Emma Thompson no longer angry about Kenneth Branagh & Helena’s affair


Before Eddie, LeAnn and Brandi, there was the Uncool Bermuda Triangle of Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. And before that Uncool Triangle, there was the epic scandal involving Helena Bonham Carter, Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson. All of them were friends. Kenneth and Emma were married, and frequent collaborators. Kenneth was being called the next Laurence Olivier. Emma Thompson won two Oscars within three years. Helena was considered The Corset Queen, the go-to girl for all English period films. And then disaster struck. Kenneth and Helena had an affair. Emma and Kenneth divorced, and she ended up with Greg Wise. Kenneth and Helena tried to make their relationship work for a few years, but she ended up leaving him for Tim Burton. And now Kenneth is remarried to someone else entirely.

This was all before internet gossip was a thing, but it was a HUGE deal back when it happened. Emma definitely came out the winner, but to my knowledge, she never played the “wronged woman” card or tried to turn public sympathy into a career. She just got on with her life, married a great guy (seriously, I love Greg Wise), had a daughter and she’s still turning in amazing work. As Emma does her promotional rounds for Saving Mr. Banks (which might earn Emma yet another Oscar nomination), Emma spoke about the thing with Kenneth and Helena:

Emma Thompson has spoken for the first time about her then husband Kenneth Branagh’s affair with Helena Bonham Carter. The liaison ended Miss Thompson’s six-year marriage to Branagh, who she wed in 1989 just two years after they met while filming.

Miss Thompson said the break-up was ‘all blood under the bridge’, adding: ‘You can’t hold on to anything like that. It’s pointless. I haven’t got the energy for it. Helena and I made our peace years and years ago.’

The 54-year-old double Oscar winner has spoken candidly about the depression that she suffered following the end of her marriage in 1995.

Miss Bonham Carter is believed to have started an affair with Branagh in 1994 while she played his love interest in Branagh’s version of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. They had a five-year relationship. Miss Thompson said she channelled her feelings of betrayal into her portrayal of a wronged wife in Richard Curtis’s romantic comedy Love Actually.

‘I’ve had so much bloody practice at crying in a bedroom, then having to go out and be cheerful, gathering up the pieces of my heart and putting them in a drawer,’ she said.

Miss Thompson says there are similarities between her and Miss Bonham Carter, 47, which may have appealed to Branagh, 52: ‘Being slightly mad and a bit fashion-challenged. Perhaps that’s why Ken loved us both. She’s a wonderful woman, Helena’.

Miss Thompson is married to Greg Wise, an actor and producer whom she met on the set of the 1995 version of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. The couple have one daughter, Gaia, 13, and a son, Tindyebwa Agaba, 26, a former child soldier from Rwanda whom they informally adopted when he was 16.

Miss Bonham Carter has two children, Billy, ten, and Nell, five, with her partner, film director Tim Burton. Miss Thompson has starred in two films with Miss Bonham Carter: Howard’s End in 1992 and the Harry Potter series from 2007.

In 2002, Miss Bonham Carter said her relationships had been misunderstood in the press, alluding to allegations of her affair with Branagh, and later, Burton.

‘Yes. I’m a habitual, serial home breaker, apparently,’ she said. ‘It gets frustrating because I know the story and the truth of it. It is very hurtful and, frankly, some of the things I have been called are quite libelous. But it’s part of the price of being in the public eye.’

[From The Daily Mail]

This is why I will always be an Emma Thompson super-fan: “Being slightly mad and a bit fashion-challenged. Perhaps that’s why Ken loved us both. She’s a wonderful woman, Helena.” How g—damn generous. How classy. How… smart. Seriously, it’s so smart of Emma to think of that situation in that way. It’s not a bitch-fight or a media war. Kenneth loved them both and it was a terrible situation, and Emma is over it. Bless her.



Photos courtesy of WENN.

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159 Responses to “Emma Thompson no longer angry about Kenneth Branagh & Helena’s affair”

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  1. mom2two says:

    This is why these people have way more class then the Leann, Brandi and Eddie’s of the world.
    Good for Emma for being over it.

  2. T.fanty says:

    Damn. That’s how you handle something with grace.

    *doffs hat to the inimitable Ms. Thompson*

  3. jessiebes says:

    As you said yesterday – she is winning at life.

