Emma Thompson reflected on the humiliation that she felt after learning that her ex-husband Kenneth Branagh was unfaithful.
The 63-year-old actress, who was married to Branagh, 61, from 1989 to 1995, told the New Yorker that she was completely unaware that he 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,” Thompson said in a recent interview.
She continued, “What I learned was how easy it is to be blinded by your own desire to deceive yourself.”
The “Cruella” star told the outlet that her emotional state was like that of shattered dishes. “I was half alive,” she explained. “Any sense of being a lovable or worthy person had gone completely.”
In addition to being married, the former couple worked together on film projects, with Branagh casting Thompson in movies that he was directing. They starred in several movies together including Henry V (1989), Dead Again (1991), Peter’s Friends (1992) and Much Ado About Nothing (1993).
Branagh’s affair with Bonham Carter began in 1994 when he was directing and starring opposite the “Dark Shadows” actress in “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.”
By 1995, Branagh and Thompson’s marriage was falling apart but they had not yet announced their plans to separate.
At the time, Thompson was filming the period piece “Sense and Sensibility,” based on Jane Austen’s 1811 novel of the same name. She told the New Yorker that it was her “Sense and Sensibility” co-star Greg Wise, “who picked up the pieces and put them back together.”
Thompson and Wise have now been together for 27 years and married for 19 years. “I’ve learned more from my second marriage just by being married,” she said. “As my mother says, ‘the first twenty years are the hardest.’ “
The two are parents to daughter Gaia, 22, and son, Tindyebwa, 34. In 1993, Thompson met Tindyebwa, a Rwandan refugee and former child soldier. The actress and Wise welcomed the then 16-year-old into their family and formally adopted him in 2004.
Carter, 56, and Branagh dated for five years before going their separate ways in 1999.
Thompson, Branagh and Bonham Carter all later starred in the Harry Potter franchise. Thompson played Professor Sybil Trelawney and Branagh portrayed Gilderoy Lockhart in the second movie, 2002’s “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.”
Thompson went on to reprise her role in the fifth and eight installments and Bonham Carter played Bellatrix Lestrange in the final four films.
The two both starred in “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II.”
In a 2013 interview with U.K’s Sunday Times, Thompson said that she had “made peace” with Bonham Carter. She added that the affair was “all blood under the bridge.”
“You can’t hold on to anything like that,” she told the outlet. “It’s pointless. I haven’t got the energy for it. Helena and I made our peace years and years ago.”
She also joked about why Branagh may have been attracted to both her and Bonham Carter. “Being slightly mad and a bit fashion-challenged. Perhaps that’s why Ken loved us both. She’s a wonderful woman, Helena.”
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