Emma Thompson recently gave an interview with Vulture magazine, and gave some excellent quotes on what she thinks about being a feminist, and ageism in Hollywood.
First up, she revealed she's a "card-carrying feminist", and doesn't really understand it when other people (including fellow actresses) say they aren't feminists, or shy away from the question.
“I’ve been a card-carrying, radical feminist since I was 19,” she said. "Most women who I would want to listen to wouldn’t have any problem at all with the word feminist...It’s bizarre. Any woman who says they’re not a feminist is basically saying that they don’t believe in equal rights for women.”
She also added that telling ourselves we look "fat" or "ugly" is part of the problem:
“Any woman who says, ‘I hate my bum, I hate my body,’ is essentially expressing a kind of misogyny...All women who come up with that need to think very carefully about what it is they’re saying. Including me!”
She also commented on the sexism in Hollywood, which often means that actresses are deemed "too old" to star alongside male leads that are the same age.
“The age thing is insane,” said Thompson.
“It was ever thus. I remember saying years and years ago, when I was 35, that they’d have to exhume somebody to play my leading man … Nothing’s changed in that regard. If anything, it’s got worse...I remember somebody saying to me that I was too old for Hugh Grant, who’s like a year younger than me, in* Sense and Sensibility*. I said, ‘Do you want to go take a flying leap?’”
She also gave some great soundbites on superhero movies - "If I see yet another Spider-Man, I’m going to have to actually hang myself. I can’t do it anymore!" - and award season, commetning on how punishing the Hollywood promotional machine was.
“The requirements of that season — constantly dressing up and trotting down carpets — is quite a lot now, because there are so many awards shows" she said. "People literally put aside three months of their lives to do it. Seems quite a lot, doesn’t it?”
In short, Emma Thompson is amazing.