Emma Thompson says she was ‘completely blindsided’ about ex-husband Kenneth Branagh’s on-set relationships


London
CNN

Two-time Oscar winner Emma Thompson has admitted she was “completely blindsided” by her ex-husband Kenneth Branagh’s on-set relationships with other actresses and was left devastated when she found out.

The “Love Actually” star married Branagh in 1989 after meeting on the set of the 1987 drama series “Fortunes of War.”

When the couple’s marriage ended in 1995, it emerged that Branagh had been seeing fellow actress Helena Bonham Carter, who played his love interest in the 1994 film “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein,” which also direct

Helena Bonham Carter and Kenneth Branagh dated for five years.

In the November issue of the New Yorker, Thompson, who starred alongside Bonham Carter in the 1992 literary adaptation “Howard’s End,” spoke of her pain and humiliation when she found out.

“I was totally, totally blind to the fact that he was having relationships with other women on set,” Thompson told interviewer John Lahr. “What I learned was how easy it is to be blinded by your own desire to deceive yourself.”

Branagh and Bonham Carter had a five-year relationship. In a 2020 interview with The Guardian, Bonham Carter described the controversy surrounding their romance as “all blood under the bridge”.

Recalling how the collapse of her six-year marriage affected her mental health, Thompson said: “I was half alive. Any sense of being a lovable or decent person was completely gone.”

CNN has reached out to representatives for Branagh and Bonham Carter for comment.

Thompson, whose credits also include “Matilda” and “Nanny McPhee,” found love again with Greg Wise, her co-star in “Sense and Sensibility,” for which she won an Oscar for best adapted screenplay .

He said Wise, whom he married in 2003, “picked up the pieces and put them back together.” The couple share two children.

Reflecting on her life with Wise, Thompson said, “I learned more from my second marriage just by being married. As my mother says, ‘the first twenty years are the hardest.'”

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