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Why Emma Thompson Won’t Be in the ‘Love Actually’ Reunion Short Film

Variety logo Variety 2/24/2017 Sarah Ahern
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Love Actually” director Richard Curtis announced in February that he reunited with the cast for a special short film, produced for the British charity Comic Relief. Although the project brought back almost the entire star-studded, Emma Thompson was not present.

Thompson explained, while doing press for “Beauty and the Beast” that it was “too soon” since the death of her counterpart in the film, Alan Rickman. For that reason, Curtis was unable to write her a part.

Rickman played Thompson’s adulterous husband, Harry, in the 2003 film. The rest of the ensemble cast includes Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth and Keira Knightley.

Thompson told the Press Association that Curtis reached out to her while planning the 10-minute reunion film, which will be broadcast in the United Kingdom on March 24 for Red Nose Day.

“Richard wrote to me and said, ‘Darling, we can’t write anything for you because of Alan,’ and I said, ‘No, of course, it would be sad, too sad,'” Thompson said. “It’s too soon. It’s absolutely right because it’s supposed to be for Comic Relief but there isn’t much comic relief in the loss of our dear friend, really, just over a year ago.”

Rickman died in January 2016 after battling cancer. Thompson penned a tribute to Rickman after his death, calling him “the ultimate ally… In life, art and politics.” She added, “He was, above all things, a rare and unique human being and we shall not see his like again.”

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