  4. Kiddo says:

    I never could stand Kenneth Branagh; highly over rated actor with an ego three times the size of his talent. I’m really not a fan of Helena, either, although I know she is popular on this site. She, like Depp, tries too hard to be avant-garde in personal style, and relies too much on costumery as a substitute for acting. There, I said it.

    On the other hand, Emma Thompson is delightful on and off screen.

  5. GlimmerBunny says:

    I love that all three involved in this scandal went on to star in the Harry Potter series :D And I actually believe Emma is over it, she seems to have a genuinely great life.

  6. NYC_girl says:

    I am seeing Emma this Friday at the NY Times – she is being interviewed. I love her so much.

  7. Kiki says:

    What a wonderful, classy woman. I think you can really see in Love Actually that her performance is coming from somewhere different, that scene when she’s crying in her bedroom is heartbreaking.

    I saw Saving Mr Banks yesterday (I’m in the UK, I think it’s only coming out in the US next month?) and she’s absolutely incredible in it. The film is lovely, but Emma is just perfection. Between her and Cate Blanchett awards season this year will be pretty tough!

    • kbomb000 says:

      I absolutely agree – her heartbreak is palpable and so hard to watch. Combine that with Joni Mitchell and that scene has officially hurt me more than my own divorce did. (Well, not really, but you know what I mean). I wonder if Emma has even an ounce of bitch in her to be silently giddy (if even for a second) about Tim Burtons recent reported make outs with another woman. I mean, she’s only human.

  8. paola says:

    I think they both are lovely women. Everybody makes mistakes and being mature enough to go through such a hearbreak without dissing anybody and dealing with it with great self respect makes you a winner in life. This is the kind of woman i look up to.

  9. LAK says:

    i remember being so jealous that she bagged Willoughby even if he was a cad.

  10. Nan St. George says:

    You said it perfectly, T. Fanty. Plus Emma now has Greg Wise so she came out the winner.

  11. LB says:

    Emma Thompson is the actress I want to meet most (Second is Meryl Streep/Sandra Bullock). The lady is classy, intelligent, hilarious, and from what I hear, genuinely kind. And she’s honest. I just adorable her. Sense and Sensibility is constantly on in my house.

    • Jane Q. Doe says:

      I was just thinking how fun Oscar season will be if Sandy, Meryl & Emma are all nominated! They seem like gals who’d all have a blast joking around with each other.

    • zvonk says:

      Saw her touring productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and King Lear back in 1990. She was fantastic as Helena, and truly amazing as the fool (had to check the playbill during intermission to see who was playing the fool – she was that good).

      She’s the only actor I’ve waited at the stage door to meet. And she was so lovely, funny and natural. I left a note of thanks at the stage door the following day, and was surprised to get a letter back from her a few days later. Truly wonderful woman.

  12. Nona says:

    OMG, Love Actually is one of my favorite movies, and the scene she’s talking about is so powerful—I had no idea about her personal experience with cheating, but wow, she makes me cry in that scene every time!
    Amazing actress. Amazing woman.

    • pwal says:

      I knew about the scandal and yet it never occurred to me that she used the pain from the Branaugh situation in that scene. That was my favorite scene in the movie and I always cry along with her.

      A true testament to her character, since she effectively removed herself from that situation at the time and accomplished so much without parlaying the public’s disappointment in the breakup and affair into some pseudo-feminist rallying cry. She got on with it, it, meaning life, and have so much and will likely get much, much more.

  13. Tessa says:

    As Helena downplays her role in breaking up a marriage… calling it libelous…

    When you’re a bad bad girl, either own it, or shut up about it, but please don’t deny it. It just makes you look like a chump.

  14. aims says:

    She’s a better women then I. I remember when that went down, and I thought and still do think what a fool Kenneth was. Emma clearly was the winner, and we should all take a page in het book. What a class act.

  15. Amy says:

    Totally on my “celebrities I would invite into my home” list. (Trust me, it’s not a long one.)

  16. Annie says:

    I love her and Iove Helena. However, I don’t think I could ever say “she’s wonderful” after she meddled in my marriage. Man, I’d hold a grudge forever.

  17. Miss M says:

    I never knew about this triangle. I was already her fan. Now, She is in my Hall of fame list.

  18. Gemma says:

    she’s so awesome!! i want to be emma thompson when i grow up (i’m 29)

  19. Ellen says:

    I will never really be able to see Branagh the same way again after that scandal. And it was quite a fall, because I loved him.

