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Emma Thompson: 'Audrey Hepburn couldn't act'

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

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

> > As I pointed out, we only have a few little snippets of what Emma said, so we don't know exactly what she really said.

>

> Sorry we have a whole lot of what she said.

>

> http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1300986/Audrey-Hepburn-twee-mumsy-really-act-Emma-Thompsons-scathing-appraisal-My-Fair-Lady-star.html

>

> I don't think we are missing anything here! And if we are let Emma Thompson speak up for herself. This is not the first time she has made controversial remarks.

>

> Edited by: Kinokima on Aug 10, 2010 7:19 PM

 

 

Of direct quotes from Emma, I count two sentence fragments, and three possibly complete sentences pertaining to Audrey. I'd say we are missing an awful lot, unless I saw a full transcript. Emma does say a lot more about her views of the film/story/characters in this link than the first one, but no more about Audrey.

 

Edited by: ValentineXavier on Aug 10, 2010 8:15 PM

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-But for the sole purpose of the musical they're not meant to be sung but spoken with music--like a poem.

 

That's absolutely correct. Lerner and Lowe wrote several of their male leads that way. King Arthur's role in CAMELOT, probably written with Burton in mind, is the same way. MY FAIR LADY is my favorite stage musical. As a movie, it's a little flat. Lacks inspiration. I agree it's not Hepburn's best work.

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

> While Emma was at it, why didn't she bash any other classic film stars for being untalented?

 

 

Perhaps because she was discussing one particular film, and its remake.

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> {quote:title=ValentineXavier wrote:}

> >

> >

>

>

> Of direct quotes from Emma, I count two sentence fragments, and three possibly complete sentences pertaining to Audrey. I'd say we are missing an awful lot, unless I saw a full transcript. Emma does say a lot more about her views of the film/story/characters in this link than the first one, but no more about Audrey.

>

 

 

And why does there have to be more? You are making an assumption that what said was cut up but I have yet to see her say so. Maybe that is everything she said exactly.

 

And what you say is a little bit I think there is a whole lot. She doesn't need to say two paragraphs worth about Audrey Hepburn to see what she means.

 

And even if she was just talking about My Fair Lady and not Audrey's entire acting career she still could have had much more tact. Instead of saying she cannot act or sing (which I feel is utter nonsense) then she could have simply said I don't think she was right for the part.

 

Edited by: Kinokima on Aug 10, 2010 8:55 PM

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It's astonishing what passes for "controversy" in this world, today. It's some actress, talking about another actress. It's not as if she were talking about Mother Teresa!

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*You are making an assumption that what said was cut up but I have yet to see her say so.*

 

That's because in this day and age of 24/7 anything goes news, it's the sensational that leads. After the commotion has died down and the facts come to surface, the retractions rarely, if ever, get the hype that the original story did.

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

> *You are making an assumption that what said was cut up but I have yet to see her say so.*

>

> That's because in this day and age of 24/7 anything goes news, it's the sensational that leads. After the commotion has died down and the facts come to surface, the retractions rarely, if ever, get the hype that the original story did.

 

Of course a lot of news is sensational. But Emma Thompson is free to clarify her point if the newspapers got it wrong. I think it is ridiculous to assume we are taking what she says out of context just because there aren't pages of interview. And I am pretty sure this sensation is not going to hurt Emma Thompson. If anything it is publicity for her movie. As they say there is no such thing as bad publicity.

 

And *johnm_001* no Audrey Hepburn is not Mother Teresa but ironically enough she was a wonderful human being who used her celebrity to help many people in need in some of the poorest countries. Of course that has nothing to do with her acting ability.

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I don't see why so many people are so up in arms that Emma Thompson said something less then complimentary about Audrey Hepburn, when we have a nice long thread doing much the same thing in [Comedians that are NOT funny|http://forums.tcm.com/jive/tcm/thread.jspa?threadID=154830&tstart=0]

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

> I don't see why so many people are so up in arms that Emma Thompson said something less then complimentary about Audrey Hepburn, when we have a nice long thread doing much the same thing in [Comedians that are NOT funny|http://forums.tcm.com/jive/tcm/thread.jspa?threadID=154830&tstart=0]

 

I think there is a difference between a message board and a celebrity saying things to the public.

