FILE - Emma Thompson poses for photographers for the film The Meyerowitz Stories at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, May 21, 2017. British actors Emma Thompson, Keira Knightley and Tom Hardy and Nobel Prizewinning author
FILE - Emma Thompson poses for photographers for the film The Meyerowitz Stories at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, May 21, 2017. British actors Emma Thompson, Keira Knightley and Tom Hardy and Nobel Prizewinning author

LONDON - Oscar-winning British actress Emma Thompson, now starring at age 59 as a family court judge in the dramatic movie "The Children Act," said on Thursday that older women still need more opportunity on the big screen.

Known for period dramas such as "Howards End" and "Sense and Sensibility," Thompson plays a judge who struggles with a legal decision while also dealing with trouble in her marriage.

At the movie's red-carpet premiere, Thompson said she was drawn to the role of a woman who has gained power in "a very male bastion."

"I'd never seen a story about a female judge, and I think in our patriarchal world, when you hear the word judge, you automatically think, 'Oh, it's a man,'" Thompson said.

She also said the lack of good film roles for older women remains a long-running problem.

"Men don't have any problem with that," Thompson said. "It's something that hasn't yet properly changed.

"We are seeing some really good and interesting new roles, so one's got to be hopeful," she added.