    You know how you deal with a dying/in-crisis marriage? You talk about it. You know how you don’t deal with it? You don’t cheat on your wife with your co-star.

    (Also, it’s pretty crappy when the man can’t handle his wife’s professional accomplishments. Branagh appeared to have serious issues with his wife’s acclaim. It’s just weak.)

    • Miss Melissa says:

      Karma’s a bitch. Although he is a respected actor, HIS star fell after the affair, while hers ascended.

      His career was not over by any stretch of the imagination, but he was no longer considered the superstar he had once been. Do in no small part to the flop of the Frankenstein film itself – another one of his directed and starred in vehicles.

      I’m sure that was humbling.

  20. Jayna says:

    Her scene in Love, Actually, when she realizes he’s having an affair and she gets that video instead of the jewelry she thought was for her was heartbreaking. What a pivotal scene and she was brilliant in it.

  21. Mauibound says:

    That is why Emma makes my Goddess list, class pure class

  22. Grace says:

    She handled the situation much better than Jennifer Aniston.

    • Runs with Scissors says:

      I agree. Aniston had my sympathy at first, not because I thought Brad and Jolie ever cheated, but because it hurts when any marriage breaks up.

      She’s revealed herself over the years to be incredibly manipulative, vindictive and immature. What little respect I ever had for her vanished long ago.

      Emma Thompson is incredible and she’s definitely come out the winner.

    • Gossy says:

      Agreed. Regardless if Brangelina didn’t cheat, the fact is that Brad got with the love of his life while they were married (although separated and had filed for divorce already) and that’s gotta hurt terribly because you know your ex has found someone and you’re worried you never will.

      But yeah I never understood the whole “JA handled the divorce in such a classy manner”. Um she sold her story to Vanity Fair and had it become their biggest selling issue of all time and then she authorized her interviewer to try to gain her sympathy on Today with Katie Couric.

    • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

      For the sake of comparing the two, I really like how Emma handled it. I only knew that Kenneth cheated on her, because of this site. Seriously–on Yahoo news, a while ago, they had an article about how many people on the set of HP had had professional/personal relationships with each other—in the article, it said that Kenneth was married to Emma AND Helena! Wth? It should’ve taken them only two seconds to google what really happened. Idiots.

      Anyway, I like that Emma is polite, about Helena. Whether or not she’s really over it i.e. still mad (which I doubt) about the affair, is her business. Not the world’s. But what I especially like is that she isn’t praising Kenneth to the high heavens, while bringing down Helena. That’s my main problem with Jennifer.

      I started reading this site in late 2010. That was when I first heard about Brad cheating on Jennifer with Angelina (on almost every single post, up until Justin Theroux happened, it was mentioned)—and to be honest, I thought the less of them, because of that. I really liked their films, but I still shook my head and said to myself ‘that’s not okay’. But then the Heidi Bivens/Justin Theroux/Jennifer Aniston scandal happened. And people were bringing up stuff that happened, that I hadn’t known about–that made me question that Brad and Angelina cheated. And one of those things was Jennifer’s Vogue interview.

      In her Vogue interview, Jennifer is asked about her divorce. And she says it was fine, they were better for it, and at the end of the day, they just sat down, talked through everything, and that they were better friends for it. She said that she was proud of him, for his films, his accomplishments, his children (with Angelina). Even in her VF interview, she barely insulted him. She made a crack about his weird blonde hair, and said the “missing a sensitivity chip” comment (which she then defended him, saying he wouldn’t have even thought of the photoshoot as an insult to her)–but other than that, she’s been really nice. I remember that interview when she talked about “saving her husband’s old voicemails” (which really creeped me out)–verbatim–she said “my husband…”…

      So with Brad, everything’s all nice and dandy. BUT the interviewer brought up Angelina. And that’s when she asked the interviewer about that cartoon with Jennifer shooting Angelina (saying it was hilarious), telling the interviewer to turn off the recorder for a few minutes (the interviewer said basically there’s no love lost between them), and then saying that Angelina was “uncool” for discussing specific timelines in her and Brad’s relationship (which I went back and read Angelina’s interview–all she said was that they basically spent a lot of time talking, and was in no way specific about ANYTHING that had to do with the start of their relationship), and for saying that she liked going to work with Brad.

