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Emma Thompson on Why Hollywood Needs More Size 16 Muffin-Top Women

By January 16, 2009

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Are the terms 'meet cute,' 'whirlwind romance,' and 'head over heels' exclusive to the twenty- or thirtysomething set? Not according to Last Chance Harvey, which finds an older couple embarking on an unexpected, impromptu relationship in London. The film pairs Kate (Emma Thompson, nearly 50) with Harvey (Dustin Hoffman, good-looking for 71) and takes midlife romance seriously.

Melissa Silverstein, who writes the blog Women & Hollywood, has newbie blogger Emma Thompson's take on the film and her character, and why Hollywood needs more realistic depictions of women on film:

I shall turn 50 this year, which is not without its odd emotions...It was rather a treat, therefore, to play...my first modern romantic lead in a film that is more romantic than comic...where I was...simply an ordinary woman in her forties living a rather stale-looking life as best she can....

If you see the picture...you’ll notice I am decidedly unglamorous and at least size 16. I really wanted to look like a “normal” woman, I mean in terms of body size.

Actresses seem to be getting tinier and tinier and I do wonder how we think we can present really powerful women...when we seem to insist upon having such attenuated physiques.

So Kate is solid – probably worries a bit about her muffin-top (mine is more like a desk-top these days if you must know) but can’t find the energy to worry enough to go to the gym and can’t find the time either.

She’s a real sort of person, someone I could relate to entirely and I hope you enjoy her....[T]he more we can get films like this well distributed the more films we can make about (for want of a better epithet) real women as opposed to (let’s face it) pretend ones.

I've always found Thompson down-to-earth and appealing (much as I do Jamie Lee Curtis), and still recall with a shiver the long-suffering wife Thompson played, married to philandering Alan Rickman in the movie Love Actually. Although she didn't actually enjoy any love in that film, sounds like she will in this one which opens nationwide today.

Photo of Emma Thompson
© Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

More on the film Last Chance Harvey:

About.com Movie Guide Rebecca Murray's Last Chance Harvey site


January 16, 2009 at 9:43 am
(1) Mary Edmonds says:

Loved the article. Emma Thompson has always been one of my favorite talented people and this is delightful. Makes me happy with myself…..not really very overweight, but surely not the skinny, young thing.
Looking forward to the movie after this. :)

January 16, 2009 at 11:29 am
(2) Whiteknyght says:

It’s interesting how often women are described – even by themselves – in terms of food. As a man who truly appreciates both, the world is always brighter with a diverse selection and diet.

December 24, 2009 at 3:28 am
(3) Lily says:

Dustin Hoffman is SEVENTY ONE YEARS OLD…Emma Thompson is – almost – fifty.

And there she is, making covert apologies for her weight. Good grief….

Is anyone ever going to learn anything?

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