Dame Emma Thompson tells Women’s Hour she ‘deeply regrets the demise of the full bush’


Dame Emma Thompson has said she thinks women have been ‘brainwashed’ into removing their pubic hair in a candid interview with Women’s Hour. 

The 63-year-old actress, who filmed her first ever full-frontal nude scene for her new film Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, to be released next week, told presenter Emma Barnett she laments the ‘demise of the full bush’. 

She admitted she isn’t ‘entirely comfortable’ with hair on her own body and shaves her own legs, and previously removed all of her pubic hair. 

Dame Emma Thompson, who filmed her first ever full-frontal nude scene for her new film Good Luck to You, Leo Grande (pictured), to be released next week, told presenter Emma Barnett she laments the ‘demise of the full bush’ 

Dame Emma admitted she isn't 'entirely comfortable' with hair on her own body and shaves her own legs, and previously removed all of her pubic hair

Dame Emma admitted she isn’t ‘entirely comfortable’ with hair on her own body and shaves her own legs, and previously removed all of her pubic hair 

‘I deeply regret the demise of the full bush. I think it’s a great shame, it’s just sad, isn’t it,’ she said. 

She said it regarded all pubic hair, not just women’s, saying: ‘and men too, I mean, can you imagine the pain?’

The actress admitted she got rid of all her pubic hair once in the past.  

‘I did once do the full thing, years ago, but really, I regret it, because it didn’t quite grow back to my liking but that’s also getting old,’ she said. 

‘The whole thing of “we have to get rid of all our hair” is odd, isn’t it? And probably not very healthy. 

‘I haven’t shaved down my arms for a very long time, but I do still shave my legs. I’ve just got into that habit and when they grow back in, my hair, I’m not entirely comfortable, and that’s brainwashing a well.’

The actress was speaking of her new movie, in which she plays a 55-year-old woman who’s never had an orgasm and who hires a sex worker to remedy her situation. 

The actress said women have been brainwashed into shaving all their hair, and said she resents the fact her 'comfort' in her own body was taken away from her at a young age

The actress said women have been brainwashed into shaving all their hair, and said she resents the fact her ‘comfort’ in her own body was taken away from her at a young age 

She also said that the fact there are still women who have lived their lives without experiences an orgasm was ‘a tragedy and a great loss to us all and the cause of huge difficulties and problems and at the root of a great deal of violence, too.’

‘I was asked recently whether it was a generational thing,’ she told Emma Barnett. 

‘My grandmother felt sorry for me, because they had to have sex, they had to do it and it was a sad thing. 

‘She told me when she was 88, she clearly had never ever had any sexual pleasure of any kind. That she had endured it,’ the actress went on. 

The actress, who stars opposite Daryl McCormac in the movie, said women have been dissatisfied with their sex lives throughout the generations

The actress, who stars opposite Daryl McCormac in the movie, said women have been dissatisfied with their sex lives throughout the generations

‘My mum, who was Presbyterian, only had my father as a partner, I think they had a better time, because it was slightly more acceptable and also, they worked in the theater, it was a little bit freer and more bohemian,’ she admitted. 

‘Sexual pleasure was not necessarily discussed, but more diverse forms of sexuality were a bit more on display.’

Dame Emma noted there was a shift in attitudes towards sex during her generation.  

‘My generation was bullied; if you weren’t permanently in a state of ecstasy, there was something wrong with you.

‘The orgasm was always on the front cover of every Cosmo and I thought “why is this so important?”‘  

And the actress went on to say her daughter’s generation also has a different way of going about sex. 

Dame Emma said even friends of her 22-year-old daughter Gaia Romilly Wise, pictured with her in 2019, have admitted they don't have fulfilling sex lives

Dame Emma said even friends of her 22-year-old daughter Gaia Romilly Wise, pictured with her in 2019, have admitted they don’t have fulfilling sex lives 

The actress’s daughter, Gaia Romilly Wise, 22, is also an actress and has starred in Silent Witness. 

‘And then my daughter’s generation, some of them have a good deal of leeway and elbow room and discussion about it, but not all of them,’ Emma said. 

‘And I’ve also had discussions with young friends of my daughter in their 20s that have revealed that in their groups, there are lots of women who haven’t had orgasms, haven’t experienced pleasure, feel like they have to perform their pleasure, feel like they can’t be honest about whether they’ve actually enjoyed themselves or not. 

‘Or who think that somehow blokes have to be taken care of in some way, you can’t offend the chap by suggesting what he’s doing isn’t much fun.’

The actress said it was a shame that women were left sexually unsatisfied, when we are ‘obsessed with different forms,’ and take the pleasure of ‘eating and drinking’ to ‘the most insane extremes.’ 

She added that being sexually dissatisfied is ‘ a waste of our passion, energy, time and money and purpose in life.’

