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Emma Thompson: 'Audrey Hepburn couldn't act'


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http://www.digitalspy.com/showbiz/news/a258769/emma-thompson-hepburn-couldnt-act.html

 

Emma Thompson: 'Hepburn couldn't act'

Monday, August 9 2010, 3:57pm EDT

By Clare Wiley

 

Emma Thompson has admitted that she thinks Audrey Hepburn 'couldn't act or sing', calling the actress 'fantastically twee'.

 

The Love Actually star, who is currently working on a screenplay for a remake of My Fair Lady, insisted that she 'isn't fond' of Hepburn's portrayal of Eliza Doolittle in the 1964 musical.

 

According to WENN, Thompson explained: "I was thrilled to be asked to do it because, having a look 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.

 

"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."

 

She added: "It was [costumer] Cecil Beaton's designs and [Hepburn's co-star] Rex Harrison that gave it its extraordinary quality. I don't do Audrey Hepburn. I think that she's a guy thing? It's high time that the extraordinary role of Eliza was reinterpreted, because it's a very fantastic part for a woman."

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I've already posted this in another thread, but since it has its own, I couldn't agree with her, more! What she misses, is how horrendously directed the film is. Hepburn hasn't a clue how to play the role. She never, ever, ever gets it right. Like a little girl trying to play a woman. Every line, every move is false. Cukor has even less of a clue how to help her or what to do with the thing. If there was ever a musical film based on a Broadway show that I wanted to see remade, it's *My Fair Lady*.

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As I said in the other thread Emma Thompson does not know what she is talking about. Audrey Hepburn was a wonderful actress. Most actresses today do not come close to comparing, though they certainly try. Did she play similar roles a lot? Yes but so did a lot of actors/actresses at that time. And I think she gave some great iconic performances: Roman Holiday, Sabrina, Breakfast Tiffany's, and some great dramatic performances: Wait Until Dark, The Nun's Story, Two for the Road.

 

And she actually could sing too. No not the high notes that My Fair Lady required but her versions of Moon River is one of my absolute favorite songs.

 

I like Emma Thompson but this lacks class something that Audrey Hepburn had in abundance.

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Oh boy . . . Here we go again with this "My Fair Lady" outcry that has lasted for so many years! It's been no secret that most fans realize the whole idea of Hepburn not exactly beloved for having appeared in the 1964 film version. If anything, Thompson was probably misquoted along the lines that she must have been referring to Hepburn's work in the 1964 musical film and not so much Hepburn's other more famed acting pursuits. Most everyone agrees that Hepburn was all wrong for the 1964 film and she was never really forgiven by fans and peers for having not openly supported Julie Andrews to win the role she had originally created on stage. So, even if Thompson doesn't like Audrey's work as a film actress, well that's her opinion one way or another. Besides, the consensus of people who love Audrey are too big a challege for Thompson to sway away and agree with her assessment.

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I don't know who Emma Thompson is, but if she was here right now, I'd punch her in the face regardless of age or gender.

 

I agree about My Fair Lady not being one of Audrey's best moments, but to say that she couldn't act is ****, especially coming from a nobody.

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But she's not and will never be a screen legend, and insulted one of the best ever. It's not like Liz Taylor dissing Audrey, which I could at least live with as one great star disliking another.

 

There are classic film actresses I like who weren't great actresses, but Audrey isn't one of them.

 

This is just some self righteous Shakespearian British star acting like she's much better than someone else because of her formal acting training or some Cambridge crap like that. Give me a freaking break.

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> {quote:title=JefCostello wrote:}{quote}

> But she's not and will never be a screen legend, and insulted one of the best ever. It's not like Liz Taylor dissing Audrey, which I could at least live with as one great star disliking another.

>

> There are classic film actresses I like who weren't great actresses, but Audrey isn't one of them.

>

> This is just some self righteous Shakespearian British star acting like she's much better than someone else because of her formal acting training or some Cambridge crap like that. Give me a freaking break.

 

 

Well, you obviously, and admittedly don't know Emma Thompson. She's pretty close to being a screen legend right now, and definitely not 'just some British Shakespearean actor.' You owe it to yourself to see at least one of her films. I would recommend *Dead Again*, a fine film that is about as close to an old-school Hollywood classic as any film made since the days of the Hollywood studios. I bet you would like it.

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OK . . . Maybe this was all just a good and crazy publicity ploy? But, I don't think Thompson is so much insulting Audrey as an overall actress. It's all about the 1964 film and not what Audrey has come to represent as far as a film icon goes. If you divide the rest of Audrey's career away from what happened with "My Fair Lady," then she's pretty much out in the clear and remains one of the towering figures of motion picture history! There can never be any disputing this fact! Thompson would be "hung-out-to-dry" if she ever set foot in Hollywood with this negative attitude about Audrey's star status or even that of a great dramatic actress! While I don't think Audrey was so bad as an actress in "My Fair Lady," she was just not the right musical choice. She suffered a lot from day one of having agreed to be in the film, knowing full-well of the numerous repercussions she would have to face. There can be no doubt, when Audrey was about half way into filming, she began to feel a lot of the pressure from critics, fans and the press that kept reminding her of the consequences. It was a tough situation that might have been avoided, but Audrey was a seasoned professional, who relished the idea of any challenge to her career. In the end, she was wrong about this one and it was for the most part, a scar or mark she would carry for the rest of her life. It was rather strange that the film was considered a success, while Audrey has shoved aside and not allowed to partake in all the glory and praise that came to "My Fair Lady." Too bad or it's a shame that Thompson has to dwell in an area she seems to know little about or hasn't done her homework on what cost there was to one of the finest and most beautiful human beings that ever walked the face of the earth!!!

