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Emma Thompson returns as 'Nanny McPhee'

August 19, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Emma Thompson is known to many people for her acting work, but she won an Oscar in 1996 for writing the screenplay for "Sense and Sensibility." Now she's pulling triple duty for the sequel "Nanny McPhee Returns." She's not only starring in the film but she also co-produced and wrote it.Nanny McPhee is a character close to Thompson's heart, so she didn't think twice about returning to the role for a second time. She was also eager to pen a script that could entertain the whole family.

"I look at the listings and I think well OK, so there are some wonderful animations," Thompson said. "But as for live action movies, there are very few really good ones for children that aren't just a series of very quick cuts that make me want to... that give me motion sickness."

So she got busy writing a new story centered around a new family for Nanny McPhee to help, one that features lots of laughs, but a few tears just may sneak up on you, too.

"I've watched a lot of audiences and it's very funny seeing adults particularly doing that kind of [crying], and it makes me cry too," said Thompson.

The part of the process that really brought tears to Thompson's eyes was sitting for hours in the make-up chair while she transformed into the tough-as-nails nanny with a heart of gold.

"I never multitask before 6 a.m. No, I just sit there while my poor and sainted make-up artists work on me," said Thompson. "It is a science, you know, they've got it down, by the end of this shoot, to an hour and 15 minutes, which is not long. It's quite demanding, but every time I get into it I think, well at least I'm not playing a Klingon."

"Nanny McPhee Returns" also stars Maggie Gyllenhaal, and features cameos from Ewan MacGregor, Ralph Fiennes and Maggie Smith.

The PG-rated film opens in theaters on Friday, August 19.