Emma Thompson speaks out on why older women can't sleep with younger men on screen

Ben Arnold
·2-min read
Actor Emma Thompson poses as she arrives for the U.K. premiere of "Last Christmas" in London, Britain, November 11, 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson
Emma Thompson (Credit: REUTERS/Simon Dawson)

Emma Thompson has questioned why it's so rare to see older women having sex with younger men in the movies.

The British actor, who is 61, is set to star in the new film Good Luck To You, Leo Grande, in which she plays a widowed teacher who hires a young male sex worker to sleep with her.

Thompson, star of movies like The Remains of the Day and Love Actually, said that she spends most of the movie 'largely naked'.

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Speaking on the CultureBlast podcast, she said: “It’s very interesting with this woman I’m about to play. This young man says, ‘You’re perfectly attractive, why can’t you find another chap?’ And she says, ‘Because the only people willing to sleep with me are people my age, and I want to sleep with someone younger than me.’

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“Now I’ve never heard a woman say that on screen. With men, it’s completely acceptable. It’s completely acceptable for George Clooney - who is delightful - to have someone who is 30 years younger than him. If I have someone playing opposite me in a romantic way, they have to exhume someone, because I’m 61 now. Do you see what I mean? It’s completely and utterly unbalanced.

“If Leo Grande, the film that we make, speaks to people and people aren’t averse to seeing someone who’s 61 largely naked with a very much younger person, it’s going to be very interesting. We’ve got to keep being brave about that.”

Thompson in Love Actually (Credit: Working Title)
Thompson in Love Actually (Credit: Working Title)

Good Luck To You, Leo Grande, is being helmed by Australian director Sophie Hyde, and has been penned by comedian Katy Brand.

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It will be filmed in London next year.

On announcing the project, Hyde said: “I’m thrilled to be working with the tremendously funny and heartbreakingly honest Emma Thompson to explore intimacy and desire, and to put on screen a relationship that feels unexpected and delightful.

“At a time when our need for each other is so vividly present, it will be a delight to create and show this connection between two people, which is funny, sexy and moving.”

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