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Old August 10 2010, 12:42 PM   #1
Dusty Ayres
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Emma Thompson slams film icon Audrey Hepburn

Emma Thompson can't wait to see Audrey Hepburn replaced in a remake of My Fair Lady - because she's convinced the star couldn't sing or act.
Thompson is currently drafting a screenplay for the upcoming reworking of the 1964 musical in which Hepburn played Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle.
And the Brit plans to give her script a feminist makeover - because she couldn't stand Hepburn's "twee" portrayal of such an "extraordinary role".
She says, "I was thrilled to be asked to do it because, having a look at it, I thought that there needs to be a new version. I'm not hugely fond of the film. I find Audrey Hepburn fantastically twee."
Emma Thompson slams film icon Audrey Hepburn
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Old August 10 2010, 12:57 PM   #2
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Re: Emma Thompson slams film icon Audrey Hepburn

Audrey was five times the beauty that horsey Emma Thompson ever was.
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Old August 10 2010, 01:01 PM   #3
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Re: Emma Thompson slams film icon Audrey Hepburn

Ah, sensationalistic reporting.

Yes, Thompson is critical of Audrey Hepburn, but she's talking about the role and how Hepburn approached it. "It's high time that the extraordinary role of Eliza was reinterpreted, because it's a very fantastic part for a woman." She's glad to be writing a new version of My Fair Lady because she found Hepburn to be unfunny in the role. And I'm not sure I'd disagree; I get bored with the film anytime Hepburn is on screen. Others agree; "Hepburn is an intriguing figure, but I think Emma Thompson is entitled, more than entitled, to poke this sacred cow."

Some of the reports are losing the context. It's not a full-on slam of Hepburn as a person -- Thompson even says "I'm sure she was a delightful woman - and perhaps if I had known her I would have enjoyed her acting more, but I don't and I didn't" -- just a criticism of Hepburn's portrayal of a role.
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Old August 10 2010, 01:10 PM   #4
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Re: Emma Thompson slams film icon Audrey Hepburn

MeanJoePhaser wrote: View Post
Audrey was five times the beauty that horsey Emma Thompson ever was.
Interesting since Emma was talking about acting abilities and not looks. I have to admit I find many actors of by gone ages who are held as great examples of their time to be very average actors.
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Old August 10 2010, 01:23 PM   #5
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Re: Emma Thompson slams film icon Audrey Hepburn

Jax wrote: View Post
MeanJoePhaser wrote: View Post
Audrey was five times the beauty that horsey Emma Thompson ever was.
Interesting since Emma was talking about acting abilities and not looks.
I know. That was sensationalistic posting.
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Old August 10 2010, 08:18 PM   #6
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Re: Emma Thompson slams film icon Audrey Hepburn

Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post
Ah, sensationalistic reporting.

Yes, Thompson is critical of Audrey Hepburn, but she's talking about the role and how Hepburn approached it. "It's high time that the extraordinary role of Eliza was reinterpreted, because it's a very fantastic part for a woman." She's glad to be writing a new version of My Fair Lady because she found Hepburn to be unfunny in the role. And I'm not sure I'd disagree; I get bored with the film anytime Hepburn is on screen. Others agree; "Hepburn is an intriguing figure, but I think Emma Thompson is entitled, more than entitled, to poke this sacred cow."

Some of the reports are losing the context. It's not a full-on slam of Hepburn as a person -- Thompson even says "I'm sure she was a delightful woman - and perhaps if I had known her I would have enjoyed her acting more, but I don't and I didn't" -- just a criticism of Hepburn's portrayal of a role.
FWIW, I'm not sure how much it's Hepburn and how much it's "My Fair Lady." Shaw's "Pygmalion" ends with Eliza walking out and (ultimately) sticking with Freddy, making her own way instead of coming back to Higgins. Shaw fought and fought to keep that ending, but many wanted Eliza to end up with Higgins; Shaw ultimately wrote a more detailed explanation of what happens "after the end."

When it turned into "My Fair Lady" they went with the "Eliza comes back to Higgins" ending - downplaying her independence, of course. I wouldn't be surprised if when Hepburn played the role, she was directed to be more "twee" (?) than Pygmalion's Eliza.

