'I knew what it was like to find the necklace that wasn’t meant for me.'
Now’s the time of year where it’s acceptable to cosy up on your couch with a mug of hot chocolate and put on a Christmas film, which naturally means that it’s prime time for a Love Actually reviewing. Given that the film’s just been added to Netflix as well, there’s practically no excuse not to add it to your list – especially since Emma Thompson’s recent comments have had us crying all over the film again. She’s been quite open in the past about how she drew on her own experience of infidelity for one of the film’s most heart-wrenching scenes and well, she’s gone into a little more detail.
If you can cast your mind back to your last viewing of the 2003 romance, you might remember that Emma Thompson played Karen: the warmest soul and a woman who sadly finds out her husband Harry (Alan Rickman) is cheating on her. After she finds a necklace she assumes is her Christmas present, when she unwraps her gift and finds something totally different she puts two and two together: he’s cheating on her. And then what ensues is one of the singular most devastating moments in cinematic history: Emma Thompson withdraws to her bedroom and sobs her heart out before pasting a smile back on her face to face the rest of her family.
It’s a scene that never fails to make us tear up and she knows it, as she said at a recent fundraising event via The Evening Standard, ‘That scene where my character is standing by the bed crying is so well known because it’s something everyone’s been through. So I knew what it was like to find the necklace that wasn’t meant for me. Well it wasn’t exactly that, but we’ve all been through it.’’
And well, it’s not just her character Karen who’s been through it. In fact, Thompson revealed in the past to The Sunday Times that she had drawn from her tumultuous ex-marriage to director Kenneth Branagh, who was rumoured to have been involved in an affair with actress Helena Bonham Carter. The pair were married for six years before eventually divorcing in 1995 and British Vogue claims that Branagh ‘had an affair with Helena Bonham Carter, who he met on the set of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in 1994’.
In 2013, Thompson told The Sunday Times via The Telegraph, ‘I’ve had so much bloody practice at crying in a bedroom, then having to go out and be cheerful, gathering up the pieces of my heart and putting them in a drawer.’
She also went on to explain that in spite of everything, she believed that Helena Bonham Carter was ‘a wonderful woman’. She said, ‘That is – as [director] Mike Nicholls once said, and I’ve picked it up because I think it’s such a wonderful phrase – all blood under the bridge. You can’t hold on to anything like that…It’s pointless. I haven’t got the energy for it. Helena and I made our piece years and years go.’
She also added that they were quite similar, saying, ‘Perhaps that’s why Ken loved us both. She’s a wonderful woman, Helena.’
TBH, Emma Thompson also seems to have moved onto bigger and better things since then. Emma Thompson would then go onto marry actor Greg Wise in 2003, who she’s still together with today. We love a happy ending.