Why Emma Thompson's Not Afraid of Aging

Everyone knows that as actresses get older, their opportunities in Hollywood shrink — whereas for male actors, it's often the reverse. Emma Thompson has figured out an ingenious way to hold onto the good roles: writing her own screenplays.

Speaking to WENN about how she avoids the older-actress trap, Thompson said, "I write my own roles, which is helpful." She then diplomatically added: "Of course though, there are older parts like the one I played in Brideshead Revisited which was excellent."

Fortunately, Thompson is an expert at writing for herself. She won a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for 1996's Sense and Sensibility, and was nominated for Best Leading Actress in the role she created (she lost to Susan Sarandon). She repeated that accomplishment with 2001's TV movie Wit, garnering Emmy nominations for both her writing and performance.

The latest part she's created for herself is Nanny McPhee, a magical governess with fewer spoonfuls of sugar than Mary Poppins. The first McPhee film was a hit, and the sequel, Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, comes out next year. Playing McPhee requires Thompson to look hideous, but she's not too concerned with appearances. In fact, she says she's not even interested in the plastic surgery that so many of her fellow actresses depend on:

"I'm not fiddling about with myself. We're in this awful youth-driven thing now where everybody needs to look 30 at 60. The trick is to age honestly and make it look great so that everyone looks forward to it."

How do you feel about getting older? Chime in below!

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