‘It’s 14 years ago now and we’ve all lived lives’
Last month saw Red Nose Day Actually, a 10-minute comedy sequel to Richard Curtis’ 2003 romantic comedy, reuniting the original cast from Keira Knightley and Colin Firth to Bill Nighy and Martine McCutcheon, all in the name of Comic Relief.
While for us it was a fun segment, seeing Rowan Atkinson elaborately wrap red noses, Colin Firth struggle with the Portuguese language and Hugh Grant delivering another killer Prime Minister’s speech, for many of the actors it opened up old wounds.
With so much happening in the actors’ own personal lives in the fourteen years between the two Curtis productions, some spoke out about how the reunion led them to reflect on life.
Liam Neeson, who played Daniel, a recent widower, in the 2003 film, spoke out about how reuniting for the Love Actually sequel led him to reflect on his own wife’s death eight years ago.
His wife, Natasha Richardson, died in 2009 after a fall while skiing in Canada, leaving behind Liam and their two sons.
‘It’s 14 years ago now and we’ve all lived lives’ Liam explained to Entertainment Weekly. ‘Some of us have died. Oh my dear old friend Alan Rickman, God rest him. Some have gotten divorced. I’ve lost my wife’.
He continued: ‘And oh sure, plenty of times I’ve thought about this film and my own life. Love Actually, that’s the way it is. That’s the tapestry of life.’
Emma Thompson was another one of the original cast members to speak out about the emotions the reunion evoked. Emma, who played Karen in the 2003 rom com, was one of the few main characters who didn’t return for the reunion, following the death of her on-screen husband and close friend, Alan Rickman who died of pancreatic cancer in 2016.
Speaking of the decision for her not to return for the sequel, Emma explained to Press Association, ‘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 too sad, too sad”’.
She continued: ‘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 only just over a year ago.’