I'm fond of Hepburn, though.
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Old August 10 2010, 08:21 PM   #7
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Re: Emma Thompson slams film icon Audrey Hepburn

Jax wrote: View Post
MeanJoePhaser wrote: View Post
Audrey was five times the beauty that horsey Emma Thompson ever was.
Interesting since Emma was talking about acting abilities and not looks. I have to admit I find many actors of by gone ages who are held as great examples of their time to be very average actors.
I think it was also just the way TV and movies were presented. I feel like acting in general was more over-the-top in decades past, whereas today we tend to see actors playing much more down-to-earth and realistic characters.
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Old August 10 2010, 08:38 PM   #8
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Re: Emma Thompson slams film icon Audrey Hepburn

Not unlike Brigitte Bardot, what Audrey Hepburn had was charm and beauty, which is better than nothing. She wasn't bad in Roman Holiday, but apart from that, I was not aware that she was considered to be a particularly gifted thespian.
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Old August 10 2010, 08:39 PM   #9
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Re: Emma Thompson slams film icon Audrey Hepburn

Whoa what a SLAM!
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Old August 10 2010, 08:45 PM   #10
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Re: Emma Thompson slams film icon Audrey Hepburn

The Mirrorball Man wrote: View Post
Not unlike Brigitte Bardot, what Audrey Hepburn had was charm and beauty, which is better than nothing. She wasn't bad in Roman Holiday, but apart from that, I was not aware that she was considered to be a particularly gifted thespian.
Audrey had charm offscreen as well as on. The revolting racist Bardot, who seems to prefer animals to people, has none.

As for the Thompson comments, well, she's entitled to her view. Of course, if silly-season quotes like this help drum up publicity for her new enterprise, I'm sure a canny operator like her won't have failed to take note of it.
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Old August 10 2010, 10:40 PM   #11
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Re: Emma Thompson slams film icon Audrey Hepburn

The Mirrorball Man wrote: View Post
Not unlike Brigitte Bardot, what Audrey Hepburn had was charm and beauty, which is better than nothing. She wasn't bad in Roman Holiday, but apart from that, I was not aware that she was considered to be a particularly gifted thespian.
I totally loved Roman Holiday, but that may be more from Gregory Peck than Hepburn. Though I liked Hepburn in it, particularly the final goodbye scene with the press and all. Well acted on all sides, including Eddie Albert.
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Old August 10 2010, 11:33 PM   #12
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Re: Emma Thompson slams film icon Audrey Hepburn

MeanJoePhaser wrote: View Post
Audrey was five times the beauty that horsey Emma Thompson ever was.
And what does that have to do with the issue of Hepburn's portrayal of Eliza Doolittle?

I have to say, Hepburn would be about the last actress I would see in the role. But she was also, no doubt, directed that way, as My Fair Lady was, as Kestrel noted, a watered-down version of Pygmalion, which completely undermined Shaw's intention and message.

As for Hepburn in general, I was never a big fan, as she was a little bit too twee in many roles for my taste...

I really liked her in "Robin and Marian", though.

Jax wrote: View Post
MeanJoePhaser wrote: View Post
Audrey was five times the beauty that horsey Emma Thompson ever was.
Interesting since Emma was talking about acting abilities and not looks. I have to admit I find many actors of by gone ages who are held as great examples of their time to be very average actors.
Speaking of which, I always though Greta Garbo was an awful actress who always overacted. There are maybe two films in which I found her to be OK (Queen Christina and Ninotchka).

RoJoHen wrote: View Post
Jax wrote: View Post
MeanJoePhaser wrote: View Post
Audrey was five times the beauty that horsey Emma Thompson ever was.
Interesting since Emma was talking about acting abilities and not looks. I have to admit I find many actors of by gone ages who are held as great examples of their time to be very average actors.
I think it was also just the way TV and movies were presented. I feel like acting in general was more over-the-top in decades past, whereas today we tend to see actors playing much more down-to-earth and realistic characters.
I don't think it's that simple. Even accounting for different styles, some actors were stronger and more convincing than others. Bette Davis wasn't exactly subtle, but she was still, IMO, a great actress. Ditto for Vivien Leigh. I can appreciate the actors from the silent era, too. See "Pandora's Box" - Louise Brooks's acting, for instance, was surprisingly naturalistic. I recently watched Victor Sjostrom's adaptation of "The Scarlet Letter" and thought Lillian Gish was excellent.
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Old August 11 2010, 12:09 AM   #13
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Re: Emma Thompson slams film icon Audrey Hepburn

Who's Emma Thompson again?
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Old August 11 2010, 12:34 AM   #14
Gary Mitchell
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Re: Emma Thompson slams film icon Audrey Hepburn

Anyone who uses the word "twee" should probably keep their opinions to themselves.
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Old August 11 2010, 01:48 AM   #15
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Re: Emma Thompson slams film icon Audrey Hepburn

She is remaking a classic movie that she doesn't like very much. That's the definition of an ass.
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