Lizzy DeningFilm

Emma Thompson reveals the real heartbreak behind her Love Actually scene

Lizzy DeningFilm
Emma Thompson reveals the real heartbreak behind her Love Actually scene
emma-thompson.jpg

If you're a fan of Love Actually (and let's face it, that's most of us!) you'll no doubt have developed a lump in your throat, or even shed a tear, over the memorable scene featuring Emma Thompson's character in deep distress. It takes place just after her character finds a necklace her husband, played by Alan Rickman, has bought another woman for Christmas, and she realises he must be having an affair. Consumed by sadness, she hides away in their bedroom, sobbing uncontrollably. It's certainly a dark moment in the generally lighthearted festive film.

Now the actress has admitted that it wasn't hard to make the tears fall, as she drew on her own experiences as a wronged wife. Poor Emma had her heart 'very badly broken' by her first husband Kenneth Branagh after eight years of marriage, when he left her for actress Helena Bonham Carter.

Emma told an audience at a recent fundraiser for the Tricycle Theatre that the Love Actually scene was one that most people could relate to. "That scene where my character is standing by the bed crying is so well known because it's something everyone's been through," she said. "I had my heart very badly broken by Ken so I knew what it was like to find the necklace that wasn't meant for me."

Kenneth (57) and Emma (58) first met and fell in love in 1987 on the BBC drama Fortunes of War and went on to appear in several films together. Kenneth and Helena are said to have started an affair in 1994 while filming Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, and stayed together for five years.

Still, ever the professional, it seemed to be water under the bridge when - remarkably - all three took on roles in the Harry Potter film franchise.

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