While visiting Scandinavia with Greenpeace, Emma Thompson discussed the massive image problem plaguing Hollywood.
While on Swedish talk show Skavlan, the 57-year-old explained she never moved to LA because she feels too old and fat whenever she visited the city.
The self-described “fierce card-carrying feminist” explained the obsession with being thin was ongoing and entrenched in showbiz culture, giving an example of a producer who told her fellow actress to lose weight.
“There was a wonderful actress in a film I did called Brideshead Revisited,” Thompson explained, referring to the 2008 adaption. “The producer said to her, ‘Will you lose some weight?’ And she was absolutely exquisite!”
“I said to them, ’If you speak to her about this again, on any level, I will leave this picture. You are never to do that,’” Thompson revealed.
“It’s evil what’s happening and what’s going on there, and it’s getting worse. The French fashion industry said they would get rid of size zero and then, you know, they didn’t.
“The anorexia—there’s so many kids, girls and boys now, and actresses who are very, very thin into their 30s, who simply don’t eat. They don’t eat,” she warned.
“Sometimes there are just some subjects that you absolutely have to make noise about because it’s so tedious and it’s gone on and on.”
A fellow guest spoke of a time a journalist had asked, “How come you’re not as thin as other actresses” and Thompson said she always responds to questions about her weight with, “Sorry, do you want me to be an actress or a model?”
This is far from the first time the actress has taken umbrage with those in film prioritising weight over talent.
“It seems young actresses are under pressure to look a particular way,” she told The Telegraph in 2013.
“If you’re invited to re-invent yourself, in the language in which that conversation is couched, it’s difficult to resist: 'You’ve got to be thinner.’ 'You’ve got to be prettier. Because we need to sell you, and we won’t be able to sell you if you don’t look like this.’
“It’s not about acting. They don’t care if you can act or not. I can only imagine what the pressures must be like.”
Although Thompson entered the acting game when she was 27, she seemed to skip similar advice.
“I’d have told them where to shove it. I’ve always been a card-carrying feminist. But in those days, I was fierce, fierce, very angry,” she snorted.
“So I wouldn’t have put up with a single bloody minute of that.”