      So which is it? Did Brad betray Jennifer, or did Angelina betray Jennifer? Because in my mind, it’s a little suspicious to me, that Jennifer felt the need to bring Angelina down. She doesn’t know her. She’s said that there was no cheating, and she’s never refuted that. So why does she hate Angelina, but not Brad. He’s the one who chose to walk away. And that’s not okay, imo. And with Chelsea Handler–Chelsea claims that she’s not doing it because of Jennifer. So why isn’t Chelsea calling Brad ‘a homewrecking c-nt’ or a ‘demon’?

      And this reminds me a little of my grandparents. My grandfather has been married five times. On his fourth wife–he married my Grandma C, who had been with him for 7 years, since she was 19, and had raised his newborn twins. They got divorced after only a year of marriage, because he cheated on her, with my Grandma D–his now ex wife. Now my Grandma D, for some reason, doesn’t like my Grandma C. Which is ludicrous, because she’s the one who was sleeping with a married man. But she always acts so weird around her, even though my Grandma C has never been anything but gracious to her, and to my Grandpa. I hadn’t even known why they had divorced, until my Grandma C told me, a few years ago.
      I never would’ve known, because my Grandma C has never been anything but polite to both of them, whenever they’ve had to interact.

      So I like that Emma didn’t go slagging on Helena (or Kenneth, I suppose–although I wouldn’t blame her if she did). I want to be Emma when I grow up.

      • Rae says:

        I just have to say, I love this entire comment. Your Grandma: A true lady.

      • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

        Rae, I wish you had seen the look on my face when Grandma C told me that Grandma D and my Grandpa had an affair, less than a year after she and my grandpa got married. Total shock.
        Because we had just gone to my uncle’s wedding, and Grandma C was sitting next to Grandma D–not problems on Grandma C’s side. She was fine, chatting. But I went to the bathroom and Grandma D followed me in, and said she didn’t like being around Grandma C, she just felt weird and awkward. And I, in my ignorance, was all yeah, I guess it’s a little awkward to see your husband’s ex, whatever. Grandma D basically ignored her the whole time.
        Which my Grandma C brought it up because we were talking about celebrity cheating, and I was like what?! How are YOU going to act like this woman’s bothering you, when she’s been nothing but gracious to you (my grandma even sent Grandma D’s daughter–my aunt–Christmas presents every year w/the rest of the kids, because she didn’t want her to feel left out), and you have the gall to act like she’s the problem?!

        I definitely lost a lot of respect for Grandma D (which isn’t too difficult nowadays because she’s an alcoholic and she gets in her moods really quick now) that day.
        But yeah, I don’t like it when people slag “the other woman”, while ignoring the fact that the man was the one who betrayed his wife (or slagging on the new woman, because he left you, as per Angelina’s situation).

      • Sloane Wyatt says:

        Grandma D sounds like a piece of work!

        Great story, Virgilia Coriolanus. Isn’t funny how some types resent you for being kind and mature? Grandma D is the one who’s missing out and has made her own bed, so to speak. Sad.

  23. Sarah says:

    And that’s the way you do it. Interesting to me that they were all in the Harry Potter films. I don’t believe the ladies were in the 2nd film with Branaugh, but would have been in the later films together.

  24. eliza says:

    I totally missed when those two had an affair. This is the first I have heard of it.

  25. Lindsey says:

    Not having known about this affair, her story line in Love, Actually now makes TOTAL sense.

  26. LucyS says:

    Some of my favorite movies from the nineties were Ken&Em movies (Much Ado About Nothing – with the exception of Keanu, who I love but was over his head – was pretty much perfection). She has always been on my top five list of favorite actresses/people I want to have a beer with,

  27. Jules says:

    Shit happens, and it’s great that she can look at it like this now.

  28. Anthea says:

    How wonderful of her to say that. And she totally wins at life, not least because Greg Wise is GORGEOUS> I have such a huge crush on him :)

  29. Twirl says:

    I met both Kenneth and Emma in 1990. It was right after they made a huge splash with Henry V. They were touring with their theatre company around the US. I was just a lowly usher at the theatre they were performing at. I was a total theatre nerd in love with them and Henry V. I attended a workshop he gave and got to ask a question. He was quite grand. Their final night I finally got to meet them. Emma was sooooooo sweet and nice. Not stuck up at all. She was truly lovely and kind. Kenneth was a little full of himself and rather aloof. Not mean just not friendly to the 3 people wanting autographs. Love Emma she rocks!

