- Emma Thompson rehearsed naked with her costar and director to prep for a “challenging” nude scene.
- “It’s very challenging to be nude at 62,” the actress said of her sex scene in the movie.
- Thompson plays a retired schoolteacher trying to orgasm for the first time in “Good Luck To You, Leo Grande.”
Emma Thompson said she got naked with her “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande” costar and the film’s director to prep for her “challenging” nude scene in the new movie.
In “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande,” which premiered at the virtual Sundance Film Festival on Saturday, Thompson plays Nancy, a retired British school teacher trying to experience her first orgasm. Nancy decides to hire a male escort (played by Daryl McCormack) for sex.
According to the “Love Actually” star, she, McCormack, and director Sophie Hyde prepared extensively for the film’s nude scenes, even stripping down completely during the rehearsal process.
“Sophie, Daryl, and I rehearsed entirely nude and talked about our bodies, talked about our relationship with our bodies,” Thompson said in Sundance Cinema Cafe conversation with fellow actor Karen Gillan and The Atlantic’s Shirley Li. Per Thompson, this process involved drawing their bodies, describing them, and discussing “the things that we find difficult about” them, as well as “things we like about them.”
“It’s very challenging to be nude at 62,” Thompson said, adding that at one point, her character Nancy “stands in front of a mirror alone and she drops her robe.”
And while Thompson said that there were still “dreadful demands” made of women to be “thin” on both film sets and in the real world, she said her more mature age made it possible for her to do the nude scene.
“I don’t think I could’ve done it before the age that I am,” Thompson said. “And yet, of course, the age that I am makes it extremely challenging because we aren’t used to seeing untreated bodies on the screen.”
In a separate interview at the Variety Virtual Sundance Studio, presented by Audible, Thompson opened up further about the challenges of doing the nude scene.
“Probably the hardest thing that I’ve ever had to act, is standing in a relaxed manner and looking at my body without judgment,” Thompson said. “You ask any woman to do that, I bet you 9.9 times out of 10, they won’t be able to do it.”
“But do it on camera? Forget it,” she continued. “We’re used to not liking our bodies. We’ve been trained to hate our bodies from very early on, because they don’t match the impossible and actually cruel ideals that we are presented with.”