Emma Thompson Calls Plastic Surgery 'Form of Collective Psychosis': 'It's a Very Strange Thing to Do'

The 62-year-old actress doesn't understand why people are so against aging, which she points out is "completely natural"

Emma Thompson
Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty

You won't catch Emma Thompson going under the knife for plastic surgery any time soon.

The 62-year-old actress, who stars in the upcoming film Good luck to You, Leo Grande, about a widow who hires a young male escort so she can finally explore the sexual intimacy that her marriage lacked, talked to The Wrap about what it's like to now be an actress in her sixties.

When asked if she's ever considered plastic surgery, Thompson vehemently said she's against it.

"Why would you do that to yourself, I simply don't understand," she said. "I do honestly think the cutting of yourself off to put it in another place in order to avoid appearing to do what you're actually doing, which is aging, which is completely natural, is a form of collective psychosis. I really do think it's a very strange thing to do."

Thompson added, though, that this isn't a new opinion of hers now that she's at an age when people often opt for face lifts.

"I've always thought that, though. But I've always been a kind of card-carrying, militant feminist when it comes to women's bodies and what's been done to them, what we're told to expect of ourselves, what we're told to do to ourselves," she said.

The two-time Academy Award winner said that "one of the great triumphs" of the movie, which had a virtual premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on Sunday, "is that it presents the untreated body."

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Emma Thompson. Anthony Harvey/Getty

To prepare for the role, in which Thompson has a full-frontal nude scene, she and costar Daryl McCormack, who plays the escort, along with director Sophie Hyde, rehearsed "entirely nude and talked about our bodies, talked about our relationship with our bodies, drew them, discussed the things that we find difficult about, things we like about them [and] described one another's bodies," Thompson said during an interview for Sundance's Cinema Café.

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She added that societal expectations made going nude difficult.

"It's very challenging to be nude at 62," she said. "Nothing has changed in the dreadful demands made upon women in the real-world world but also in acting. This thing of having to be thin is still the same as it ever was, and actually in some ways I think it's worse now."

Thompson said that her age both helped and hurt matters.

"I don't think I could've done it before the age that I am," she said. "And yet, of course, the age that I am makes it extremely challenging because we aren't used to seeing untreated bodies on the screen."

But having McCormack around made it easier, Thompson said.

"That was very important that we could hold onto each other and laugh," she said.

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