Emma Thompson says an injury on the set of Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical made her stop and reflect on life as an aging performer.
Speaking to People ahead of the movie’s Dec. 25 streaming release, the Oscar-winning actress shared how she navigated an ankle fracture she got while filming the musical, which stars the Good Luck to You, Leo Grande actress as villain Agatha Trunchbull opposite Lashana Lynch’s Miss Honey and Alisha Weir’s Matilda Wormwood. It was an injury she chalked up to aging.
“I fell over for no good reason and fractured my ankle, and I thought, ‘That’s kind of weird, I’ve never hurt myself like that. Huh, that’s because I’m getting older,’” Thompson recalled thinking.
The actress said the injury required her to use a foot boot, which she was apologetic for as Thompson thought it would mean she’d likely have to sit out any stunt work the film had planned for her until it was off.
“I said, ‘I’m so sorry, I’ve got to wear the boot,’” Thompson recounted. “They said, ‘It’s OK, you’re doing a stunt today.’ I said, ‘What? I’ve just fractured my ankle.’”
Thompson added that the production confidently pushed ahead despite her own hesitations about it being possible due to the nature of the stunt. “They said, ‘It’s OK, we’re just turning you upside down. It’s fine, you’re on a crane,’” she explained. “I said, ‘OK, all right then.’”
The experience was one that gave the Matilda star a little pause as she realized “I was sort of no longer as invulnerable as I thought.”
“Whilst I’m strong, because I’m getting older, I can hurt myself, and that was interesting,” she said of the incident. “My body’s changing and I’ve got to be more careful with it.”