Emma Thompson should be a blogger
Have received your requests on Emma Thompson’s comments re: Audrey Hepburn and My Fair Lady. My first thought was that she should be a blogger. Because her blog would be amazing. Emma doesn’t seem to have a filter, and can write, and is loopy as f-ck, and wouldn’t you read that? Especially since she’s so fearless about her opinions?
Prior to her Walk of Fame ceremony last week, Emma was interviewed by the Hollywood Reporter and, although the interview was brimming with insight and self revelation, what caught everyone’s attention were her remarks on how she’s treating the screenplay for the remake of My Fair Lady and specifically on Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle.
I was thrilled to be asked to do it, because, having looked at it, I thought that there needs to be a new version. I'm not hugely fond of the film. I find Audrey Hepburn fantastically twee. (The reporter asks her to explain “twee”.) Twee is whimsy without wit. It’s mimsy-mumsy sweetness without any kind of bite. And that's not for me. She can't sing and she can't really act, I'm afraid. I'm sure she was a delightful woman -- and perhaps if I had known her I would have enjoyed her acting more, but I don't and I didn't, so that's all there is to it, really.
Some people are calling it blasphemy. Hepburn of course is an adored icon, the epitome for many of the Female Ideal. So now the hate is on for Emma. Does she deserve it?
I love them both. And I certainly don’t agree point to point on Emma’s assessment of Audrey’s abilities. But that is her view and, frankly, she’s not only entitled to it, she also doesn’t get personal. I get personal. All the time. Jennifer Aniston fans can vouch for this. Emma however kept it based on artistic measure. She didn’t think Audrey had the skill. Just as you might not think Sandra Bullock has the skill, or Julia Roberts, or Reese Witherspoon, or Taylor Swift, or Rihanna, or whoever may be the most lauded and applauded in our time.
Emma also qualifies her statement by saying – look, I didn’t know her, I have no personal relationship to her, and she was probably lovely, and if we were friends, maybe I’d feel differently, but I don’t have a basis for that kind of perspective so my only frame of reference is to critique the work, and I find the work wanting.
Furthermore, it’s not like Emma is talking sh-t and can’t back it up. It’s not like this is coming from, say, Taylor Momsen in which case we’d all collectively organise to pull out her nipple ring. No, Emma can DO. Emma can do so well she’s re-imagining it. If her re-imagination of it sucks ass, she’ll have to eat it, and I’ll feed it to her too. But Emma Thompson above all things is qualified to analyse. And so I guess I defend her right to do so. Are we fighting?
Also, most people neglected to publish her final thought on the matter:
I'm sure (fans will be upset). Fans of the original won't want another one to be made -- and honestly, one has to just cope with that. The central relationship between Eliza and Higgins is a fascinating one: Do we have a man who is fantastically dysfunctional and hasn't been able to create a relationship with any woman except this one? Or is it, as I suspect, that she, actually, is the one who turns around and creates him, in the sense that she excavates in him an emotional center?
Click here to read the full interview. Aside from the controversial comments, it’s a good read. She is wonderfully expressive.
By the way, thanks to all of you who sent me the YouTube links to Emma’s banter with Stephen Fry on QI on film and fame. I spent part of the weekend on this and laughed my ass off.
Photos from Wenn.com