Love Actually sequel: Emma Thompson's absence has been explained!

Gemma Strong

There was great excitement amongst fans when the Love Actually sequel was announced earlier this week. But there was also a twinge of sadness when it was revealed that Emma Thompson would not be taking part. The star's name does not feature on the list of the returning cast members, which includes Keira Knightley, Hugh Grant, Colin Firth and Andrew Lincoln, leaving many to wonder why. Now, creator Richard Curtis has opened up about Emma's absence – and revealed the Oscar-winner might be making an appearance after all.



Emma Thompson starred as Karen in the 2003 hit Love Actually

Emma starred in Love Actually as Karen, whose discovery that her husband Harry (played by the last Alan Rickman) has been unfaithful is arguably the film's most moving scene. Quizzed about Emma’s involvement during an appearance on Victoria Derbyshire, Richard cryptically replied: "Oddly, we're not quite sure. It's all been done in a rush, and I think not. But I'm now thinking again."

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Richard also revealed that the stars of the film had all jumped at the chance to take part. "Amazingly, nobody said no," he confirmed. "Liam [Neeson] flew over yesterday from America and is going back to America tomorrow. There is a lot of affection for the film." The ten-minute sequel, which is titled Red Nose Day Actually, will air on 24 March on BBC One as part of the Red Nose Day special. It sets out to discover what the original characters are doing in 2017.


On the set of the original film with director and writer Richard Curtis

Richard's partner and script editor Emma Freud, who has been sharing behind-the-scenes photos from filming, has revealed just how much work had to be done to get the script up to scratch. "I've never been more useful as a script editor that I was on this, because the first draft he did was SO bad that I told him we absolutely shouldn't do this, and we should abort the plan," she admitted. "And he rewrote it and rewrote it and it's quite good now, but it's very much for Red Nose Day. We've tried to hook it into that at every point, and that felt a bit like a crowbar at the beginning, but it's working quite nicely now."

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