Love Actually: Emma Thompson Reveals Her Heart-breaking Storyline Was Very Close To Home

Love Actually‘s Emma Thompson might have one of the most heart-breaking moments in the film (Choosing Mia the secretary over Dame Emma? How could he?) but it turns out the scene has an even deeper meaning to the actress herself.

Emma, who plays a wife scorned by her cheating husband, has revealed that the reason she played such a convincing role was because her storyline was shockingly close to her real life experience.


Indeed, Emma has admitted that her tearful scenes were so persuasive because she was having her heart “very badly broken” by first husband Kenneth Branagh, who was having an affair with Helena Bonham Carter.

The couple split after eight years together when he began an affair with Helena.

Speaking to an audience this week about the incident, she said: “That scene where my character is standing by the bed crying is so well known because it’s something everyone’s been through”, she said.

“I had my heart very badly broken by Ken. 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.”

So filming Love Actually for Emma Thompson was really like repeating a real life scenario – no wonder that necklace scene is so tear-jerking. 

She opened up for the first time about her former husband, Kenneth Branagh’s affair with fellow British actor Helena Bonham Carter back in 2015.

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The Love Actually star, who was married to thespian Kenneth from 1989 to 1995, revealed that she has since made peace with former Merchant Ivory darling Helena, calling it “all blood under the bridge”.

At the time, she said: “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 peace years and years ago.”

She also proved there are no hard feelings between her and Helena, adding that she could see why Branagh might have liked both ladies, quipping: “Being slightly mad and a bit fashion-challenged. Perhaps that’s why Ken loved us both. She’s a wonderful woman, Helena.”

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Bonham Carter and Branagh were said to have begun an affair in 1994 when she played his love interest in his adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Meanwhile, Thompson is now married to actor Greg Wise whom she met on the set of Sense & Sensibility. The couple have two children together.

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