Emma Thompson: "I Have Taken Small Roles in Large Studio Films … and for That, I'm Sorry."

Emma Thompson
Joe Pugliese

"My godfather was a sort of writer, philosopher, gay man, extraordinary, and he was a director of theater, and he gave my mum a piece of advice," says Thompson. "I think it applies to everything. He said, 'Onstage, imagine you've got a fire burning in your dressing room.' There's something going on elsewhere; it takes your mind off acting."

The Oscar winner jokes in a speech at the British Independent Film Awards

Emma Thompson gave a typically spectacular speech at the British Independent Film Awards in London on Sunday.

Picking up the Richard Harris Award for outstanding contribution to British film, the Oscar winner spoke of her time with studios despite being celebrated for her work with independent cinema.

"I must confess to you that I have been with studios. I haven't enjoyed it," she joked. "I tried very hard not to get sucked in. I demanded smaller trailers."

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Thompson later added: "I have also taken small roles in large studio films that could be described as formulaic for money, and for that I'm sorry."

Not short of laughter, the awards were hosted by The Inbetweeners 2 star Simon Bird, who said he hoped the night would offer "finally a crumb of recognition for the criminally underappreciated Benedict Cumberbatch."