 

Of course I am not saying Emma is not free to have her opinions about Audrey Hepburn as much as I dislike it. But then I am free to dislike it and to think she was rude in the way she presented her opinion. That is my opinion.

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

>

> And why does there have to be more? You are making an assumption that what said was cut up but I have yet to see her say so. Maybe that is everything she said exactly.

 

When they quote fragments of sentences, and sentences that don't connect clearly, it's not an assumption, its an observation. I'm trying NOT to make assumptions about what was said, based on such edited evidence. But, as others have said, even if the quotes accurately characterize what she said, and there were no dropped modifiers, I don't think it is a big deal. It won't hurt either one of them.

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

> As I said before I don't care that Emma Thompson doesn't like Audrey Hepburn. She has a right to her opinion but I also have a right to say her opinion is full of......

 

Didn't say you couldn't. I just find it funny that we're taking it so seriously.

 

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

> And since you are using examples of famous directors disliking other famous directors I can also disagree with their opinion or how they present their opinion.

 

Yes.

 

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

> Tolstoy hates Shakespeare. He wrote some long essays on the matter. I love Tolstoy's novels (well the two I have read) but when it comes to Shakespeare then I don't think he knows what he is talking about. Actually I think his opinions on Shakespeare are quite ridiculous.

 

But that's the point of my post. You don't have to agree with Tolstoy's analysis of Shakespeare. It did absolutely nothing to push Shakespeare out of his spot in world history. That essay though, and later George Orwell's response, could also be a valuable tool in evaluating how perceptions of drama and literature have changed since Elizabethan times and the late 1800s and into the 1900s...and how Tolstoy views his own art form and subsequently how another writer looks at Tolstoy through that lens (as an aside: I think it's kind of funny that Tolstoy uses a "mass hypnosis" argument; "You only like it because people tell you to." Ha! Even back then we had classic message board-style criticism!)

 

And I find a lot of the demeanor and responses here telling of how people view movies...and the suggestions don't bode well for the continuing vitality of the movies.

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For another take on Eliza Doolittle, I recommend watching the 1938 film version of ?Pygmalion? with Wendy Hiller and Leslie Howard. I prefer Wendy Hiller as Eliza Doolittle; I think she is more believable in the beginning of the film and the transformation has more impact. It may be because "My Fair Lady" is so stylized with the Cecil Beaton influence, but the 1938 film seems to have more heart.

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I agree with you about Tolstoy & his take on Shakespeare. I have a feeling that Thompson's remarks were taken out of context or at least, incomplete. Many of us agree that AH role in MFL was miscast, AH herself included. While she has played many other roles to perfection, she was so beautiful & was also a role model for many young women.. Because she was such a clothes horse, she changed the fashions, of course partly because of the great clothing designers that did her up (ah, the Little Black Dress that no longer fits, but then that was Breakfast at Tiffany's). Anyone who has studied British films is aware of the Brits influence on Hollywood and specifically Thompson's contribution. I sort of agree with her about AH's role in MFL but I don't think I would have put it quite that way, although again, it was just about MFL. Let's see what she does with it, something to look forward to.

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I doubt that greatly. Will a dress that Emma wore in a film go for almost a million dollars at an auction after her death? Dont make me laugh. Audrey is more famous now than she ever was during her career. Weather people like her or not, that's a fact. Will they use Emma's likeness in a Gap commercial? Will a song about a film of Emma's become a No One song? (Breakfast at Tiffanys, which by the way, just has ANOTHER book published about it) Emma might have more acting range, but she'll never have the icon or stratosphere star status that Audrey had or has. She definitely has LESS CLASS.