  30. Suze says:

    Well, I couldn’t be nearly as gracious, but yes, she is both an incredible person and actress.

  31. Gine says:

    She’s so awesome. If i could pick any celebrity to hang out with, it would be her.

    Kenneth and Helena are both very talented, but they’ve always struck me as people who excuse their selfish behavior by playing the “eccentric, emotional artist” card.

  32. bunny says:

    Emma is so damn classy about it.

    I once was in a similar situation with my best friend, a woman who I also considered ‘wonderful and unique,’ and a guy I was in a pretty serious relationship with. I tried to handle it like Emma, complimenting them when asked about it and otherwise not mentioning it, but on the inside I felt the complete opposite. How could two people you care for so much do that behind your back?! I got over the guy, but I still struggle with the pain of being hurt by such a good friend like that. (Her reaction to me confronting her about it, offering my forgiveness if they stopped was “boys will be boys. I’m going to the gym.”)

    I hope to be like Emma one day; I think she really means it. Of course, she is a very talented actress.

    • Hakura says:

      @bunny – My brother went through the same thing… I think the girl was his first ‘serious’ long term relationship… She had major family problems (drug addict mom, and her abusive boyfriend), & my parents let her move in with us. My bro’s very best friend (since elementary school) was having some issues with his mom (he & bro were 20), so would try to avoid being home much. He had a night job. My brother would have him over, then leave for work. If they were watching a movie or something, would think nothing of leaving her with his best bud.

      I’m sure you can guess how things happened. He’s pretty sure they did it on his bed… So he burned it (absolutely disgusting). Threw them both out of his life… 2 years later, best friend & ex are still together… But he’s moved on, & is gradually talking to him again. Unlike your friend, he did apologize, although my brother needed time, understandably. Don’t know if I could take back a friend (at first I typo-Ed ‘fiend’ xD) who did that. It was so painful. I hated seeing him go through that & knowing I couldn’t help. :(

      I wouldn’t be so forgiving, but maybe after time & moving on, it’s easier to see it through a different POV. But as you mentioned (& NO shade or disrespect I tended toward Emma), but i’m sure being a talented actress helped her Show such a classy public image, & get through the pain & anger without showing it too openly.

  33. Ice Maiden says:

    ” And then disaster struck. Kenneth and Helena had an affair. Emma and Kenneth divorced, and she ended up with Greg Wise. Kenneth and Helena tried to make their relationship work for a few years, but she ended up leaving him for Tim Burton.”

    I could be wrong of course, but my memory of this relationship mess is slightly different. AFAIK, during their marriage BOTH Kenneth AND Emma were known for getting around quite a bit. I suspect they had some kind of ‘arrangement’ which they didn’t announce to the press. What may have happened is that Ken’s affair with Helena went beyond a mere fling and developed into something more serious – which is always a risk with these kinds of ‘arrangements’ (f they had one). And Ken and Emma’s marriage had been rocky from day one, iirc, so I don’t think it’s quite as simple as ‘disaster struck’.

    Also, again if memory serves me correctly, I’m pretty sure Ken left Helena, not the other way around?

    • Violeta says:

      So… basically Emma Thompson tells things how it happened and how she moved on, but you are like writing an out of the loop “arrangement” theory over her own words?

      LE Heaux….

      • Ice Maiden says:

        I’m not sure anything Emma has said neccesssarily contradicts what I’ve written above. Ken DID leave her for Helena so of course she felt betrayed, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t have some sort of arrangement. She’s also spoken recently about how she doesn’t feel monogamy is a natural state and they were both known for having affairs during their marriage, so it’s quite possibly they were both happy with having a non-monogamous marriage – which isn’t the same thing as having a serious affair with someone else, which of course is what Ken did.

        Obviously none of us really has a clue what went on during their marriage – what I’m saying is that it may not have been a situation where everything was going well and suddenly Helena ruined it all. I think it was a bit more complicated.

      • Violeta says:

        Double LE Heaux… It is said she suffered from depression when their marriage ended, the liaison ended their marriage, what’s more to add? Plus you contradict yourself once again by saying “none of us really has a clue” and yet you are claiming both were known for having affairs… ?
        And not believing in monogamy doesn’t mean that you have an open relationship/marriage or else, it’s well known that monogamy is quite a tough deal, has always been, temptation is everywhere, marriage is not easy (duh!), but just because some is married or in a committed relationship doesn’t mean they can’t make those statements and yet they are faithful. Scarlett Johansson made a similar statement as well, but that doesn’t mean she cheated or ?…
        Call it a theory the “arrangement” thing perhaps but don’t assert it as if it were 100% real, when no one knows indeed.

