Emma Thompson: Romantic love is a myth and quite dangerous

Emma Thompson did some Oscar-campaigning in recent months for her indie film, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande. She ended up getting nominated for a BAFTA, a Golden Globe and a bunch of critics awards for her performance, but she didn’t get the Oscar nomination. And I think she’s fine with it – for years now, she’s been anti-Hollywood and anti-awards season, or perhaps she’s just very, very British. In any case, Emma spoke to the Radio Times podcast about the Oscars and about whether she believes in “romantic love.” Some highlights:

Romantic love is a myth: “It’s philosophically helpful and uplifting to remember that romantic love is a myth and quite dangerous. We really do have to take it with a massive pinch of salt. To think sensibly about love and the way it can grow is essential. Long-term relationships are hugely difficult and complicated. If anyone thinks that happy ever after has a place in our lives, forget it.”

She felt ill every time she’s gone to the Oscars: “Both times I had to do the Oscars I got ill, quite seriously ill, before and during it. I just found the pressure of it and glare of it too much … It’s sort of astonishing – and then you think you want to lie down in a dark room. You think, ‘Please don’t ask me any questions or make me talk about myself.’ It’s horrible. I quite quickly developed a sort of allergy to that, but it’s sort of part of the job.”

On fame: “Fame doesn’t happen overnight, it’s gradual. I’m lucky from that point of view; I think it must be awful if you have to deal with being James Bond, or one of those people who really can’t go anywhere. To lose your anonymity completely … it’s not very pleasant for you or the people around you. If that’s what you want, to be recognised, then I suppose you can deal with it, and it’s not so intrusive. But it’s not what I wanted, and I think it’s a highly toxic condition.”

[From The Daily Mail and The Guardian]

I don’t think romantic love is a “myth,” but I agree that you need more than romantic love or sexual chemistry to make a marriage or partnership work long-term. That’s basically what she’s saying – you need to do the work and you can’t expect “romantic love” to be enough to sustain a relationship. But romantic love isn’t a myth! As for the stuff about the Oscars… I’ve never really understood why so many British actors are so anti-Oscars or anti-Hollywood in general. They pride themselves on “keeping it real” and being authentic… and then they cozy up to the Windsors. Emma does that. She’s anti-Hollywood-fakery and then she cozies up to King Charles and the rest of them.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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