 

Edited by: Hibi on Aug 11, 2010 9:05 AM

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Ever since the day studio boss Jack L. Warner decided on casting Audrey in the role of ?Eliza Doolittle,? the whole aura of the motion picture seemed to be cursed. It?s a curse that has forever lasted and probably will remain as an example to the way in which the motion picture business could fall prey to so much criticism. There?s no doubt to me that Emma Thompson was simply adding a bit of fuel to the already known and extremely controversial issue of Audrey having been cast. It?s a subject that is easily exploited by way of the vast amount of sympathy that even after all these years, still follows Julie Andrews, who was always the first choice by critics and fans alike.

 

Thompson may have overstepped some boundaries with a few of her statements about Audrey that have perplexing results as to wonder what her motives are. Certainly, the biggest mistake she has made is not realizing the length of ?star power? Audrey still has and allows her iconic imagery to stay as strong today as it was so many years past. While all of this might just be considered opinionated parlance from Thompson, it strikes to close to the core of Audrey?s overall beloved status as one of the great film stars of the 20th Century. If the statements made by Thompson have not been taken out of context, she will appear to be capitalizing on those past clashes and disputes that had wounded and scared the original film and without any doubt Audrey.

 

It?s not like Thompson has opened up a ?can of worms? from the past about ?My Fair Lady.? It?s just that in her interview, she seemed to focus a bit too close on the issue of Audrey and in this regard she is walking on dangerous ground! All of us who know the story of what happened with the production of ?My Fair Lady? have with time, come towards the understanding that Audrey can?t be so totally blamed for whatever bruises or indecisions hurt the movie. Truth is that Audrey has taken the bulk of criticism surrounding the film, all due to her casting. The one thing Thompson could have easily reflected on was what all of us knew at the time and that was Audrey not being so right for the role. Thompson has simply reminded everyone of this issue, by going to some extremes that in an emotional way of thinking, hurt not only her, but give a rather unfair assessment on the legacy of a great star.

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I agree with some of what you say, but I have said for 46 years (I cannot believe it's been that long since I sat in The Stanley Theater in Philadelphia, devastated at how they ruined my favorite show), that Audrey Hepburn did not possess the talent to do Eliza Doolittle, nor did George Cukor to direct the film. And, apparently, nor did Jack Warner, to produce the film! I think it is perfectly acceptable for Emma Thompson to hold the same opinion. She didn't mentioned Julie Andrews or blame Audrey for her not being cast, so I'm not sure why that's become part of the discussion. However, I also agree that a tactful way of expressing her dislike for Miss Hepburn's performance would have been more appropriate.

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I'd hardly call a film that won 8 Oscars and went on to become one of the most financially succesful film musicals ever made cursed. Just because some naysayers thought Audrey was miscast? Audiences at the time aparently didnt think so.

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I've read Emma's interview on the web. Not just snippets. She wasnt just referring to MFL. I find it highly ironic she was trashing another star while getting HER star on the Walk of Fame. Now that's REAL CLASS. I also read she made a complete **** of herself on the Tonight show (sorry I missed it) Go Emma! LOL.

 

If Emma is so great and versatile, why hasnt she done a musical? Let's see her sing and dance.

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I've read Emma's interview on the web. Not just snippets. She wasnt just referring to MFL. I find it highly ironic she was trashing another star while getting HER star on the Walk of Fame. Now that's REAL CLASS. I also heard she made a complete **** of herself on the Tonight show (I'm sorry I missed it now) Go Emma! LOL.

 

If Emma is so great and versatile, why hasnt she done a musical? Let's see how SHE sings and dances........

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Thank you for that article from Frederic Raphael. He says it better than I ever could....

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Yes, I noticed. Where is it written that Eliza has to be sung by a trained soprano? A guttersnipe who sings like she belongs in a concert hall?. Most people who saw the film never saw Andrews in the musical. I heard Audrey's track of Loverly when they released the restored version some years back. She sounded fine.

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Yes, I noticed. Where is it written that Eliza has to be sung by a trained soprano? A guttersnipe who sings like she belongs in a concert hall?. Most people who saw the film never saw Andrews sing in the musical.l think it would've added more realism if they had let Audrey sing rather than dubbing in a voice that was obviously not hers. We'll never know how good or bad she was, but I heard her track of Loverly and she sounded fine to me.........

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