The Touching Reason Emma Thompson Won't Appear In Love Actually's TV Sequel

Emma Thompson crying in Love Actually

When you think of must-watch Christmas movies, Love Actually most likely falls somewhere on that list. The 2003 movie is an annual re-watch for many people, a rom-com perfectly suited to the holidays. In honor of the Comic Relief charity event Red Nose Day, a mini-sequel of sorts will be making its way onto television with most of the huge cast returning to their roles. There are a few exceptions, however, and Emma Thompson will not be coming back. Thompson's character was married to Alan Rickman's and both she and director Richard Curtis felt that it was simply too soon after Rickman's passing.

Richard (Curtis) wrote to me and said 'Darling I can't write anything for you because of Alan' and I said 'No, of course you can't, it would be sad, too sad, it's too soon. It's absolutely right, it's supposed to be for Comic Relief and there isn't much comic relief in the loss of our dear friend really only just over a year ago... We thought and thought but it just seemed wrong.

In Love Actually, Emma Thompson played a woman named Karen, whose husband (Alan Rickman) begins pursuing another woman. Thompson's role was directly tied to Rickman, who sadly passed away last year from cancer. It'd be next to impossible to include Thompson without explaining Rickman's absence, and that was something no one was ready to do yet. As Emma Thompson told Reuters on the red carpet UK premiere of Beauty and The Beast (Thompson is playing Mrs. Potts), she had discussed coming back with Richard Curtis -- the writer and director of Love Actually who is returning for the sequel -- but both of them felt it would be too sad given Rickman's still recent passing.

While we all might prefer a complete reunion of the cast of Love Actually, we can all agree that this is the appropriate call. The 10-minute sequel is supposed to be for fun and one can hardly blame Curtis and Thompson for not wanting to broach what's still such a sad topic. It would have been nice to see what Karen's been up to since 2003, but there's nothing stopping one of the other characters in the sequel from giving a quick line about what she's doing these days.

There will be no shortage of characters available when Red Nose Day Actually rolls around; the cast includes Hugh Grant, Martine McCutcheon, Keira Knightley, Andrew Lincoln, Colin Firth, Lucia Moniz, Olivia Olson, Bill Nighy, Marcus Brigstocke, and Rowan Atkinson. The sequel will be written and directed by Richard Curtis, who will once again weave a number of separate stories about love and romance together.

Red Nose Day Actually will air as part of the Red Nose Campaign, which uses a variety of comedy performances and sketches to spread awareness about children in poverty all over the world. We've gotten everything from a Game of Thrones musical to Margo Robbie in a bathtub, so you definitely won't want to miss the show when it airs on May 25 on NBC or, if you're in the U.K., a little earlier, thanks to the BBC premiere on March 24.

Matt Wood

Matt has lived in New Jersey his entire life, but commutes every day to New York City. He graduated from Rowan University and loves Marvel, Nintendo, and going on long hikes and then greatly wishing he was back indoors. Matt has been covering the entertainment industry for over two years and will fight to his dying breath that Hulk and Black Widow make a good couple.