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Quotables: Emma Thompson on Audrey Hepburn

“I find Audrey Hepburn fantastically twee. Twee is whimsy without wit. It is mimsy-mumsy sweetness without any kind of bite. And that’s not for me. She can’t sing and she can’t really act, I’m afraid. 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, so that’s all there is to it really.”

– Emma Thompson gives her opinion on Audrey Hepburn.

From my experience, people generally have two settings in terms of Audrey Hepburn:  fanatical or indifferent.  I fall on the indifferent side, but I know several people who would foam at the mouth and possibly seize after seeing Emma’s quote. What side are you guys on?

And how spectacular is that photo?  Emma Thompson is just the best.  I’d take her over Audrey any day – there, I said it.

29 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Two of my favorite movies have Audrey Hepburn in them — Sabrina and Roman Holiday. But they also have Humphrey Bogart and Gregory Peck, two of the best actors of all time (in my opinion). I think she was unconventionally beautiful, like an elf walking amongst humans, and I think she had an amazing sense of style. She might not have been the best actress of her time, but I don’t really care.
    I do, however, ADORE Emma Thompson. She an amazing actress, and I think she’s got a fantastic personality. So, win win!

    • English, does that idiot speak it? I’d rather have dinner with the fuckin’ pig. I hope the entire United Queendom sinks into the ocean. God save the Queen. Save us from Prince Chuckles, the duke of dumbass.

  • Emma Thompson has summed up for me – in a fantastically British fashion – exactly how I’ve always felt about Audrey Hepburn. Gimme Kate over Audrey any day!

      • You betcha. Scotland, Wales and Ireland are great. It’s fuckin’ England that sucks. Take one drunken piss in the Thames and that place floods. Fuckin’ fog breathers. See you got me started again.

  • Totally agree. Also, loads of girls have got this obsession with Audrey Hepburn, and have stuck pictures of her all over their walls and notebooks. She bores me!

  • I agree with Emma. She couldn’t act and got on by her quirky good looks. With that being said, I do like Audrey anyway, because her movies were fun and she is adorable, but I wouldn’t foam at the mouth by some old broad’s comments on a woman who is dead and can’t defend herself.

  • She may not be an amazing actress, but she’s good enough. Good enough to make the movies she’s in magical in some way. And I do think she’s got personality, but she’s always been on a gentler side. Edgy wasn’t her style. I love Audrey but this comment doesn’t offend me. Although, sometimes I feel that women say things about other women who are insanely gorgeous because they feel jealousy (Megan Fox, Angelina Jolie, and Audrey Hepburn). But hey, I think Angelina Jolie is a horrible actress, so I see where she’s coming from.

  • While we’re talking about how overrated Audrey was, could someone add Marilyn too? Audrey was, and still is, the definition of class, style, and grace. I wouldn’t call her the best actress of our time, but she’s an icon for a reason.

  • I agree with Emma, she is one of the greatest actress in the world. And she is smart and witty. And I still don’t understand the fascination With Audrey (and girls saying that they admire her, without knowing anything about her either)…besides Emma once dated Hugh Laurie…both came from the same school in Cambridge…

  • Audrey was one of the best actresses in our time. she could act, and i’m always enchanted by her. Watch The Nuns Story, Wait until dark, or Roman Holiday.
    And I like Emma, but I never thought she’s a very great actress, I always thought she’s Ok, not more or less.
    And please, a My fair Lady Remake, that sounds just silly, even for Emma

  • First of all what’s with the whole anti-British thing here isn’t that beside the point and secondly what significant role has Emma ‘the samey plump bloated looking actress’ Thompson been involved in since the early 00s besides the largely forgettable McPhee films? None, since when can Emma Thompson dance or sing in her films? Err in none of them, Emma get your politically correct arse back to North London and keep fostering illegal immigrants and pretend you care about the environment because newsflash; I don’t recall you going to Hollywood by boat you stupid cow!!! Audery Hepburn is quadruple the actress, dancer, singer icon and more importantly – the person you’ll ever wish or dream to be, wow perhaps Emma T could write a book on how to destroy your own film before it’s released!!!! People are still talking about this beautiful human being nearly 2 decades after she died, I doubt people even know who Emma Thompson is

  • Thats true, when I told my aunt what emma said about audrey she ask me “Who is Emma Thompson”, I told her the one of Sense and Sensibility, which she saw, but didnt like.

  • Here is my view: Sometimes its more powerful to challenge what people think than to go along with the general consensus. I think, were Emma to have a chat with Audrey and could see her point then there may have been mutual respect. Its kind of like saying someone is a genius without actually having looked at what they’ve done. Many think Alfred Hitchcock was a master of thrillers, that he knew how to latch onto people’s fears when in reality he saw everything in humor. Psycho, when the main star Janet Leigh was murdered it was meant to be taken as so over the top, the audience couldn’t help but laugh. According to legend, in Britain it was a top farce. Here though, people thought it was supposed to scare you since the star dying doesn’t generally happen in movies. I’m sure the same could be said for Audrey Hepburn’s characters in movies. That Emma is correct in presuming that Audrey’s reserve doesn’t match what image she’s attempting to portray. Perhaps however, not in the manner Ms. Thompson may be thinking. How so: Holly Golightly was a prostitute. True story. Look it up!

  • I’ve only seen 2 films with Audrey Hepburn but I have to agree with Ms. Thompson. Both films were big disappointments and it was largely due to the grating acting style of Ms. Hepburn. I still want to see My Fair Lady & Roman Holiday but from what I seen so far I not going to put my hopes up too high that either film will be enjoyable watching.

