Emma Thompson’s Adopted Son Didn’t Know She Was Famous Until He Took A Shakespeare Class In College

Emma Thompson is regarded as one of the best actresses of her generation. Receiving various accolades and recognition in the entertainment industry, she is already a legend in her own right.

She has donned many iconic roles in both television and film. These include “Primary Colors,” “Stranger than Fiction,” “Last Chance Harvey,” “Nanny McPhee,” “Angels in America,” “Men in Black: International,” “The Song of Lunch,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Cruella” and even “Matilda the Musical.”

Throughout her decades-spanning work in film and television, Thompson has received two Academy Awards, two British Academy Film Awards, two Golden Globes, a British Academy Television Award and a Primetime Emmy Award.

But apart from being a successful actress, Thompson has also devoted herself to humanitarian work, charities and important causes as an activist. She is a passionate environmentalist, supporting Greenpeace and a stern advocate for combating climate change. She is also one of the three members of the organization that bought land to stop the establishment of a third runway at Heathrow Airport in London.

Thompson also became very engaged in human rights work, and she is the chair of the Helen Bamber Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, and a patron of the Refugee Council, a UK-based organization that works with refugees and asylum seekers. It is with the help of this organization that Thompson met her adopted son Tindyebwa Agaba in 2003.

Agaba, who was 16 years old at the time, approached the world-renowned actress to thank her, not knowing that he would be adopted months later. In a conversation with The New Yorker, Agaba recalled the time he first realized his mom was a famous actress, which he found out through a Shakesperean literature class he took in college.

Knowing your parents or relatives are famous a little later on when you’re older is common for most celebrity babies. For Agaba, learning his adoptive mother — the “In the Name of the Father” actress — was a star didn’t come until his college teacher showed him a photo of her.

According to The New Yorker, Agaba’s arrival in Thompson’s life was quite emotional and tragic on one end.

Around 2003, Thompson started to throw an annual Christmas Party at the Refugee Council, an organization she is a devoted patron of. Per Thompson, she was approached by Agaba, a 16-year-old Rwandan refugee at the time. Knowing only a little English and French, they communicated mostly through body and sign language.

“His spirit was there to be seen — so clearly — in his eyes. He was alive to everything, though at the same time silent.” Thompson described her first meeting with him.“He saw something in me he wanted to talk to.”

Agaba sought asylum in the United Kingdom after his mother and sister were presumed dead after the 1994 Rwandan genocide and his father died because of AIDS, according to The Sun.

“I didn’t have any friendships. I didn’t know how to navigate the city. It was cold. Every white person looked the same to me,” Agaba recalled at the time, seeking help from the Refugee Council for a hot meal and eventually meeting Thompson during the Christmas Party.

After saying thanks to Thompson, the two bonded and eventually became closer, leading to Thompson and her husband, “Sense and Sensibility” actor Greg Wise, adopting Agaba months later.

At the time, Agaba was reluctant to get help or receive care from people. Growing up as a child soldier, he was built to look out only for himself.

“I was scared to ask for things,” he told The New Yorker. “I didn’t know what would make people laugh. My village time and my bush time had made me not really expect anything.”

Thompson and Wise even hired acclaimed dialect coach Joan Washington to help Agaba with his vocabulary and pronunciation as he became a British citizen.

In 2004, Agaba took a class at City and Islington College. When he was studying for his General Certificate of Secondary Education, he took a Shakespeare class, and it was finally then that he learned that his mother, Thompson, was famous.

Agaba’s Shakespeare teacher showed the class the Kenneth Branagh-directed film “Much Ado About Nothing,” in which his mother famously portrayed Beatrice. Per the publication, Agaba was flabbergasted seeing such familiar people in the film.

“I was absolutely shocked. I went to my teacher and said, ‘How was this film made? Because I know these people.’ She laughed her head off. ‘Don’t be ridiculous. These are famous actors.’ She couldn’t believe a word I was saying,” he revealed.

The week after, his teacher brought a Daily Mirror newspaper, showing a photograph of him leaving Thompson’s house on a bike, asking him if that was actually him.

“That was how I got to know that my mother was somehow well known. I had no idea,” he admitted.

Agaba now has a master’s degree in Human Rights law, and like his mother, devoted himself to human rights activism and even became a well-known detective in London’s Criminal Investigation Division. Wise and Thompson also have another child together, Agaba’s step-sister Gaia Thompson-Wise.

Do you know about Emma Thompson’s son Tindy Agaba? What do you think of his initial meeting with Thompson? What can you say about his story? Let us know, and pass this on to your family, friends and other loved ones!