Emma Thompson Talks

Emma Thompson plays an airport worker who falls for Dustin Hoffman in "Last Chance Harvey." She spoke to Ramin Setoodeh.

Did you film at a real airport?
Yes. All the passengers are extras. There were moments when we would be filming and a real flight would arrive and people would start walking through the shots who were fantastically annoyed at the extra 30 seconds added to their journey. They get very irritable.

Well, it ' s miserable to travel now.
It is miserable. True. It's brutal.

Do you get stopped by security?
Of course. Traveling to the States now is tough, and if I want to work in the States, I have to go to the embassy, which I deeply resent.

Why is that?
You tell me. It's the last straw. I have to go have my photo taken, my fingerprints taken, they've done a good job of making everyone feel criminal.

They should let Emma Thompson come here whenever she likes.
Absolutely. I should have my own runway, darling!

What do you do on your day off?
I cook meals, I read, I walk and exercise a lot, I teach at my daughter's school.

What do you teach?
I teach drama. [Pause.] And quantum physics, obviously.

How old are the kids?
They're 8 or 9. We're doing "Macbeth" at the moment.

With 8-year-olds? You are not!
We are.

Do they understand the play?
Sure they do. They're very concerned about the bad behavior. It really is good fun.

How old were you when you started acting?
I was 27. I was a comedian for a long time.

Did you do stand-up?
Yeah. It was awful, I gave it up because I couldn't earn a living, and it was bloody frightening.

What were your jokes about?
It was all rude. It was to do with sexually transmitted diseases, basically, herpes and things like that, which doesn't necessarily go down well with everyone.

Are you pulling my leg?
No it's true, it's true. I swear to God. I did jokes about herpes all the time.

Why aren't you in the new Harry Potter movie?
I imagine it's very difficult to fit my character in. They've got so much plot.

Isn't your character in every book?
I don't know. I've only read the first four.

You haven't finished "Harry Potter"?
I'm busy. I'm reading about Shaw at the moment. I'm working my way through the 17 volumes of Michael Holroyd's biography, which, believe you me, doesn't leave me much room for the real page-turny stuff.

Well,I won't give away the Potter ending.
You're a gent.

In His Prime
Heeere's Jay—again. After he signs off from "The Tonight Show" in May, Leno is moving to prime time. This is great for Leno lovers, but not so good for network TV. A big reason for Leno's second coming is that talk shows are cheaper to produce than scripted shows (which mostly bomb anyway). Why stop there, Peacock people? Arsenio would be even cheaper.

Hugh's Debut
The good news for Hugh Jackman is that even if Australia and "Australia" sink into the ocean, he will be at the Oscars—just not necessarily as a nominee. The Sexiest 40-Year-Old Alive is going to host the 81st Academy Awards, a great honor and a great choice—what, you want Chris Rock back?—but it almost certainly means he will only give out statuettes, not receive one. There's always the next "X-Men," mate.

Can Someone Pass the Tissues, Please?
Jennifer Aniston's new movie is called "Marley & Me," but you'd think it was "Brangelina & Me" by the way she's been talking. Some of her comments have been sympathetic, while others are just plain pathetic:

" That stuff about how [Jolie] couldn ' t wait to get to work every day? That was really uncool. "

" I was just surprised that Vogue would go so tabloid. I was bummed. But you almost expect it. Big deal. Done. Next. "

On coverage of her personal life: "I am honestly getting sick of itIt's none of your [expletive] business."

Calls her relationship with Brad and Angelina an "insane Bermuda Triangle." "The funny thing is that people don't realize we all go away to the Hamptons on the weekends!"

And after all these personal confessions to boost "Marley & Me," the movie's still a dog.

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