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IT'S NANNY McME; Thespian beauty Emma Thompson was gutted when it took make-up artists only an hour to turn her into grotesque old granny Nanny McPhee for her latest movie.

Byline: By Rick Fulton, Showbiz Editor

OSCAR winning actress Emma Thompson is hardly recognisable in her latest role as an ugly children's nanny.

But the actress is mortified that it only took the make-up artist an hour to transform her into the warty faced character for her new children's movie Nanny McPhee.

Emma,who as well as playing the title character also wrote the script, laughed: "It took them longer to get me dolled up for Elinor in Sense And Sensibility because it took so long to do the hair."

However, her five-year-old daughter Gaia could see through the disguise.

Emma said: "She was the only one that didn't react to me when I was in Nanny mode."

The 46-year-old actress is in Scotland for the premiere of the film in Glasgow on Saturday.

It's an adaptation from Christianna Brand's Nurse Matilda stories of the 1960s.

Emma had to change into Nanny McPhee, whose features include a bulbous nose, a single repulsive eyebrow, a pair of hairy warts, and a particularly unsightly snaggle tooth. But despite being called McPhee, she has no Scottish accent.

She said: "Mrs. Doubtfire was Scottish but don't start me on Robin Williams' accent. And Shrek is also Scottish.There's a lot of bad Scottish accents out there.

"So it was a bit obvious to do her as a Scot. But God knows she's got Celtic steel in her spine The daughter of Glasgow-born actress Phyllida Law, Emma has been coming to Scotland since she was three months old.

And she and husband Greg Wise were married in Dunoon in July 2003 and have a second home there.

Emma, born in London said: "I do feel Scottish. Not only because I am half Scottish but also because I've spent half my life here.

"I think Scotland is the most beautiful place in the world and I've been all over the world."

Emma added: "I'm really looking forward to Saturday. I've got a lot of friends coming from Ardentinny and Dunoon.

"My mum and dad (Eric Thompson, who died in December 1982) bought a place in Ardentinny when I was small. My uncle ran the tearoom in Ardentinny until I was 15.

"We never went abroad because my grandparents were there and my uncle ran the Primrose Tearoom.

"Dunoon is my place. I come here every holiday. So my daughter now has the same upbringing as I had. She goes to school in London but has this vivid country life during her holidays in Scotland."

Emma won a Best Actress Oscar for Howard's End in 1992 and for Best Adapted Screenplay for Sense And Sensibility in 1995She is one of Britain's best known actresses thanks to films like In The Name Of TheFather,The Remains Of The Day, Love Actually and in the television series Tutti Frutti.

But motherhood is her greatest achievement. Her daughter Gaia, who'll be six in December, was born with IVF treatment as Emma suffers from polycystic ovaries.

Emma and Greg tried for three years to conceive a brother or sister for their daughter, a time which Greg later described as 'brutal'.

He needed psychotherapy to get over the depression which gripped him towards the end.

Emma said: "It was a hard time but you have to get on with things.You can't wander around miserable."

But the couple have adopted a Rwandan teenager called Tindyebwa, who lost his parents and sister in his country's massacre. Emma met him at a Christmas party for the charity Care International when he was 15-years-old. Now at college, he lives with them at weekends and holidays.

She said: "I don't work more as a result of not having more children. "I've unofficially adopted a Rwandan son who is 18 now. And that's how I like it.

"I enjoy every minute of being a mum."

Colin Firth stars alongside Emma in the new movie.He plays widower Mr Brown who has seven children: Simon,Tora, Eric, Lily, Christianna, Sebastian and Baby Aggy.

With 17 nannies scared off by their bad behaviour and the agency claiming there are no more,Nanny McPhee arrives to sort them out

But Aunt Adelaide, whose allowance keeps the family together has threatened to stop supplementing Mr Brown's wage unless he remarries in a month. So the hunt is one for a suitable wife.

The film also stars Angela Lansbury as Aunt Adelaide, Kelly Macdonald, Celia Imrie, Imedla Staunton and Derek Jacobi.

Nanny McPhee, with her hideous face and magic stick, is a bit like Mary Poppins but she only arrives at the worst possible time, saying: "When you need me but do not want me, but no longer need me, then I have to go."

With Channel 4's Supernanny sorting out unruly children across the nation, childcare has become a major talking point.

Emma admits because both her parents were actors, she and her younger sister Sophie had a series of au pairs.

One of whom Emma never forgets. She said: "I just had my tonsils out when I was seven and this girl called Paula who was looking after us nicked my box of sweets.

"I was so angry I ran away from home.

"I can't believe she ate my sweeties. I still feel quite bitter about it.

"I took my sister, dressed up in our balaclavas, made some Marmite sandwiches and went round the corner to sit behind a tree next to our nursery school.

"We ate the sandwiches then went home and Paula opened the door.We said: 'We ran away but we're back now.' She let us in but never told anyone about it."

Greg and Emma juggle looking after their daughter with a family nanny called Viv who has been with them since Gaia was nine months old.

The actress, who was previously married to Kenneth Branagh, met Greg on the set of Sense And Sensibility, is becoming something of a children's favourite.

She voiced Captain Amelia in Treasure Planet and was also Professor Trelawney in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

But next up is comedy Stranger Than Fiction, co-starring Will Ferrell, Dustin Hoffman, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Queen Latifah, which will be released next year.

However, Nanny McPhee may be back again.

Emma said: "Let's see how this one goes, but I have one up my sleeve if we think that people want it."

#Nanny McPhee's Scottish premiere is this Saturday at Glasgow's Showcase Cinemas. The film is released on October 21

CAPTION(S):

UGLY BUG BALL: It's; hard to tell it's her, but Emma Thompson's new role as Nanny McPhee is sure to be a huge with with kids everywhere as she tries to sort out a bunch of unruly children; HAPPY FAMILY: Emma with daughter Gaia and husband Greg Wise
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 12, 2005
Words:1127
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