Emma Thompson Reveals Personal Experience That Influenced Love Actually Scene

Emma Thompson reveals her real-life heartache behind her iconic Love Actually scene.

If you haven’t seen Love Actually, then you are certainly missing out on a hilarious romantic comedy filled with the most memorable quotes. Although the film is full of laughter, it still contains many heartbreaking moments that will have anyone reaching for the box of Kleenex.

One story in particular that resonates with many, especially if they have ever dealt with an unfaithful partner, is Emma Thompson’s character's storyline. Thompson, who plays the role of Karen, discovers towards the end of the film that her husband, Harry, has most likely committed adultery.


There is no scene in the film that confirms the infidelity, but it is painted quite clearly when Karen’s husband buys his secretary an expensive heart necklace and gifts his wife with a copy of a Joni Mitchell CD.

The affair that allegedly takes place during the film truly touches on the experiences many relationships see play out in real life. It has been nearly 15 years since the film's release, and Thompson is finally opening up about her experience during the film and her own personal heartbreak that impacted her performance.

The 58-year-old revealed that she was method acting, and drawing upon her own experience during her Love Actually performance, after having her heart “very badly broken” by her first husband, Kenneth Branagh.

Via Associated News

Thompson and ex-hubby Branagh split up after eight years of marriage, when Thompson realized he had an affair with co-star Helen Bonham Carter in 1995. The Nanny McPhee actress spoke to Tricycle Theatre this past Sunday and talked about the heartbreak she endured. “That scene where my character is standing by the bed crying is so well known because its something everyone has been through,” Thompson told the audience, and boy is she right!

“I had my heart very badly broken by Ken. So I knew what it was like to find the necklace that wasn’t for me,” she continued. Thompson also touched on the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment in the entertainment industry, and mentioned how being in such an industry can lead things to become “very dirty and grungy”.

Although we’re happy to see Emma Thompson in a happier place now, we can only imagine the struggle she faced in her relationship with her ex-husband and the difficulties she must have had channeling those emotions for her iconic role in Love Actually.

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