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> {quote:title=MovieProfessor wrote:}{quote}

> OK . . . Maybe this was all just a good and crazy publicity ploy? But, I don't think Thompson is so much insulting Audrey as an overall actress. It's all about the 1964 film and not what Audrey has come to represent as far as a film icon goes.

 

First of all my impression of what Emma Thompson said she was insulting Audrey Hepburn's acting ability in general not just her role in My Fair Lady. Saying all she could do was be sweet and cute and that she had no wit or bite or Twee as she said.

 

And while Eliza is not my favorite role for Audrey, I still enjoy her performance very much and I think she gets a lot of unfair criticism because she doesn't sing and because Julie Andrews was not cast (neither of these things were her fault and she had no control over them). In fact this was the first role I had seen of Audrey's and I have been a fan ever since.

 

Basically it seems to me that Emma Thompson thinks putting down Audrey Hepburn will sell her own version of My Fair Lady. Well she should sell it on its own merits not by putting down another Actress' work. That lacks class. I do like Emma Thompson's work but I have lost a lot of respect for her.

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It's possible that Emma Thompson was misquoted or her quote was taken out of context.

 

But, hey, why bother with that when you can fantasize about punching her in the face.

 

(sigh)

 

Edited by: lzcutter because of indentations

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> I don't know who Emma Thompson is, but if she was here right now, I'd punch her in the face regardless of age or gender.

 

If Emma Thompson punched you in the face for that comment and I were on the jury at her battery trial, I'd vote to acquit.

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In her statement, what do you suppose this means?

 

?It's high time that the extraordinary role of Eliza was reinterpreted, because it's a very fantastic part for a woman.?

 

What does ?reinterpreted? mean?

 

Should we ?reinterpret? Lincoln? General Patton?

 

Is the new Eliza going to be a feminist? A man? A munchkin?

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I wouldn't sue her for battery in the first place. She'd be suing me.

 

She insulted one of my favorite actresses to build up her own performance, and yeah I'm a little **** off about it. It's classless towards the profession and very arrogant on her part. Self righteous as well.

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All of this is really just a lot of Much Ado About Nothing.

 

I guess one actor can not criticize another actor at all. is this what I am hearing?

 

Audrey Hepburn will always hold a special place in my heart as well as millions of other fans worldwide. I think what Thompson was saying was basically what she did not like about Hepburn's performance in MFL.

 

Thompson IS an acting and screenwriting force now and for years to come.

 

Thompson will probably also be nominated for additional Oscars before her career is over.

 

Hepburn appeared in 28 films. Thompson has appeared in 32 films as of now, with another 4 on the way.

 

Thompson has also appeared in over 15 television programs including the British mini series Fortunes of War.

 

Hepburn was nominated for an Oscar 5 times, winning once for Best Actress in Roman Holiday. She received a posthumous Oscar in 1993 for her humanitarian work.

 

She also won and American Emmy in 1993.

 

Thompson has been nominated 5 times also. She won a Best Actress award for Howards End, then won a Best Screenplay Oscar for Sense and Sensibility.

 

She is the only actor in the history of the Oscars to have won a Best Actress award and a Best Screenplay award.

 

She too has won an American Emmy.

 

And if you look at the quality of Hepburn's films, I can honestly say IMHO that she appeared in about 10 really good films during her career:

 

Roman Holiday 1953

Sabrina 1954

Funny Face 1957

The Nun's Story 1960

Breakfast at Tiffany's 1961

The Children's Hour 1961

Charade 1963

Two for the Road 1967

Wait Until Dark 1967

Robin and Marion 1976

 

Thompson on the other hand IMHO has appeared in about 16 really good films so far into her career:

 

Henry V 1989

Dead Again 1991

Howards End 1992

Much Ado About Nothing 1993

The Remains of the Day 1993

In the Name of the Father 1993

Carrington 1995

Sense and Sensibility 1995

The Winter Guest 1997

Primary Colors 1998

Love Actually 2003

Nanny McPhee 2005

Stranger Than Fiction 2006

Brideshead Revisited 2008

Last Chance Harvey 2008

An Education 2009

 

So before anyone starts calling Thompson out as being some hack or some minor actress, one might want to look at her track record so far.

