Dame Emma Thompson says she faced greater criticism for her support of Extinction Rebellion because of her “age and station”.
The star, 62, came under fire in 2019 for flying from Los Angeles to London to join demonstrators in the capital and deliver a speech.
Speaking during an interview and couture fashion shoot for British Vogue, she said she had “fully expected” to face a backlash over her actions.
She said: “I fully expected the shitstorm. If you’re transgressive in any way, and you’ve also been lauded or feted, you will get shit.
“My transgression was commensurably greater because of my age and station, and I needed to be punished.
“That’s how it is in this country. There’ll be a wave of shite, and then it sort of dies away, then there’s another.”
During the interview, Dame Emma also discussed the challenges faced by older women.
She said: “My passion for women’s rights has driven me all my life, and so, of course, I am bewildered when women of my age are insulted and threatened and fired because they haven’t said the right thing. I fear that kind of event.
“So both feelings are true – trans rights are as incontrovertibly necessary and desirable as women’s rights.
“The space in which we discuss and put these rights into process must be made safe for everyone. I guess that’s the bottom line, or at least one of them. Onwards.”
Dame Emma also addressed her marriage to fellow actor Greg Wise, who she met while starring in 1995 film Sense And Sensibility and married in 2003.
She said: “My mum said to me once, ‘The first 20 years are the hardest.’
“I know that sounds funny, but Greg and I have been together for 26 years now and I would say the last six years have definitely been the best.
“I feel very, very fortunate. But, again there’ve been shitstorms so you get through them and do the work.
“Annoyingly, it mostly turns out to be work you have to do on yourself.”
See the full feature in the June issue of British Vogue available via digital download and on newsstands now.