Kenneth Branagh and Helena Bonham Carter's relationship explored as Emma Thompson reflects on split

Emma, Helena, and Kenneth starred in the Harry Potter series. (Image via Richard Corkery/Getty Images, Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
Emma, Helena, and Kenneth starred in the Harry Potter series. (Image via Richard Corkery/Getty Images, Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

British actress Emma Thompson opened up about her split from Kenneth Branagh, stating that she was "utterly blinded" to the fact that he was having an affair with Helena Bonham Carter.

In an interview with The New Yorker, published on Monday, November 7, the 63-year-old star revealed that she was partly "humiliated" by her "own stupidity" because of Branagh's affair with Carter.

Benedict & Beatrice! Double points here. Emma Thompson & Kenneth Branagh were married at the time. #ShakespeareSunday
“I was utterly, utterly blind to the fact that he had relationships with other women on set. What I learned was how easy it is to be blinded by your own desire to deceive yourself.”

Thompson also recalled her mental health at the time and stated that she felt unlovable because of the incident.

“I was half alive. Any sense of being a lovable or worthy person had gone completely.”

Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh were married for six years before calling it quits. The duo has no children together.

Emma Thompson was married to Kenneth Branagh while he was romancing another woman

And it IS a good morning b/c I just discovered what Emma Thompson wore to marry Kenneth Branagh:

Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh were considered the “It” couple of British cinema. Their romance blossomed while they were shooting the 1987 mini-series, Fortunes of War. After dating for two years, they tied the knot in 1989 at Cliveden Country House in a lavish ceremony.

However, the entertainment industry was shocked when they announced their separation after six years of being together. They cited the reason behind their divorce to be busy work schedules, but the rumor mill stated otherwise.

Weeks after their announcement, multiple news outlets claimed that the Belfast actor’s alleged affair with Helena Bonham Carter was the reason for his divorce from Thompson.


Reportedly, Branagh and Carter became romantically involved while co-starring in 1994’s Frankenstein, which was also directed by the former. Even though their affair began in 1994, they first crossed each other’s paths in 1988 during a poetry reading on a boat.

They also had an encounter in 1993 when Carter and Thompson starred alongside in Howards End, but the former said she never spoke to Kenneth until they worked together in 1994.

While speaking to the Los Angeles Times in 1994, Helena Bonham Carter said:

"We'd never actually sat down and had a proper conversation, we figured out. When I went up for the interview [for Frankenstein], it was all very, 'Oh, love your work' and 'Yes, love yours,' and that was it."
Kenneth Branagh and Helena Bonham Carter, a well-publicised couple ...

After Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson got divorced, the former went public with his relationship with Carter, who felt “frustrated” for being labeled for their split.

In a 2002 interview, she said:

"It is very hurtful and, frankly, some of the things I have been called are quite libelous. But it's part of the price of being in the public eye."

Helena Bonham Carter and Kenneth Branagh dated for five years before they split in 1999. But while speaking to the Sunday Times in 2013, Emma Thompson said she made her peace with Carter and the whole cheating situation.

dame emma thompson and helena bonham carter are girlfriends i don't make the rules
"You can't hold on to anything like that. It's pointless. I haven't got the energy for it. Helena and I made our peace years and years ago."

Thompson also stated that she and Helena were alike in many ways.

"Oh we are. Being slightly mad and a bit fashion-challenged. Perhaps that's why Ken loved us both. She's a wonderful woman, Helena."

In fact, Thompson, Carter, and Branagh starred together in the Harry Potter series as Professor Sybill Trelawney, Bellatrix Lestrange, and Professor Gilderoy Lockhart, respectively.

March 9: Happy Birthday, Sybill Trelawney! She was Divination professor at Hogwarts, and was in Ravenclaw.

Emma Thompson went on to marry her Sense and Sensibility co-star, Greg Wise, in 2003. The duo is parents to two kids, Gaia Romilly Wise and Tindyebwa Agaba Wise. The same year, Kenneth married art director Lindsay Brunnock. Meanwhile, Helena went on to have two kids with her longtime partner, Tim Burton.

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Edited by Shreya Das
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