Emma Thomson’s young costar Daryl McCormack ‘grew to love’ her

Lorraine: Emma Thompson discusses honesty about sex

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Daryl McCormack, 29, was announced as one of the five nominees for the 2023 EE Rising Star BAFTA Award, and opened up about his work in the film Good Luck to You, Leo Grande in front of Express.co.uk and other reporters today. The young actor gushed about his romantic co-lead Emma Thompson, 63, and described how he had “left a piece of his soul behind” on set after filming with her.

The quirky film, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival this time last year, sees widowed school teacher Nancy Stokes (Emma) hire male prostitute Leo Grande (Daryl) in the hopes of having an orgasm for the very first time.

Speaking about the relationship he formed with Emma, Daryl explained how honoured he felt to have the “opportunity to work so close with her” so early on in his career.

The Peaky Blinders actor said: “The whole experience just felt really, really personal and it felt really small.

“We spent three weeks in Norwich making this film and it felt like we left part of our souls behind.

“We just really grew to love each other and so, for it to be really contained in one room, and then to have such a lovely response from people – it just feels really great.”

Asked about whether he and Emma spent time working out the dynamics of their relationship before shooting the movie, the star spoke about how they approached filming together.

“It was quick,” he confirmed, before describing how he had met his co-star for a walk around Hampstead Heath.

“We just needed to feel like we could be safe with one another,” he said. “The rehearsal process took six days and then we went into three, six-day weeks to film – so it all happened so quickly.

“But yeah, it was intense so we just took it day by day,” he added.

In the 2022 film, Emma’s character has spent most of her adult life teaching Religious Studies to teenagers and has never been very adventurous in the bedroom.

Admitting that she had always faked orgasms with her husband, the teacher hires a handsome Irish gigolo and gives him a list of “goals”, which various sexual acts that surpass the limitations of missionary-style love making.

Emma also spoke to Entertainment Weekly about how she and Daryl had bonded through going on muddy walks around Hampstead Heath last year.

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“That was very important that we could hold onto each other and laugh,” she said at the time.

“Actually, that’s what we’ve done the entire time: held onto each other, slid about, and laugh. That walk kind of was emblematic of the whole journey.”

Emma also spoke about how she had stripped completely nude with her co-star, as well as director Sophie Hyde, so that they would all feel more comfortable with shooting the film.

“Sophie, Daryl, and I rehearsed entirely nude and talked about our bodies, talked about our relationship with our bodies, drew them, discussed the things that we find difficult about, things we like about them, described one another’s bodies,” Emma explained in a Cinema Cafe conversation at Sundance.

“It’s very challenging to be nude at 62. She stands in front of a mirror alone and she drops her robe,” she said of her character.

Nominations for the 2023 EE Rising Star Award ahead of this year’s BAFTAs were announced at the Savoy Hotel in London this morning.

The nominees are: Daryl, Naomi Ackie, Sheila Atim, Aimee Lou Wood and Emma Mackey.

The young stars were selected by a panel of industry experts, including actors Hayley Atwell, Joe Cole and Jason Flemyng, while the British public will vote to select the overall winner.

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