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) in Glasgow.

The pair have starred in films together, including The Winter Guest.

Nanny McPhee star Thompson won an Oscar for her lead role in the 1992 movie Howards End.

Thompson said: “It was so much fun. It’s our best starring role together, definitely.

“We’ve not received anything like this before and we both feel slightly fraudulent because when I told my son he asked ‘how many essays did you have to write to get that?’

“We’ve both had so much work as actors and are still working so to get a degree for it is great, I suppose in a sense it’s a reward for hanging in there.

“So many actors fall by the wayside so maybe this is recognition because we’re still going.”

Law joked: “It’s certainly not for our looks, it’s a dreadful mistake to be born exquisitely beautiful because it wears off by 28.

“Thankfully we didn’t need to worry about that.”

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Emma to be honoured by Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

BRITISH actress Emma Thompson and her mother Phyllida Law will be honoured by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland this summer.

The acting duo will be awarded honorary doctorates in drama by the Glasgow-based institution in July.

Also receiving honorary doctorates on the same day will be opera singer Patricia MacMahon and Jenny Sealy, a producer at the opening ceremony for the London 2012 Paralympics.

Unveiling the line-up, Royal Conservatoire principal Professor John Wallace CBE said: “Graduation is always a time for celebration and a great moment for us to not only congratulate those students who have completed their journey with us.

“It is also a time for us to recognise those artists who have helped create a far-reaching voice for the arts in the UK – a voice which is listened to throughout the world.”

Nanny McPhee star Thompson won an Oscar for her leading role in 1992′s Howards End and a second Academy Award in 1996 for best adapted screenplay for Sense And Sensibility.

The well-known actress, married to Royal Conservatoire alumnus Greg Wise, has starred in several films with her mother, including The Winter Guest.

Phyllida Law was born in Glasgow and was married to actor Eric Thompson from 1957 until his death in 1982.

She has appeared in many documentaries and interviews concerning her late husband’s work on The Magic Roundabout and was in the original London cast of La Cage aux Folles at the London Palladium.

The honours for the mother and daughter team will see them join the likes of singer Annie Lennox, comedian Billy Connolly and actress Tilda Swinton, who have all received honorary doctorates from the Royal Conservatoire, previously the RSAMD.

This year’s graduation ceremony will take place on Tuesday July 2.


New Beautiful Creatures Featurette

EW has put up a new feature about “Beautiful Creatures” – watch it HERE

Beautiful Creatures – New Release Date of Feb 14th

Warner Bros has moved the release date for the supernatural love story Beautiful Creatures to February 14, 2013, one day later than its original February 13 date. It will now open against Escape From Planet Earth, A Good Day To Die Hard and Safe Haven. Alice Englert, Viola Davis, Emmy Rossum, Alden Ehrenreich, Jeremy Irons and Emma Thompson star in the coming-of age story set in the South. Beautiful Creatures is directed by Richard LaGravenese from his screenplay based on the first of a series of novels by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

Emma Thompson Wins ‘Effie’ Lawsuit

Screenwriter and Academy Award-winning actress Emma Thompson has prevailed in a lawsuit against another writer who penned a script about a love triangle involving art critic John Ruskin, his teenage wife Effie Gray and pre-Raphaelite painter John Everett Millais.

Thanks to a ruling Tuesday, Thompson can release her film, Effie, without fear of infringing two other screenplays about a sex scandal that rocked 19th century England. The film is set to come out next year and stars Dakota Fanning, Robbie Coltrane and Thompson.


New Emma Interview with The Reel Breakdown

Thelma Adams: Let’s start with the meat of this movie: the mother-daughter relationship…
Emma Thompson: My character, the mother, has suppressed a lot of her natural instincts to fulfill her responsibilities as queen, like many women, not all of them royals. We can understand why Elinor behaves as she does. She doesn’t really listen, and she doesn’t pay the right kind of attention to her daughter. She doesn’t see that Merida’s rebellion comes from being asked to do what the mother was asked. Elinor just sees the rebellion. And that resonates for mothers raising teenagers, not just queens and princesses, because often we’re not paying our daughters the right kind of attention. As a mother, you have to be quite forensic: You need to listen to your daughter and pick out the critical information.
TA: What clues does this dynamic offer for modern parents?
ET: Listen in the right way. Spend time quietly with your children. You don’t have to be solving problems all the time. Check in with them regularly so they know you’re there, but telling them what to do doesn’t cut it.
TA: Any more advice to share — since I also have a spunky 13-year-old daughter?
ET: I got a good bit of advice from a friend of mine. When his daughter slammed her door, he removed the door altogether and hid it. He took the door for two weeks. At the end of two weeks without the door, his daughter promised not to slam it. My friend put the door back and they lived happily ever after.

Read the full interview

First look at Emma as Mary Poppins!

The 53-year-old actress wore her hair in tight curls and carried a white beaded clutch bag for the filming.
She was seen arriving at what appeared to be the premiere of Mary Poppins in a sleek black vintage vehicle.
Emma is taking on the role of Travers, who wrote the book on which the musical Mary Poppins is based, while Walt Disney is being played by Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks.

Walt Disney, the founder of the animated studio, spent 14 years trying to persuade Travers to allow him to make a film of her children’s story.
Mary Poppins went to become one of the studios’ most beloved films and starred Julie Andrews in her Hollywood debut as the magical nanny.
Dick Van Dyke played a one man band who befriends Poppins and the children under her charges.



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