      • Ice Maiden says:

        ”Call it a theory the “arrangement” thing perhaps but don’t assert it as if it were 100% real. ”

        Where am I doing that? I’m making it clear that this is just a theory – my very first words were ‘I could be wrong of course’ – but one based on my recollection of the gossip about their marriage at the time. And we all speculate here – it’s a gossip site, none of us knows any of the people involved, so all we can do is make guesses based on what little we do know. And as I’ve said, at the time, BOTH Emma and Ken were the subject of much gossip about their affairs. So I don’t think it’s an unreasonable speculation.

        And the fact that Emma suffered from depression and that the liason ended her marriage to Ken are both well known, but don’t contradict the possibility that they may have had an open relationship. Why would you be so surprised at a high profile celebrity couple having such an arrangement?

      • Violeta says:

        “AFAIK, during their marriage BOTH Kenneth AND Emma were known for getting around quite a bit. I suspect they had some kind of ‘arrangement’ which they didn’t announce to the press. What may have happened is that Ken’s affair with Helena went beyond a mere fling and developed into something more serious – which is always a risk with these kinds of ‘arrangements’ (f they had one). And Ken and Emma’s marriage had been rocky from day one, iirc, so I don’t think it’s quite as simple as ‘disaster struck’.”

        As Far as you Know…. as in know.

        then perhaps you should write words carefully? Because you know and then it’s a theory… what’s what then, except that no one knows? And no not a surprise about open marriages/arrangement, yes you are allowed to speculate, but that’s wasn’t the point, my point is she made a statement and your post goes against it, hence the heaux… also in general, a rocky marriage could be many things, not just the cheating part… ever lived with a crazy lunatic for example? ah never mind.

      • Ice Maiden says:

        Eh? The phrase ‘as far as I know’ implies that the person saying it is NOT 100% sure of what they are saying and that they are open to correction. My use of expressions like ”what may have happened’, ”I suspect”, ‘iirc’ and of course ‘if” makes it fairly obvious – I would have thought – that I’m simply throwing an idea out there, not in any way stating something as fact. Like I said, my very first words in the post made it obvious that I’m NOT certain about what I’m saying.

        You are of course free to disagree with anything I’ve written – to repeat, it’s just a theory I’m suggesting based on the gossip of the time – but to say I’m stating something as fact just isn’t the case.

      • Sloane Wyatt says:

        “then perhaps you should write words carefully?” Really, Violetta? You put the ‘nit’ in nitpick!

    • RobN says:

      Ice Maiden, I remember it the same way. Both of them were always making cryptic statements about not believing in monogamy, about how the important thing was that you always came home in the end, about how you could love people in different ways. I always thought it was pretty clear they had an arrangement of some kind. I clearly remember that Emma and Hugh Laurie were the subject of rumors for awhile; the story being that their long friendship had turned serious and marriages were at risk.

      I think it was all a lot more complicated than just getting married and trying to live happily ever after.

      • Ice Maiden says:

        Yes – back in the ‘luvvie’ days it was an open secret that these two had an ‘unconventional’ relationship. Which doesn’t mean Emma didn’t feel heartbroken and betrayed when Ken left her for Helena. It’s one thing for your partner to have a fling on set, quite another for him/her to dump you for someone else.

    • L says:

      It was pretty much a open secret at the time that both of them were messing around with other people in the early 90′s. It’s funny how history gets whitewashed (someone made this same comment about Meryl) There was a bunch of reports about her relationship with her costar from Howard’s End among various other costars. And that was a full 2 years before anything happened with Helena/Branagh. Not to mention the fact that Emma ‘homewrecked’ Greg Wise’s relationship at the time they got together.

      She’s a tremendous actress and very talented at her screenwriting-but Emma Thompson has always struck me as extremely snotty and stuck up. It’s a testament to her ability that I don’t see that in her movies-but she’s not this sweet wounded flower either.

