Emma Thompson Was ‘Utterly Blind’ About Ex-Husband Kenneth Branagh’s Affair: ‘I Was Half Alive’

Emma Thompson is speaking out about a difficult time in her life.

Speaking to “The New Yorker”, the “Love Actually” star recently opened up about when she first learned of her ex-husband, Kenneth Branagh’s, alleged affair with his co-star at the time, Helena Bonham Carter.

While directing and starring in the 1994 film “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein”, Kenneth allegedly had an affair with his onscreen love interest, Helena. Emma and Kenneth had been married since 1989.

“I was utterly, utterly blind to the fact that he had relationships with other women on set,” the “Harry Potter” star shared. “What I learned was how easy it is to be blinded by your own desire to deceive yourself.”

Kenneth and Emma divorced in 1995, after having appeared together in six films, with Kenneth going onto dating Helena for five years before they split in 1999.

“I was half alive. Any sense of being a lovable or worthy person had gone completely,” said Emma.

In 2003 Emma went on to star in “Sense and Sensibility”, where she was introduced to actor Greg Wise, who played John Willoughby in the film.

According to Emma, Greg was the person who “picked up the pieces and put them back together.” The pair, although at odds in the film, fell in love in real life. The two have been together for 27 years, and married for 19.

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“I’ve learned more from my second marriage just by being married,” Emma quipped. “As my mother says, ‘the first twenty years are the hardest.’”

Emma and Greg are parents to two children – Tindyebwa Agaba Wise, 35, whom the pair adopted from Rwanda, and Gaia Romilly Wise, 22.

Today, Emma is working on a musical version of the 2005 film “Nanny McPhee”, in which she played the titular character.

Emma reflected on why the character resonates with her so: “Nanny McPhee is a great heroic presence. She knows exactly what to do, loves without reservation, then must go. So she sacrifices. She always has to leave those that she loves. She’s about non-attachment. Perhaps that’s why she’s such a powerful figure to me, because I’m far too attached to pretty much everything.”

The musical is set to open in London’s West End in 2023.


Hayley Santaflorentina

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