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Emma Thompson Can’t Live Without Hannah Gadsby and Potato Scones

4. “The Overstory” by Richard PowersThat’s the best book I’ve read in 10 years. It’s a remarkable piece of literature, and the moment it speaks to is climate change. So, for me, it’s a lodestone. It’s a mind-opening fiction, and it connects us all in a very positive way to the things that we have to do if we want to regain our planet. We’ve got lots and lots of trees where we live in Scotland. If I’m feeling unwell or unsettled in any way, I always go and sit with a tree or walk through the trees, and that’s incredibly healing and helpful.

5. “On Fire” by Naomi KleinNaomi Klein is a friend and someone whose clarity and intellect have helped me so much over the last few years as we’ve come to understand what the crisis is. And so Naomi’s book, which is breaking down the components of the Green New Deal and explaining how possible they are, is essential reading, because you have to imagine the thing and give it life in order for it to happen. She has done that so brilliantly.

6. “Young Frankenstein”If I could be buried with one film, it would be that one. I was always in love with Gene Wilder, and I couldn’t live without Madeline Kahn, who’s somewhat built into my DNA as the funniest woman who ever lived, and one of the kindest. That film has been with me since I was 16, and it’s just one of those essential things that I watch every year.”

7. The Tower of LondonI shot ‘King Lear’ in it recently, and it’s such a beautiful place. Its history is so bloody and difficult, but there it is, still nestling in the center of our strange and ever-growing city. And it just gives me great pleasure to look at it. I love its ancientness, and I love the bones of it.”

8. Châteauneuf-du-PapeWell, that’s just obvious. That’s a given. It’s an ancient cultural necessity and very much one of mine. I did a wine course and then realized that it would take me the rest of my life, and I had other things to do. You have to have a different kind of mind because it’s incredibly scientifically difficult. You could study Bordeaux all your life and still not get to the bottom of it.”

9. Black of Dunoon’s Potato SconesIt was my dad’s favorite food, which can’t have helped, because he died of heart disease. They’re little triangular, flat pancakes made with potatoes and flour and salt. You can get them in various sorts of places around Scotland. But the ones made by Black’s, to my mind, they’ve never been beaten, because they have a peculiar glutinous quality. And each time I’m in Scotland, I have one with about half a pound of butter.”

10. Edinburgh Festival FringeTo me, it’s a proper cultural well, and you can drink from it. I go see young women’s writing, see what they’re speaking of. I have found it recently, particularly, very inspiring. Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie and I won the first Perrier Award [now the Edinburgh Comedy Awards]. At the time, we thought it was a bit daft, really, but it turned into this huge thing. We went to the festival every year and played sketch comedy, and it’s where the three of us cut our teeth. We learned a lot. And I’m still learning.”

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