  • That’s really classy of Emma to attack someone who can’t defend herself. Perhaps all you critics are just watching the ‘pop culture’ Audrey Hepburn movies. Two for the Road, or Wait until Dark, or The Children’s Hour, or a Nun’s Story are all nice examples of Audrey’s acting skills. Not to mention that as a human being Audrey is ten times the person that Emma Thompson is. Audrey was also extremely intelligent (fluent in five languages), spoken very highly about by her co actors who said she was always prepared, always prompt and always gracious. Perhaps women like Emma can’t understand women like Audrey and so rather than letting the differences alone, she takes shots at something she doesn’t understand. Audrey Hepburn is a beautiful soul who cared about other people and tried to act with dignity and kindness in an industry that is very ‘dog eat dog’. Emma, (apparently one of the dogs), can’t understand or relate to someone like Audrey. That’s OK, the rest of us can!

  • I think what she said was SO rude and horrible. Audrey was an incredibly talented actress. Ok not in the simple movies like funny face-but watch The Nun’s Story,Wait Untill Dark,Childrens Hour. Really people she is extremely talented in it she brings you to experience her pain,you feel as if you are there experiencing it with her.Audrey has passed away,have some RESPECT! She said she was SWEET without bite-shut up maybe you have TO much bite.At least Audrey has done a lot more for humanity than Emma Thompson has,my sister doesnt know who SHE is!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • And I might add that I beleive EMMA THOMPSON is not the BEST actress! Audrey was an icon,and she WAS talented,you have to see all her movies to see that. People just see her as ‘Holly Golightly’ -but she is so much more than that. SHE has done many more roles,maybe Emma Thompson she stop bagging people that cant fight back. She helps the starving children all over the world,out of the goodness of her heart-she could have been off making movies-offers were there.It am not mad becasue she ET is english- thats not the point,she is WRONG.

  • And, I might add that people dont become that FAMOUS for
    NOTHING-you know,Emma is just jealous because she wont ever become as famous as Audrey or an icon. All the people who agree with Miss Thompson, search Audrey on Wikipedia and see her in her more serious role. I love her in her serious roles,she deserved the Oscar for the Nuns Story,that was pure talent. Emma has never produced a movie that good. I liked Emma before she said that. holly Golightly was a prosiute-its called ACTING-Audrey wasnt-der?AUdrey was a truly,beautiful person.I’m a FAN!!!!

  • I happen to like Audrey as an actress! A truly good actress can play parts exellently in AND out of her comfort zone,and in AND out of what you expect her to do. To me Audrey was so unique and a rare person. Emma is intitled to her own opinion,but to critise someone with obvious talent,someone who was such an icon,someone who is better than she is! ANd when that person has died,that person cant fight back and to crititsise Audrey when she was so humble.strong and caring. It is twisted and obserd. I have always been a fan of Audrey,now i am passonate in her defence! Because i truly belelive she was talented and amazing. Long live Audrey.

  • If she wanted to make a remake of My Fair Lady- which i beleive Audrey was EXCELLENT in,as does my sisters,mother,4 auntys,7 friends-that if she wanted to make a remake she could have just made it in the purposes of making it newer, fresher, introducing the great story to younger audiences , but she didnt have a nasty little shot at a dead,talented,icon,humanatarian.hmmm……

  • Yes,but if you are trying to say Audrey was DUM and emma is SMART. Than you are very,very wrong. Audrey spoke five langauges and did a lot of research for unicef. As a UNICEF spokes women,she had to be smart and know what she was talking about-which was exactly what Audrey did,and she was very well spoken and she is still the icon of grace,class,elegance and she is a lot more GRACEFUL than Emma Thompson,somparing the two in any way….is so strange they are both so differnt ,good in differnt ways, but i still strongly disagree with Emma Thompson i think she is crititcal,judgemental and harsh. shame on her

  • SOme other comment said something to the effect of: why do girls look up to her.when they dont know anything about her..?
    well, i happen to have read the full wikipedia page,have all her books and movies at home, i know a lot about her enough to know she is a BRILLIANT actress,a kind hearted,elegant spirit. She is my idol, she overcame childhood tradgey and fufiled her dreams. I look up to her because i know all she wanted was peace and she only worked passionatley only for movies she beleived in. shut up emma thompson. She has left big shoes to fill and YOU my dear will never fill them.ever

  • You see Audrey was talented actress so fradgile, you felt her pain. The Nuns story in which she sttared in she should have won an oscar! my fave movie of all time. and in wait untill dark..she’s so torchered. the childrens hour she was gripping. so you see she WAS talented very,very talented. and no she WAS’T THE BEST OF ALL TIME!!!!! ok..?but she was INCREDIBLY talented…some of you have just sen one or two movies and gave up, if you want to be REALLy,RIGHT then watch some more definetly the ones i have mentioned in this post.OK AND SHUT UP ALL THE HATERS

  • NO. she want THE best. but she was INCREDIBLY talented none the less, know what you say before you say it dont just watch one or two movies and write her off. Watch the nuns story,wait untill dark,childrens hour,charade-THE NUNS STORY

  • well,if we are all talking about Audrey then she must have left an impact on us…….?YEAH SHE DID!love Audrey forever! and i dont get the thing about BITE-well that wasn’t her! that is why she was unique , because she was more gentle and frail. She was also a really nice persona and dedicated mother and humanatarian

  • Emma Thompson should be forced to watch her HIDEOUS performances, such as in Nanny McPhee, Nanny McPhee 2, In ‘An Education’, she almost single handedly brings down the film. Because she is attempting to massacre My Fair Lady as a screenplay, she feels compelled to attack one of our greatest actresses. Sorry to say, Ems, but long after you’re dead and gone, the spirit, the soul and the films of Audrey Hepburn will live on.

    And we’ll always have Nanny Mc Phee 1,2,3,4,5,6 to remember your brilliant career, darling. Burn my DVDs of The Remains of the Day and Howards End.