Emma Thompson was ‘utterly blind’ to Kenneth Branagh’s affair with Helena Bonham-Carter
Emma Thompson was not prepared to learn that her then-husband, Kenneth Branagh, was having an affair with Helena Bonham Carter
Thompson and Bonham Carter met while playing love interests in the 1994 film Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
“I was utterly, utterly blind to the fact that he had relationships with other women on set,” Thompson told the New Yorker in an interview published on Monday, reported Page Six.
“What I learned was how easy it is to be blinded by your own desire to deceive yourself,” Thompson, 63, continued.
The Love Actually actor added that she was only “half alive” when she and Branagh, 61, decided to divorce in 1995.
“Any sense of being a loveable or worthy person had gone completely,” she said.
Thompson and Branagh met on the set of the 1987 series Fortunes of War, and he won her over by singing during their downtime.
“I burst into tears because he sounded exactly like my father singing on The Magic Roundabout,” Thompson recalled. “He was incandescent with ambition and performance energy.”
The actors, who were once named the “Golden Couple” by the British press, tied the knot two years after meeting. However, Thompson said she was “embarrassed largely” by their high-profile nickname.
She explained, “We didn’t present as glamorous in any way. I don’t think we wanted to be some power couple, and we certainly didn’t feel like it. We were lampooned and ridiculed, too — fair enough if you’re famous and overpaid — but it’s no fun.”
Although her split from Branagh was difficult, Thompson eventually moved on with Sense and Sensibility co-star Greg Wise, who “picked up the pieces and put them back together.”
“I’ve learned more from my second marriage just by being married,” she said of her 19-year union with Wise, 56. “As my mother says, ‘The first 20 years are the hardest.’”
The couple share adopted son Tindyebwa Agaba Wise, 34, and daughter Gaia Romilly Wise, 22.
In 2018, Thompson told The Sunday Times any hard feelings toward Branagh and Bonham Carter — who dated for five years following their on-set tryst — are “all blood under the bridge.”
“You can’t hold on to anything like that. It’s pointless. I haven’t got the energy for it,” she said. “Helena and I made our peace years and years ago; she’s a wonderful woman.”
This article was originally published on Page Six and was reproduced here with permission
Originally published as Emma Thompson was ‘utterly blind’ to Kenneth Branagh’s affair with Helena Bonham-Carter