Thomas is perhaps best-known for her central role as an unfaithful wife in The English Patient, one of the biggest screen hits of 1996. During the 1990s, she also appeared opposite Hugh Grant in Bitter Moon and the global box office success Four Weddings and a Funeral. Thomas has also appeared on TV (in the 2003 Book Clubbin' episode of Absolutely Fabulous, she played a character called Plum Berkeley) and in the theatre. Kristin was awarded an OBE in the 2003 Queen's Birthday Honours list, and was also awarded the Légion d'honneur by the French government in 2005.
Scott Thomas is a frequent subject on the British motoring programme Top Gear. She was used as a standard of reference for "good taste," such as during the "Cool Wall" segment of the programme. Presenter Jeremy Clarkson would rate a car's coolness based mostly on what he thinks Scott Thomas' level of distaste for it would be. She made her long-awaited appearance as the "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car" on the episode broadcast on 25 February 2007. On this episode, amid excessive kowtowing from Clarkson and joking from Richard Hammond and James May because Clarkson has shown much affection for her in the past, she proceeded to rubbish most of the decisions Clarkson had made over the past years of the Cool Wall. Kristin also ridiculed the car that she had just ordered, a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder. She completed her lap in a time of 1min 54secs, placing her just above Phillip Glenister, although still near the bottom of the leaderboard.
In early 2007, she played Arkadina in a London production of Chekhov's The Seagull, for which she won a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress on 9 March 2008. She reprised the role in New York in September 2008. In 2006, Kristin played the lead role of Hélène, in French, in Ne le dis à personne (Tell No One), by French director Guillaume Canet. In 2008, Scott Thomas received a large amount of accolades for her performance in another French film called Il y a longtemps que je t'aime (I've Loved You So Long), including BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress. In 2008 Scott Thomas took on the litle exposed role of Anne Boleyns mother Elizabeth in The Other Boleyn Girl movie. It was her first corset film.
In 2009, she played the role of a fashion magazine creator and editor in the film Confessions of a Shopaholic. Scott Thomas is divorced from French gynaecologist François Olivennes, by whom she has three children: Hannah (born in 1988), Joseph (1991), and George (2000). They had been together 18 years. She supposedly had a brief romance with Prince while making 1986's, Under The Cherry Moon.
The separation was reportedly precipitated by her romantic involvement with English actor Tobias Menzies, whom she met while appearing in Chekhov's play Three Sisters in London's West End. Menzies was also her costar in a London production of Pirandello's As You Desire Me in 2006.
Her relationship with Menzies now over, she lives in Paris with her two younger children, and counts Charlotte Rampling, Gérard Depardieu, Jane Birkin, and her English Patient costars Juliette Binoche and Ralph Fiennes among her closest friends.