      • Ice Maiden says:

        In fairness, I don’t think Emma ever demanded to be seen as a victim in this whole mess – she’s been very gracious about the whole thing all along. But, as we agree, back in the day there was tons of gossip about BOTH of them putting it about quite a bit. Also, both she and Branagh were considered quite obnoxious during their ‘luvvie’ days – that might have been a bit unfair, but I suppose what I’m saying is that while these days everyone loves Emma (and I do too) during her marriage to Branagh people got tired of seeing the pair of them everywhere and hearing about how marvellous they were. They were very much the over-exposed celeb couple of their day.

        And yes, wasn’t Greg Wise in a long-term relationship with someone when he and Emma got together?

    • Bridget says:

      Kenneth and Emma didn’t have a particularly great relationship, and it was interesting how gleefully people reported on the breakup. For a couple that was supposed to be a union of 2 great british thespians, they really managed to rub people the wrong way, and inspire vitriol as a duo that never came close again once they broke up.

      • Ice Maiden says:

        Exactly. Maybe because this is an American site and the Branagh Thompson relationship was in the pre-internet era, not all posters here are aware of it, but in Britain they were NOT liked as a couple. People admired their work, yes, but on a personal level they were considered smug, arrogant and very annoying. Whether this was deserved is a moot point but like I said, they were essentially that era’s version of the obnoxious celebrity couple.

        These days, however, it’s different. He’s a ‘sir’ and she’s everyone’s darling. I think they’re both so much part of the ‘establishment’ these days that it’s difficult to remember how much they were once disliked.

  34. Han says:

    As a Jane Austen fan i watched all the movies of her novels. The Ang Lee directed, emma thompson scripted Sense and sensibility is probably the best. And i have to say Greg Wise is so cute in sense and sensibility. Emma upgraded massively, so why would she be mad?

  35. msw says:

    Love Actually camevout 10 years ago! I still love it. Thompson stole the show with the single most emotional moment in the film.

  36. Theresa says:

    Yes, indeed that is how you handle intrusive, yet standard inquiries into your personal life as an actor; she has demonstrated over the years that life has gone one, swimmingly in fact, and there is no reason to lash out or degrade a situation further.

    I loved that she snagged Willoughby, I love Sense and Sensibility! She conveys so much emotion on screen, that you are completely captivated and enthralled and cannot imagine that she is not actually the people she is portraying! Agree totally about the scene in Love Actually, her story line was one of the more resonating.

    Team Emma!

  37. Dana M says:

    I didn’t know about this triangle! I love Emma even more now. What a classy lady.

  38. starrywonder says:

    She is better than me since I would going after both of them hardcore. And after HBC left Brannagh I would have spraypainted HA HA all over his damn car.

  39. WendyNerd says:

    I hope someday I can be as awesome as Emma Thompson, because I know that as I am today that I would not be able to be this cool and I couldn’t imagine being this cool years from now about something like this. This is how you move on.

    I love her. I love that she isn’t demonizing the other women, which so many people love to do while giving the dude a pass. Not that you should trash anyone involved halfway to Hell necessarily, but I noticed that she was defending Helena more than she was defending him.

  40. Tig says:

    She is beyond gracious- I could never manage it. Did find “blood under the bridge” a bit odd. Never heard of “blood”, always “water”. Is that the English equivalent? Can’t wait to see Saving Mr Banks!

  41. lucy2 says:

    She’s awesome.

    I’m guessing now that some time has passed, she’s able to look back on it differently, and realize that all of that led her to being with her husband, and now their family. It all worked out for the best.

  42. Sue says:

    Why is she still talking about this? How many years ago was this.

    • Bread and Circuses says:

      Did you not read the quoted bit? “Emma Thompson has spoken for the first time about her then husband Kenneth Branagh’s affair with Helena Bonham Carter.”

      She’s not still talking about. This is the first time she’s talked about it.

      And she handled it stunningly well.

  43. jasmine says:

    I always assumed Helena had an affair with Johnny Depp too, they did sooo many movies together…

  44. JC says:

    That picture of Branagh is doing things to me. *fans self*

  45. Ginger says:

    This is and odd coincidence since I just watched Sense and Sensibility (for the hundredth time) this weekend. Emma DEFINITELY came out the clear winner. I’m glad the ladies aren’t fighting because I love them both! I have also heard rumors of a possible dalliance between Kenneth and Keanu Reeves? Is there any merit to that? I know they filmed Much Ado About Nothing (also with Emma)

  46. Paula says:

    Love her, loved her in Love Actually too! Her scenes broke my heart.

