Well, I suppose this Nanny really does have a name, but it’s interesting to see Emma Thompson’s recent take on one of her acting roles: Nanny McPhee. In another example of the western genre showing up in the oddest of contemporary places, Thompson credits Clint Eastwood as the source of her portrayal of Nanny McPhee, and she lists a series of television westerns as her inspiration for the screenplays for the two films, the original Nanny McPhee (2005) and the forthcoming Nanny McPhee Returns (2010).
One thing she does love is writing. Thompson reveals that her biggest inspiration for the Nanny McPhee films is Westerns.
Likening the British nanny to Clint Eastwood, she says: ‘The stories are kind of based on Westerns that I grew up watching with my father – everything from High Chaparral to The Virginian. Stuff like that.
‘There’s something in Nanny McPhee that I imbibed from Clint Eastwood and his ilk. Nanny is sort of Shane, really.
‘She’s this mysterious stranger who rides in from out of town, changes everything using rather unorthodox methods to resolve conflict and then must leave.
For a summary of the full interview, which appeared originally in Daily Variety, see the Daily Mail‘s website.