Leading Man News

Emma Thompson received her star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame last month
and showed up at the unveiling with a pig and a pint.

Yipppeee for Emma Thompson. Yes, I know Emma’s not a leading man, but she is working on a new project, a remake of My Fair Lady, to star Carey Mulligan as Eliza Doolittle and rumour is that she’s tapped Colin Firth to play Henry Higgins, with Hugh Grant in a supporting role. Emma has said in interviews that she was dissatisfied with the original film version’s sugary take on the storyline of Pygmalion which, however one slices it, revolves around a father’s having sold his daughter to an older man in a form of prostitution. Emma has said:

“It’s a very terrible thing [Eliza Doolittle’s father] does, selling his daughter into sexual slavery for a fiver. I suppose my cheekiness is in saying, “This is a very serious story about the usage of women at a particular time in our history. And it’s still going on today.” 

About the original film, and its female lead, Emma said:
“I’m not hugely fond of the film. I find Audrey Hepburn fantastically twee … Twee is whimsy without wit. It is mimsy-mumsy sweetness without any kind of bite. And that’s not for me. She can’t sing and she can’t really act, I’m afraid. I’m sure she was a delightful woman — and perhaps if I had known her I would have enjoyed her acting more, but I don’t and I didn’t, so that’s all there is to it really.”

With equal honesty, Emma spoke to the Daily Telegraph of Firth’s chances of playing Higgins, “He would do it brilliantly, but because it’s a really expensive movie it’s really up to the studio. They’re always really picky about these things.”

So, does this mean that Emma’s version of My Fair Lady will be more like dark molasses than white sugar? In the end, will Colin Firth actually play Henry Higgins? We’ll have to wait and see, but in the meantime, as Victoria let us know in yesterday’s post, it’s dead cert that Firth will be playing King George VI in The King’s Speech. Set to open in November, Geoffrey Rush plays royal speech therapist Lionel Logue, who worked to help George VI overcome his stammer. Helena Bonham Carter will play the Queen Mum (!?).

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