  47. Thiajoka says:

    I remember when this happened. I was shocked at the time. I loved “Howard’s End” and I loved that movie Emma and Kenneth did together about the reincarnated couple, can’t recall the title. I loved them all so much. Glad they’ve all moved on–it really is the healthiest way to handle it.

  48. Lizzie says:

    I cannot stand Emma Thompson. She likes to hog the limelight. Why does she need to come out with this now after all these years? I don’t call it class – she just wants to get some more attention. I am not a particular fan of HBC either, so I am not sticking up for her. Different things that Emma has said over time just makes me like her less I’m afraid.

  49. Carol says:

    I think Kenneth was an idiot for cheating on Emma, but one thing has always bothered me about the whole situation. In 1995, when Hugh Grant was caught cheating on his long-term, live-in girlfriend with a prostitute, Emma was quoted as saying, “Well done, Hugh!” and made a comment about how it was a wonderful thing that he “had broken out.” Then Kenneth and she divorced in 1996 because he cheated on her and everyone was up in arms at the betrayal. I never could reconcile while I should feel so sorry for her when her comments seemed so gleeful against Hugh’s girlfriend.

  50. Ally8 says:

    Either I never knew this or I forgot it. Ah, pre-internet gossip.

    I love Branagh’s Hamlet. He really captured the complexity of the play, while keeping the energy high, and he played the role very well.

    • Ice Maiden says:

      Do you think? I thought his ‘Hamlet’ was pretentious and overwrought. I spent most of the 4 hours wanting to smack him! And the need to have famous actors even in minor roles was distracting. The whole thing seemed like a vanity project to me.

      • Thiajoka says:

        LOL, maybe that was just the Hamlet character in general? I haven’t seen a good Hamlet yet. Most of them are too old to have the role. I hate watching Olivier in Shakespeare.

      • Ice Maiden says:

        I agree most Hamlets are way too old. There’s reason to believe the character of Hamlet is only in his teens, yet many actors in the role are pushing 40. I don’t expect a teenaged actor to be able to pull off such a complex role, but the likes of Olivier and Branagh are imho just too old to play Hamlet convincingly.

  51. SuSu says:

    Kenneth and Emma were great in “Much ado about nothing”. Adore the movie.

    But i thought they had an open marriage? Emma even had an affair with Hugh Laurie?!

  52. d says:

    God, her bedroom crying scene in Love Actually…you could have heard a pin drop in the cinema that I was in…first, you could hear people sucking in their breath (drawing their breath) when she opened the gift, or a bunch of “oh, no”s and then, utter, utter silence while she’s in the bedroom. I’ve seen that movie a zillion times and I cry every single time. Brilliant, heartbreaking scene I didn’t make the connection that she drew on her past relationship,but that totally makes sense. That took some guts to show, imo.
    I like the turn of phrase “blood under the bridge” instead of water…speaks a little bit to how bad it must have been for her, but oh well,she’s over it, I’m over it. And what anyone might have been saying in the press at the time…I take it with a grain of salt…most likely, there was much going on behind the scenes that we’ll never know about.
    Frankly, I don’t know that she and Branaugh would have worked out long term anyway. They seem like better people with other partners in their own way.

  53. Carolyn says:

    How could I not know this happened? Glad that all seem to be happy with their newer partners. They’ve made fortunate choices in their next partners.

  54. garavo says:

    I truly like Helena Bonham Carter.

    And her small BBC film with Kenneth Branagh from 1998. called “Theory of flight” is my favorite film of all time. Incredible love story between two people who started miles apart and brought together by this outrages and funny circumstances.

    If you have a chance try finging it (I believe you can find it on Youtube also in few parts)

  55. MacScore says:

    I admit I haven’t read every single post here… but just in case nobody mentioned it…. does Emma look FABULOUS or what???!!! What a gorgeous, classy woman – natural, and happy in her skin. I LOVE her.

  56. greenmad says:

    I know why she is no longer angry, because Helena’s husband now is having an affair with another woman.

  57. Ravensdaughter says:

    Note she talks about making up with Helena, not Ken.
    Oh, I remember this well. Ken and Emma were the Golden Couple of stage and screen in the early 1990′s. Then the affair was exposed and she left Ken. I think the Vanity Fair cover the December of that same year, 1995 (forgive me if I’m wrong-we’re talking 18 years) was entitled “Saint Emma”. Ken and Helena got zero sympathy from the masses, including me.