Don’t let Amber Heard derail the MeToo movement, suggests Emma Thompson: Actress, 63, says £100m Depp libel battle between two ‘very famous people’ is ‘not representative’ and ‘blown out of human proportion’ 

British actress Dame Emma Thompson has said that Amber Heard’s blockbuster sex assault libel battle against Johnny Depp was ‘not representative’ of the wider MeToo movement.

The Oscar-winning star, 63, has suggested that the high-profile US court fight between the two Hollywood stars risked ‘derailing’ MeToo unless women continue to ‘keep on talking’.

Critics of the movement declared ‘the end of MeToo’ after a jury in Virginia found that Heard had defamed Depp by describing herself as a survivor of domestic abuse in a 2018 op-ed in The Washington Post.

But others fear that the outcome of the £100million trial will ‘silence hundreds of thousands’ of women who have been attacked by sex predators – particularly in cases involving the rich and powerful.

Asked by BBC Woman’s Hour if the case signalled the end of MeToo, Dame Emma – who has been one of the most vocal advocates of the movement since it erupted in 2017 – said: ‘One of the things that’s very difficult to do is judge an issue like the MeToo issue brings to the fore when you’re dealing with very very famous people. It’s a whole other thing.

‘So actually one of the great issues to do with that case is fame and how people who are famous are treated differently and viewed differently.

Dame Emma Thompson, pictured on the set of ITV's Lorraine show on June 8, 2022

Dame Emma Thompson, pictured on the set of ITV’s Lorraine show on June 8, 2022

Amber Heard testifying in her defamation trial against Johnny Depp at the Fairfax County Circuit Court in Fairfax, Virginia on May 26, 2022

Amber Heard testifying in her defamation trial against Johnny Depp at the Fairfax County Circuit Court in Fairfax, Virginia on May 26, 2022

‘I would say that the MeToo movement is not going to be derailed by that, but in order for it not to be derailed, we just have to keep on talking. We have to keep on talking and refuse to allow it to be derailed by a case where two very very very famous people, which has been blown out of all remote human proportion by the press… that’s something that can’t be avoided. 

‘But a case where the two protagonists are that famous is not representative, and it’s just very important to remember that. 

‘This movement, which is about human kindness and is so simple really and has been made so complicated, cannot and will not be derailed by one case, and that’s not going to happen actually, it simply won’t happen.’

Dame Emma has been one of the most famous proponents of MeToo since the phenomenon exploded across the West following claims of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein’s abuse of women.

In an interview with BBC Newsnight in 2017, she called Weinstein a ‘predator’ and suggested that more like him existed in Hollywood.

‘Perhaps this is a moment when we can say to men and women: Open your eyes and open your mouths and say something… I do see and hear a lot of voices, and I do want to add mine to theirs and say that Hollywood can and must change,’ Dame Emma said.

Johnny Depp waving as he departs Fairfax County Circuit Court on May 18, 2022

Johnny Depp waving as he departs Fairfax County Circuit Court on May 18, 2022

This image released by Searchlight Pictures shows Daryl McCormack, left, and Emma Thompson from the film Good Luck To You, Leo Grande

This image released by Searchlight Pictures shows Daryl McCormack, left, and Emma Thompson from the film Good Luck To You, Leo Grande 

When asked by Emily Maitlis if there are others in the industry ‘to [Weinstein’s] degree’, Dame Emma said: ‘Do they all have to be as bad as him to make it count? Does it only count if you have done it to loads and loads of women, or does it count if you have done it to one woman, once. I think the latter.’ 

In an interview with the LA Times two years later, Dame Emma blasted complaints that MeToo has left men unsure of how to behave towards women.

‘Get a grip guys, it’s not rocket science. You just behave with respect and courtesy. Now shut up and get on with it. And please don’t make this your … problem. I’m so fed up with that,’ she said.

Speaking to BBC Woman’s Hour, Dame Emma also revealed that she was ‘constantly told’ that she ‘didn’t look right’ by the movie industry and called for ‘parity in all aspects of production’.

The British star, whose new film Good Luck to You, Leo Grande explores female sexuality and pleasure, said that sex has been ‘industrialised’ and warned that the suppression of pleasure was ‘at the root’ of much violence.

She also called young people’s expectations of sex ‘disturbing’ while promoting the movie.

Dame Emma added: ‘I deeply resent the fact that my attitude to my body and my comfort in my body was taken from me – I think literally taken away from me – when I was very young.

‘And I worked in a profession where I was constantly told that I didn’t look right, that I didn’t have the right kind of body, that all of the 99% of male executives would not be interested anyway, in me in that way.

‘Until we get much more parity in all aspects of production, that will continue to remain the same… Certainly in television presenting, the issues remain the same.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk