Emma Thompson’s husband, Greg Wise, thought he was destined to marry Kate Winslet

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Ang Lee’s Sense and Sensibility is one of my favorite movies. I could put it on and listen to it as background sound all day long. It came out 25 years ago, but the cast and crew still tell stories about it, which is great for the movie’s fans. The latest is this gem from Emma Thompson on The Graham Norton Show about how her husband, Greg Wise, who played John Willoughby, thought that he was going to marry Kate Winslet:

[Emma] explained: “Before he did the job, he went to see a friend of his who was a bit witchy and she said he would meet his future partner on the film. He assumed it wasn’t me because I was married and quite lot older than him so he thought it might be Kate (Winslet). He took her to Glastonbury, and she was so bored, and he thought, ‘This isn’t going to work, who can it be?’ Then things happened that probably shouldn’t have happened, and it’s been 25 years in May.”

Greg has also previously opened up about the start of their relationship, telling the Express that it was actually Kate who suggested he should date Emma instead of her: “[Kate] pointed out that we were right for each other and told me that Emma’s marriage was over. It was all meant to be, just as my friend Helen had predicted.”

[From Hello!]

Emma’s marriage to Kenneth Branagh was ending while she was writing the screenplay for and then filming Sense and Sensibility. In 2010, she told The Guardian, “Work saved me and Greg saved me. He picked up the pieces and put them together again.” I almost like Willoughby, and it’s entirely because Greg Wise seems like such a lovely man. I’m glad that he and Emma found each other. Emma also seems to have a decent relationship with both Branagh and Helena Bonham Carter, with whom Branagh was having an affair that led to the end of his and Emma’s marriage. (A photo of Hercule Poirot’s love, Katherine, in Branagh’s 2017 Murder on the Orient Express, is a photo of a young Emma.)

Incidentally, Emma is, so far, the only person to have won Academy Awards for both acting and writing: the former for Howards End, and the latter for her Sense and Sensibility screenplay. And, if you’re a fan of Emma and/or Sense and Sensibility, you’ve probably listened to her and producer Lindsay Doran’s commentary, but if, for some odd reason you’ve not yet done that, it’s worth a listen.

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38 Responses to “Emma Thompson’s husband, Greg Wise, thought he was destined to marry Kate Winslet”

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  1. Jane says:

    Amazing! I never knew she married Willoughby!!!! <3 <3 <3

    • notasugarhere says:

      She and Wise also came up with the storyline of her recent movie, Last Christmas, which Thompson then co-wrote.

  2. Hoopjumper says:

    Where can you listen to the commentary? Is it a podcast? Absolutely love S&S.

    • something says:

      DVD commentary

    • The Recluse says:

      The commentary is great!

    • Love the movie, loved the DVD commentary, loved Emma’s Oscar speech when she won for best adapted screenplay from another source and thanked Jane Austen. Love Jane Austen. If you’re in the Thompson Sense and Sensibility adaptation fan club, I highly recommend Emma Thompson’s book, The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries. I have read it several times and it is still laugh out loud funny at times Her comments on Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman are particularly funny.

      PS. Her scene in the bedroom while Joni Mitchell’s song is playing in the film, Love Actually —- breaks my heart every single time. She has said that she pulls from her life for this scene from a similar event in her own emotional life around the ending of her marriage to Branagh.

  3. Lucy says:

    I will always be in awe of how Emma handled all of this. Obviously, it’s different for every person who goes through such a thing, not everyone can do it like she did and that’s fine.

  4. OriginalRose says:

    I love Emma so much. She is SUCH an incredible talent and genuinely seems like a nice person too

    • josephine says:

      Love her as well but I’m protesting that two-tone hair. It’s harsh and unflattering.

      • SarahConor says:

        I actually like her hair! I’m growing out my grays. I’m mostly gray on top but dark on the bottom. I’ve been looking for some style inspiration and I think she looks great!

        Love Emma Thompson and Sense and Sensibility. Such a classic 💚

  5. CooCoo Catchoo says:

    He is a total fox who gets more handsome the older he gets. I loved him as Mountbatten in “The Crown.”
    I love him and Emma as a couple, always have.

