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Emma Thompson Drew on Real-Life Heartbreak to Nail That Love Actually Affair Scene

2 minute read

Love Actually may have been gracing our screens every Christmas season for the past 15 years, but there are apparently still hidden depths of the perennially beloved rom-com to explore.

While speaking at a fundraiser for the Tricycle Theatre in London on Sunday, Emma Thompson revealed that her acting in one of the movie’s most famous scenes was inspired by misfortune in her own love life.

“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 of the sequence when Karen discovers that her husband (Alan Rickman) is cheating on her, according to The Huffington Post.

Thompson went on to elaborate on her experience with infidelity, referencing the alleged affair that her now-ex husband Kenneth Branagh had with Helena Bonham Carter during their marriage. “I had my heart very badly broken by Ken,” she said. “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.”

Thompson and Branagh divorced in 1995. She has been married to The Crown’s Greg Wise since 2003.

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Write to Megan McCluskey at megan.mccluskey@time.com