Emma Thompson: Nanny McPhee to Return Again, and Again

Emma Thompson’s ugly truth: she hopes to return to play her now beloved Nanny McPhee, warts and all, at least two more times.

“I think I've got two stories, if we're lucky enough to do that – a modern one and a futuristic one,” Thompson tells PopcornBiz.

Her “luck” seems likely enough: the first two installments of the family friendly franchise she writes and stars in have proven extremely popular (the second, “Nanny McPhee Returns” debuts on home video Tuesday), and Thompson’s already in the midst of crafting the third outing for the nanny who from hag to hottie as her child charges become less naughty.

“I'm about into the first act” of the third story, says Thompson, who admits breaking the story “bloody well doesn't come easy. And this one, the modern one, is the hardest one of them all, because it's completely new vernacular and because the difficulties that children are experiencing and that parents are experiencing in the 21st century are so different to those that they experienced in the 20th and the 19th.”

She does have a better handle on a possible fourth film, set “way, way ahead when we're all living in space. I've got that story pretty much written, actually.”

No one’s been more surprised than Thompson at how much she’s enjoyed allowing the nanny to rule her professional life the past few years. “I'm intrigued by my passion for it because I do really love writing these,” she says. “They are quite simple morality tales in a sense, but they're fantastically difficult to write. So there must be some deep psychological thing at work, where somehow or other I'm sorting out the world in my own mind as I write, and that makes me feel better.”

She says even without her unglamorous character prosthetics she occasionally gets recognized by wee fans of the films who respond to her “with great affection, I'm happy to say. Only a couple of them have hidden under the kitchen table and refused to come out! I have to let them look at me for quite a long time, because I have to remind them that they only see me looking not like I look, as it were, in the last two frames of the movie. So it's nice, because it's a perfect disguise.”

For her current film, “Men In Black 3,” Thompson gets a break from major makeup sessions. “I'm not in prosthetics – I've got a lot of product in my hair but that's about the length of it,” she says. “I'm playing the head of the organization. They have a new head of Men in Black and she's a woman! They're going to have to call the next one 'People in Black.' Though I don't think it works quite so well.”

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