Battle of the LBDs: Emma holds her own against young co-star Maggie Gyllenhaal at New York Nanny McPhee premiere
By Andrea Magrath
Last updated at 2:59 PM on 18th August 2010
With a co-star almost two decades younger than her, Emma Thompson was in danger of being overshadowed on the red carpet for the New York premiere of the Nanny McPhee sequel.
But Emma, 51, ensured this did not happen, turning up in a knock-out little black dress. The sparkling number made clear who the star of the film was, and as she cuddled up to 32-year-old Maggie Gyllenhaal, she more than held her own.
The pair, who are close friends, giggled their way up the red carpet and posed for photographers with their arms around each other.
Red carpet competition: Emma Thompson (right) held her own against co-star Maggie Gyllenhaal in their Little Black Dresses at the Nanny McPhee premiere
Maggie chose a slightly more revealing LBD, which she paired with nude heels, while Emma donned some silve peep-toe shoes to match her sparkly version.
In a recent interview, Emma revealed that she wrote Maggie's character, the frazzled Miss Green, with the young actress in mind after meeting her as a new mother. 'I was in the process of writing it,' she told USA Today. 'And then I met Maggie, who was a new mum and, at that time, slightly kind of ... just trying to survive.'
They bonded immediately and the film's director Susanna White describes their friendship as 'very close. Emma has huge affection for Maggie and admires her as an actress and really sees her as a friend.'
Stylish: Emma, 51, made sure she wasn't overshadowed by 32-year-old Maggie
BFFs: The pair are great friends outside of work; Emma described working with Maggie as 'bliss'
Miss Gyllenhaal, sister of Brokeback Mountain star Jake, has said in the past that she wanted to be Emma Thompson when she grew up, and was there to see her accept her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame earlier this month.
And the affection appears to be mutual. Emma said of working with Maggie: 'It’s bliss. As you can imagine, it’s much easier than working with someone you’re not trusting and you don’t like (laughs) which can sometimes happen. Maggie was so fantastic with the kids. She really did mother them. The girls were in floods of tears when she left on her last day. It was so touching.
Speaking at a press conference for the film this week, the outspoken star said: 'Look, however much I like his acting, I’m not going to be casting Russell Crowe in a Nanny McPhee movie. Do you know what I mean?'
'Immediate bond': The pair, pictured at the film's press conference this week, seem to be in constant fits of giggles when they are together
The Oscar winner alluded to some tension with film studio Universal after she was made to change the film's original name Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang (its name for the UK release) to Nanny McPhee returns. When quizzed on the name change the actress revealed: 'The Americans felt that that might be misconstrued by some people because the big bang could refer to something other than, for instance, an explosion. I don’t want to go into it farther. I’m sure you can extrapolate the necessary information. So it went to Nanny McPhee Returns which I think has its own pleasant ring. It’s a bit boring but never mind. I don’t mind.'
Supportive: Maggie, who has said she 'wants to be Emma Thompson' when she grows up, spoke at Emma star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony
Other cultural differences had to be amended for the US release of the film, which comes five months after it premiered in the UK.
Emma told the LA press conference: ' there are certain words like “syrup” for the syrup situation, that I call “treacle” in my country. Treacle is such a great word but I had to change it to “syrup” because the Americans, I was told, would not know what “treacle” was. So I cowtowed to that one. Sometimes there will be words or things that people will say that I have to change and I refuse.'
'Frazzled': Thompson wrote the part of Miss Green after meeting Maggie when she was a 'new mum... just trying to survive'