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How Emma Thompson and Greg Wise’s Long-Lasting Marriage Almost Didn’t Happen

How Emma Thompson and Greg Wise’s Long-Lasting Marriage Almost Didn’t Happen

Dame Emma Thompson and her husband Greg Wise have been happily married for over two decades, even though the actor initially pursued another actress.

Emma Thompson has won the hearts of many fans during her amazing career. With roles such as Karen in Love, Actually, professor Sybill Trelawney in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and Nanny McPhee, the actress and producer has continuously proven that she is worthy of every award and accolade she's received in her 40 years of work.

Exceptionally talented, the iconic Thompson has become one of the most honored and respected actresses in Hollywood. From wise and witty comments to tossing her heels during award shows, Thompson remains a captivating woman in everything she does. However, she is not the only star in the household. Her husband, Greg Wise, is also a successful actor who in recent years has appeared in productions such as The Crown and Cranford.

Although they have been happy together for more than 25 years and have raised a loving family, including two children, their relationship almost didn't happen.

We’ll tell you everything you need to know about Emma Thompson and Greg Wise’s relationship, but first, let’s talk a little about their status right before they met.

Before Emma Thompson And Greg Wise Became A Couple

Dame Emma Thompson during an interview

Wise isn’t Thompson's first husband, she was previously married for six years to actor and director Kenneth Branagh. In 1995, Thompson and Branagh announced their divorce, citing incompatible work schedules as the reason for their separation. However, it later emerged that Branagh was having an affair with actress Helena Bonham Carter.

While the two actresses made peace many years ago, in 2018 the Harry Potter star admitted that she had her heart “very badly broken by Ken”.

I think that relationships are very hard work, that we can take our eyes off the ball very easily. I think that children can be a huge strain on relationships-- it depends on what kind of relationship you have.

Emma Thompson to The Telegraph UK

Thompson and Bonham Carter even went on to work alongside one another in the Harry Potter films. Ever the class act, Thompson referred to Carter as "a wonderful woman."

How Emma Thompson And Greg Wise Met

Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet on the set of Sense and Sensibility
Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet on the set of "Sense and Sensibility."

Greg Wise met Thompson in 1995 while filming Sense and Sensibility. At the time, Thompson was recovering from depression and the wounds caused by Branagh's betrayal and had no interest in dating someone new. But destiny had other plans for the star.

Wise was convinced he would meet his future love when a psychic friend told him he would meet his wife on the set of his first big film. But since Thompson was still married, he thought actress Kate Winslet was the one. He asked the Titanic star to dinner, but the whole thing turned into a rather boring bad date. Ironically enough, it was Winslet herself who saw the chemistry between Thompson and Wise and suggested he should date Thompson.

A few months after her divorce from Branagh, Thompson agreed to give love another shot. She went on a date with Wise and they have remained together for nearly three decades.

Work saved me and Greg saved me. He picked up the pieces and put them together again.

Emma Thompson

When Did Emma Thompson And Greg Wise Get Married?

Greg Wise while on Strictly Come Dancing

After an eight-year relationship, Wise and Thompson finally decided to tie the knot. The duo was married in 2003 in the small Scottish town of Dunoon and they shared their big day with HELLO! Magazine.

Thompson and Wise have two children together: Gaia and Tindyebwa. Gaia, their daughter who gracefully follows her mother’s steps, appeared on the cover alongside her parents. 

Their son, Tindy, a child soldier from Rwanda, was welcomed into the family shortly after the couple was married. Thompson wanted another child but struggled to get pregnant. Eventually, the two adopted and they couldn’t have made a better choice.

I couldn't have more children, and that was hard; but perhaps if I had [had more], I'd have missed out on this extra act of mothering that I've had with Tindy,

Emma Thompson to The Guardian

Emma Thompson And Greg Wise Remain Strong By Supporting Each Other

Emma Thompson smiles during a late night interview.

A lot of couples that work in the same industry tend to become competitive at some point and that competition can eventually affect the relationship. Wise and Thompson are both famous actors, but instead of competing, they regularly support each other’s work.

When Thompson was awarded a Damehood for her services and contribution to drama (2018), Wise and their two children were there to congratulate and support her as she met the royal family.

Later, in 2019. Wise was one of the contestants on The Great Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up to Cancer. The actor won the series and admitted he couldn’t have done it without his wife’s support. Wise practiced a lot in the lead-up and Thompson was more than happy to be the taste tester. 

While the couple may sound like relationship ideals, Thompson has spoken openly about the hard work their relationship takes. The Golden Globe and BAFTA-winning actress has even called the idea of happily-ever-after 'bonkers.'

The Age Gap Between Emma Thompson And Greg Wise 

Emma Thompson in Good Luck To You Leo Grande
Emma Thompson and Daryl McCormack in "Good Luck To You, Leo Grande"

Emma Thompson was born on April 15, 1959, and Greg Wise on May 15, 1966, making the age difference between the happy couple seven years. Setting an example for women everywhere, Thompson has always dismissed the idea that older women can’t date younger men.

Not surprisingly, her latest role in Good Luck To You, Leo Grande is about a 55-year-old widow who is looking for adventure with a younger man. In the movie, Thompson delivers another outstanding performance that addresses age gaps, sex positivity, and body image.

While some have commented on the age difference between Thompson and her husband, the couple clearly doesn't care.

Emma Thompson And Greg Wise Are Keeping It Real

Emma thompson and greg wise 1024x559

Thompson and Wise have never been afraid to make fans laugh, they don’t take themselves too seriously, and more importantly, they don't take each other for granted. 

I think people in long, happy marriages tell a lot of fibs like ‘Yes, it’s been marvelous!’, whereas I say ‘No, sometimes it’s been awful’. I hope it carries on, but we don’t know. We say ‘Well, this is nice, isn’t it?’ We don’t take anything for granted.

Emma Thompson

The couple has had their ups and downs, just like everyone else, and they readily admit to it. They never pretend to be happy just because they're in the public eye, they simply do their best to enjoy life’s little moments and each other’s company. And that is a lesson we can all value from.


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