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Emma Thompson really hates Oscars campaigning, here’s why

Emma Thompson is no stranger to the awards spotlight, most recently for Good Luck to You Leo Grande. But she hates the Oscars so much, they make her ill

Emma Thompson

Emma Thompson was nominated for a BAFTA for her leading role in romance movie Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, but it’s probably for the best that she wasn’t also Oscar-nominated. Thompson recently told the Radio Times that both times that she won Oscars in the past, she got seriously ill from the pressure and the spotlight.

Thompson was a force to be reckoned with at the Oscars in the 1990s, in a succession of period drama movie roles. Thompson won the Lead Actress Oscar in 1993 for Howards End, and in 1994 she was nominated for both Lead (The Remains of the Day) and Support (In the Name of the Father). In 1996, she was once again nominated for Lead Actress – this time for Sense and Sensibility. She won the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for the same film.

Thompson told the Radio Times; “Both times I had to do the Oscars I got seriously ill. I found the pressure and glare of it too much. It’s astonishing – and then afterwards you want to lie down in a dark room. You think, ‘Please don’t ask me any questions or make me talk about myself.’ I quickly developed a sort of allergy to that part of the job. I’m lucky – I think it must be awful if you’re James Bond.”

Thompson was in the Cambridge Footlights with Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, and Tony Slattery – who would all go on to star together in Kenneth Branagh’s Peter’s Friends (1992). Thompson also had early TV roles in several comedy series, including The Comic Strip Presents, The Young Ones, and Alfresco. This was with an ensemble of writers and actors which included Ben Elton, Robbie Coltrane, Ade Edmondson, and Rik Mayall.

In recent years, Thompson has starred in several rom-coms including Late Night with Mindy Kaling, Last Christmas with Emilia Clarke, and the upcoming What’s Love Got to Do with It? starring Lily James. Thompson also played a great movie villain in Cruella.

If you’re a fan of Howards End, The Remains of the Day, and Sense & Sensibility – check out our guide to movies based on books.