Sophie Thompson Discusses Career, Family in “Times” Interview

Actress Sophie Thompson, who played Mafalda Hopkirk in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1, has opened up about her career and her famous family in a new interview with the Times. Thompson also spoke about her older sister, Dame Emma Thompson, who portrayed Professor Sybill Trelawney in the Harry Potter films, and the relationship that they share.

Besides the seventh Harry Potter film, with which Thompson described her amazement, she has also appeared in projects alongside other Harry Potter alumni. This included both Dame Maggie Smith (Minerva McGonagall) and Sir Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore) in Gosford Park, and Thompson recalled thinking about how many prolific actors were on the set of the 2001 film.

We looked around and went, ‘Bloody hell. If this set was suddenly squashed by an alien spacecraft, there’d be quite a lot of amazing turns lost to us.’

Thompson’s latest film, in contrast, is a dark comedy titled Tales from the Lodge, about which she was initially hesitant because of its being a horror film. Funnily enough, Thompson’s character in the film is named Emma.

On the subject of her sister of the same name, however, Thompson explained that they were never competitive with one another.

No, I don’t think we ever were [competitive]. What’s wonderful about families, and I see this with my boys, are the differences that you can’t believe from the same stable. Em: rather brilliant at school, did A levels, spangly Cambridge. I left school at 16. I used to go and visit Em in Cambridge and cycle around pretending to be clever, but that wasn’t my world.

Thompson also stated that she believes that her sister looks more like their mother, actress Phyllida Law, than she does.

I mean, they’re both absolutely so beautiful, and they’ve got these cheekbones and these amazing blue eyes.

After watching Law’s performance in the 1969 film Otley, Thompson was struck by the resemblance between her mother and her sister, as well as her niece.

There were shots of her, and it was like Em — and my niece [Emma’s daughter, Gaia]. It was uncanny.

Thompson described herself as being “so proud” of her sister’s success and reiterated that she, her sister, and their mother have never looked at their careers as a competition with one another.

Yeah, I don’t think we even look at it like that. [My mother, my sister, and I] are all just working women, and I think we’re very grateful that we’re able to have carried on working in such a tricky profession.

Tales from the Lodge has a limited release beginning November 1. You can find Sophie Thompson’s full interview with the Times on its website.

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Mary W.

I am a Slytherin, a lifelong fan of Harry Potter, and a member of MuggleNet staff since 2014. In my Muggle life, I am passionate about human rights, and I love to travel around the world and meet new people.