Emma Thompson Recalls Being ‘Utterly Blind’ to Ex-Husband Kenneth Branagh’s Cheating

Emma Thompson gave a rare glimpse into her relationship with ex-husband Kenneth Branagh in a recent interview for The New Yorker. The British actress talked about taking on a musical, aging, and reflected on the most formative moments of her career – including the cheating scandal that left her heartbroken.


Thompson says the end of her marriage was just as shocking to her as it was to the public after it was revealed that Branagh was having an affair with his Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein co-star Helena Bonham Carter. “I was utterly, utterly blind to the fact that he had relationships with other women on set,” said Thompson. “What I learned was how easy it is to be blinded by your own desire to deceive yourself.”

Emma Thompson in Sense and Sensibility

Thompson in Sense and Sensibility (2003). (Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures / murraymomo / MovieStillsDB)

Emma Thompson was born in London in 1959 to a family of actors. After studying English at Oxford University, Thompson began her career in entertainment. After working for the BBC and touring in a comedy show, she landed her first big break as a writer for a TV show alongside friends and burgeoning British actors Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie.

Wedding photo of Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh

The wedding of Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson on August 20, 1989. (Photo Credit: Georges De Keerle / Getty Images)

Branagh and Thompson first met in 1987 while filming Fortunes of War. The couple married in 1989 and starred in several films throughout their relationship, including Look Back in Anger, Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, Dead Again, andPeter’s Friends. They also formed a production company together.

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