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Exclusive interview with Emma Thompson at the National Board of Review Gala

"Saving Mr. Banks" star Emma Thompson attends the 2014 National Board Of Review Awards Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street
"Saving Mr. Banks" star Emma Thompson attends the 2014 National Board Of Review Awards Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street
Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

On Jan. 7, was on the red carpet at the 2014 National Board Of Review Awards Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street. Best Actress went to Emma Thompson for her performance in Disney's "Saving Mr. Banks." The film was also honored as one of the top films of the year.

Check out what Thompson told reporters about the film on the red carpet.

What do you like to do after award shows like these?

Emma: This is a lovely evening because you’re not too nervous because you know you've won, or you’re giving an award to somebody which is always a treat. So this is really nice. I go back put on your dress or gown and a pair of furry socks and have a large gin.

What did you learn about Walt Disney, while preparing for the film?

Emma: Well I learned an awful lot about him, I didn’t know that he had the childhood that he had but having found that out and it made a whole lot of sense that he was brought up in a very tough world and as a child that changes you and that forms you doesn’t it? So it was a crucible of particular fierceness, and you can see why he might want to create a kind of endlessly perfect environment and childhood and yet even in his early movies there’s a lot of heartbreak and a lot of sadness think of "Dumbo" and you think of "Snow White" and the real terrifying nature of that witch. In fact, as we’ve moved into an era where psychoanalysis and the examination of brain happens and how we work and the examination of children and childhood is understood more, Disney films have changed an awful lot and...take something like "The Little Mermaid," which is a fantastically savage story about a woman who sacrifices everything for love and not in I don't think a very helpful way. She’s not a great role model. Disney turned her something more healthy. In some ways...the sugarcoating doesn't work so well, but in some areas it’s actually gotten better. It's interesting to think about all that.

What is your favorite Disney film?

Emma: Dumbo is my favorite one! Any elephant in any area I would love, but the big ears!

Why do you think P.L. Travers ultimately sold the rights to Walt Disney to make "Mary Poppins"?

Emma: It was needing the money. We laugh, but this is a woman who didn’t have a father, who didn't have a husband, who had to make a living, she was about to lose her house. She didn’t want to let go of it, but economic necessity meant that she had to, and that is a very important part of a woman’s life. She grew up in an era where an awful lot of women didn’t have to earn their own living or couldn’t earn their own living. So it’s a very important part of the story actually women and money a vast area of history that is not often explored or talked about. Women and work precisely so where do you get the money how do you live if you’re not getting married.

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