Screenwriter Profile: Emma Thompson

imagesThe Writer:

Emma Thompson is usually thought of primarily as an actress, but she is also one of the most successful female screenwriters out there. In fact, she’s the only person (not just woman) to have won an Oscar for both acting and screenwriting. She’s one of only 8 women in the history of the Academy Awards to have won an Oscar for best adapted screenplay (several of those women shared their awards with male co-writers). Her writing credits aren’t prolific, but Ms. Thompson writes stories that are important to her, and for that she deserves a great deal of credit. She also writes by hand and has said that it helps her put more thought and care into what she puts on paper.


Annie (screenplay) (post-production) Р2014

Effie Gray (written by) (completed) Р2014

Nanny McPhee Returns (written by) Р2010

Nanny McPhee (screenplay) Р2005

Pride & Prejudice (additional dialogue Рuncredited) Р2005

Wit (TV Movie) (teleplay) Р2001

Sense and Sensibility (screenplay) Р1995

Thompson (TV Series) Р1988

Emma Thompson: Up for Grabs (TV Movie) Р1985

An Evening for Nicaragua (TV Movie) Р1983

There’s Nothing to Worry About!¬†(TV Series) (written by – 3 episodes) – 1982

Cambridge Footlights Revue (TV Movie) Р1982


My appearance has changed a lot over the years, but it has far more to do with how I feel about being a woman. I’ve never thought of myself as vain. When I was at Cambridge, I shaved my head and wore baggy clothes. What I did was to desexualise myself. It was partly to do with the feminism of that time: militant and grungy. That’s all changed now, though I don’t think it is liberating to get your tits out. I don’t hold with that. But I am much more comfortable with being a woman now than I was in my twenties.

I’ve realized that in all the great stories, even if there’s a happily-ever-after ending, there’s something sad.

I’m very lucky I write as well. I don’t see how I could be as effective a mother as I’d like to be if I had to go away and act all the time. So I’ve sort of pulled back from acting, which is fine, because I’ve found over the years – and this was a surprise to me – that I can get the same kind of creative satisfaction from writing as I have heretofore gotten out of acting. It’s very encouraging, really.

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