    • Lightpurple says:

      There seems to be so much love there.

    • amayson1977 says:

      OMG, am watching The Crown right now and I never figured that out!! Just texted my mom, who I have also gotten obsessed with TC. I’m on Season 2 Episode 8 and want to finish because it’s SO GOOD, but also want to savor it because I’ll be sad when I’m finished. Also, S&S cemented Alan Rickman as a FOREVER BAE (I’m way too old to say that, but d*ng seems disrespectful!) for his wrenching, beautiful performance as Colonel Brandon. I think I’m going to have to watch S&S again this weekend…

    • Trashaddict says:

      See him in “The Buccaneers” and swoon:

  6. Mumbles says:

    I always love these kinds of psychic-y/witchy stories. And Winslet can be a little much to take but good on her for helping this along.

  7. Pix says:

    “Willoughby, Willoughby, Willoughby.”
    I love Sense and Sensibility so, so much.

  8. Paigeishere says:

    Okay cool story but there must have been a million women working on that movie. He just assumed he was destined to marry a young hot movie star and not a makeup artist or producer or something? lmao men.

    • hoopjumper says:

      This comment made me spit out my coffee. SO TRUE.

    • Va Va Kaboom says:

      Yeah, but that’s hardly exclusive to men. Do you really think many actresses would be scouting out the Second Second Assistant Director instead of the super attractive costars?

      • KLO says:

        I have worked on movie productions and yes, they actually would ( I mean, I would lol). There are many successful, handsome, polite, awesome, talented men working off camera in Hollywood. For a reality check, look at Margot Robbie or Julia Roberts for example. They married crew.

    • Joanna says:

      I thought the same thing but I then I read the whole article. It says he didn’t think of Emma because she was married at the time. I was all prepared to judge from the headline but after reading the whole article, it makes sense and doesn’t sound as bad.

  9. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Sense and Sensibility is one of my favorite films too Quimby!

  10. Jennifer says:

    I am from Perth in Australia. I saw Sense & Sensibility in LA in 1995 when I was travelling with my sister. It was then, and still is my favourite movie of all time. Oh Willoughby…..

  11. BW says:

    Well, he was an actor, so he was probably just looking at the other actors. But I also had the same thought. He never thought the craft services lady was the one?

  12. bubbleandsqueak says:

    She told this same story on the BBC’s Desert Island Discs years ago. Not news!

  13. Valerie says:

    He will forever be Willougby in my mind, so I react thusly whenever I see his face, lmao. But I love that they’re together.

    • L4frimaire says:

      When I saw him in the Crown, didn’t realize he was the same guy from Sense and Sensibility. He really looks older. Emma looks amazing and they make a beautiful couple.

  14. Charfromdarock says:

    It’s one of my favourite movies too. I love everything Emma does.

  15. Cobra says:

    This post is giving me life. I love love the movie and watched it countless times. Gobbling up the post and comments. going to find the book and the DVD. Thanks for the post Quimby.

  16. tealily says:

    I watched Late Night on a whim over Christmas and was blown away all over again by Emma Thompson’s performance. What a talent!

  17. Diplomanatee says:

    Sooo… is there a way we can contact this Helen person? 🙂

  18. Zan says:

    I love her and that movie so much. My husband loathes it, and cites it as one of the many examples of “English drabbery” that I watch.
    I also think Kenneth Branaugh is a great talent. The fact that he used her picture in MOTOE made me say, “Aaawww”.
    Over the winter break, I had my boys (15 and 11) watch Dead Again with me—and they really liked it! That made me pretty happy.

  19. SJR says:

    Oh, S&S had Alan Rickman so I never actually noticed Greg Wise.
    Mmmm, Alan Rickman, yes please. And he was so lovely in this, a true romantic Hero, plus that voice, those eyes, AR strolling around in his riding boots…yup.
    I own the DVD and IMO, Hugh Grant was OK, Emma was lovely and Alan Rickman stoled the movie!
    Emma Thompson is an all time fav. 🙂

    • Valerie says:

      Alan was lovely in everything he was in, but he suited period dramas SO well. My other favourite movie of his (not a period piece) was Truly, Madly, Deeply.