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Looks like Thompson is pulling out all the stops, in favor of creating some sort of hype, if not, interest. She's obviously preying upon the past history of the original film. But, I think she's way overbroad on this thing about Audrey to say she was just a pretty face or had a beautiful profile. Thompson's forgotten about what a real movie star is all about . . . It's a blend of talent and an ability to transcend the consciousness of the average fan into believing they are witnessing something unique and beyond their daily world. Audrey had this aptitude to create for us a persona that was both beautiful and dramatically inspiring. Thompson is a fine actress herself, but she's no real star or able to take her persona beyond just being talented. There are uncharted areas to a motion picture career that Thompson has yet to either understand or come to know about. It's an area that speaks to us in a certain inspirational way and Audrey had that magic or what we might say is a grandeur that delights, infuriates, arouses and exhilarates our passion to go to the movies. If Thompson could achieve what Audrey did, then she might understand what Audrey was all about and come to realize that acting for the big-screen requires methods that don't equate with a skill that has to come from other regions such as the "live stage" where no doubt Thompson first made her mark. But then, so did Audrey. I wonder if Thompson knows anything of Audrey's early career? I wonder . . .

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Nobody today can achieve the sort of stardom that Audrey or any of the stars of yesterday did. First of all, people don't want that sort of glamor or class, they want outrageous and ugly. The bigger the freak show, the bigger the celebrity.

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That's okay Fred. Its not too late for you.

 

I would highly recommend the following films:

 

Henry V 1989

Dead Again 1991

Howards End 1992

Much Ado About Nothing 1993

The Remains of the Day 1993

Carrington 1995

Sense and Sensibility 1995, acting and writing

Primary Colors 1998

Love Actually 2003

Nanny McPhee 2005, acting and writing

Last Chance Harvey 2008

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> {quote:title=fxreyman wrote:}{quote}

> All of this is really just a lot of Much Ado About Nothing.

>

> I guess one actor can not criticize another actor at all. is this what I am hearing?

>

>

 

Emma Thompson is free to say whatever she wants but we are also free to speak out against what she says. Everyone is free to have their opinion but that doesn't mean that opinion cannot be disputed. And I just thought the way she presented her opinion was extremely rude.

 

If she wanted to criticize the first film she could have done so with much more tact. She could have said that she didn't think Audrey was right for the role or that she thinks more could be done with My Fair Lady. She could mention that My Fair Lady is an adaption itself. But no she has to belittle Audrey Hepburn's career. I can tell you that Audrey Hepburn would never do anything like that. She was class act all the way and that is why she is admired so much today. She was not just wonderful onscreen but wonderful off as well.

 

 

I am certainly not attacking Emma Thompson's acting or writing abilities. I liked her in many roles and I love Sense & Sensibility. So I might still like her onscreen but unlike Audrey I now question how I feel about her offscreen.

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> Kinokima you wrote:

> Emma Thompson is free to say whatever she wants . . .

 

Of course she is . . . Free to be stupidly arrogant and careless to the point of simply alienating herself from millions of people who will remember Audrey and everything that was worthwhile to a career that for Thompson will take a very, very long way to achieving.

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> fxreyman you wrote:

 

> All of this is really just a lot of Much Ado About Nothing.

>

> I guess one actor can not criticize another actor at all. is this what I am hearing?

>

> Audrey Hepburn will always hold a special place in my heart as well as millions of other fans worldwide. I think what Thompson was saying was basically what she did not like about Hepburn's performance in MFL.

>

> Thompson IS an acting and screenwriting force now and for years to come.

>

> Thompson will probably also be nominated for additional Oscars before her career is over.

>

> Hepburn appeared in 28 films. Thompson has appeared in 32 films as of now, with another 4 on the way.

>

> Thompson has also appeared in over 15 television programs including the British mini series Fortunes of War.

>

> Hepburn was nominated for an Oscar 5 times, winning once for Best Actress in Roman Holiday. She received a posthumous Oscar in 1993 for her humanitarian work.

>

> She also won and American Emmy in 1993.

>

> Thompson has been nominated 5 times also. She won a Best Actress award for Howards End, then won a Best Screenplay Oscar for Sense and Sensibility.

>

> She is the only actor in the history of the Oscars to have won a Best Actress award and a Best Screenplay award.

>

> She too has won an American Emmy.

>

> And if you look at the quality of Hepburn's films, I can honestly say IMHO that she appeared in about 10 really good films during her career:

>

> Roman Holiday 1953

> Sabrina 1954

> Funny Face 1957

> The Nun's Story 1960

> Breakfast at Tiffany's 1961

> The Children's Hour 1961

> Charade 1963

> Two for the Road 1967

> Wait Until Dark 1967

> Robin and Marion 1976

>

> Thompson on the other hand IMHO has appeared in about 16 really good films so far into her career:

>

> Henry V 1989

> Dead Again 1991

> Howards End 1992

> Much Ado About Nothing 1993

> The Remains of the Day 1993

> In the Name of the Father 1993

> Carrington 1995

> Sense and Sensibility 1995

> The Winter Guest 1997

> Primary Colors 1998

> Love Actually 2003

> Nanny McPhee 2005

> Stranger Than Fiction 2006

> Brideshead Revisited 2008

> Last Chance Harvey 2008

> An Education 2009

>

> So before anyone starts calling Thompson out as being some hack or some minor actress, one might want to look at her track record so far.

 

. . .Well, this was _a_ _lot_ to say on Much Ado About Nothing . . .

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