Emma Thomp­son on the cusp of crotch­ety

Metro Canada (Ottawa) - - Scene -

mean. I think that we carry it with us all the time, so you don’t nec­es­sar­ily leave any­thing be­hind. It’s all com­ing with you. You’ve men­tioned a prob­lem with try­ing to find heroic his­tor­i­cal fe­male char­ac­ters to look to. How do we fix that? There are many things you can do. There’s two ques­tions: What is hero­ism? Is it ac­tion? Does it have to be ac­tion- based? As I started to [ work] in cin­ema I real­ized that I would iden­tify with Marlon Brando be­cause he was the one get­ting to do things and that women seemed to be the ones say­ing, “No, don’t do that brave thing, stay here with me,” I started to get very frus­trated with that. And I re­main frus­trated with that be­cause it’s still a very com­mon trope. I turned down role af­ter role af­ter role in my 30s which were the wife go­ing, “No please! Why don’t you think of us? Think of the chil­dren!” That sort of milk­sop, marsh­mal­low- y stuff that wasn’t even al­lowed to be in­hab­ited in any real way. But the prob­lem with fe­male hero­ism is not one that’s very easy to an­swer be­cause if the ac­tions are go­ing to be the same as the male hero, then what do you do? You stick a gun in their hands. What’s the point of that? It’s the same old, same old. It’s a real co­nun­drum.

CON­TRIB­UTED

Emma Thomp­son plays the cur­mud­geonly P.L. Travers in Sav­ing Mr. Banks, which opens next Fri­day.

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