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Emma Thompson, 62, Says Shooting Nude Scenes Is ‘Very Challenging’

Emma Thompson: ‘It’s Very Challenging to Be Nude at 62’
Emma Thompson. Scott Garfitt/AP/Shutterstock

Stripping down in her sixties. Emma Thompson got real about embracing nude scenes for her new movie, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande. 

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“It’s very challenging to be nude at 62,” the actress said during a Cinema Cafe livestream for Sundance Film Festival on Saturday, January 22. 

But given that her character, Nancy Stokes, is a “widow yearning for some adventure, human connections and good sex,” getting naked was inherent to the script. “She stands in front a mirror alone and she drops her robe,” Thompson recalled. 

While the star explained that rehearsing in the nude and being open about her relationship with her body was helpful, she shared that the “dreadful demands” on women — in the real world and in Hollywood — don’t make nude scenes any easier. 

“This thing of having to be thin is still the same as it ever was and actually, in some ways, I think it’s worse now,” the actress said.  

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But even with external factors to deal with and expectations from society, Thompson doesn’t think she would have embraced nudity on screen at any other stage in her life. 

“I don’t think I could’ve done it before the age that I am,” she said in the interview. “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.” 

While the actress made a point to strip down sans filters for her 2022 movie, which is currently in theaters, she had the opposite experience while filming Cruella. 

In fact, Thompson had to wear so much shapewear and such extreme undergarments for the role, that she likened her outfit to an actual “torture item.” 

The star, who played Baroness in the Disney film, was dressed in “industrial” underwear that helped shape her figure a certain way. 

“I mean I don’t like underwear full stop. I mean, I stopped wearing it a long time ago. It’s not my scene,” she joked in a May 2021 interview with Lorraine. “I don’t like comfortable underwear. I find comfortable underwear uncomfortable.” 

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Given her aversion to undergarments, the super-charged versions she was expected to wear were the equivalent of “the fourth bridge” to Thompson. 

“It’s like squeezing a tube of toothpaste in the middle. If you squeeze it hard enough then things will come up and go down and mark the shapes,” she explained. “It’s like you’re dealing with a plasticine person.” 

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