Emma Thompson says the end of her marriage to husband Kenneth Branagh was as shocking to her as it was to the public. The actress, who is portrayed in the latest issue of The New Yorker, told the magazine that she failed to notice Branagh’s infidelities on film sets, which led to their split in 1995.
Thompson and Branagh married in 1989 after meeting in 1987’s Fortunes of War, and later starred in 1991’s Dead Again, which Branagh directed. While the power couple presented a united front to the press and public when they teamed up to make six films together, their relationship ended after Branagh cheated on Thompson while he was filming Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
Branagh, who directed the film, began an affair with actress Helena Bonham Carter and dated her for five years.
Thompson told The New Yorker that Branagh and Bonham Carter’s on-set romance took her by surprise, telling the outlet, “I was completely oblivious to the fact that he had relationships with other women on set. What I learned was how easy it is to be blinded by your own desire to deceive yourself.”
Following her split from Branagh, Thompson said she was “half alive,” adding, “Any sense of being a lovable or worthy person was completely gone.” But when she met and fell in love with actor Greg Wise, Thompson said he “picked up the pieces and put them back together.”
Thompson and Wise met while filming Sense and Sensibility — in which she starred as Elinor Dashwood and he played John Willoughby — and later married in 2003. Thompson told the New Yorker, “I learned more from my second marriage, just because I was married. As my mother says, ‘The first twenty years are the hardest.’”