Emma Thompson Reveals the Real Heartache Behind Her Famous 'Love Actually' Scene and Says Her Heart Was 'Very Badly Broken' By Her Husband After His Affair With Bonham Carter
Miss Thompson said the scene was convincing as a result of personal experience
She played a wife who sobs uncontrollably after discovering husband's infidelity
Actress said she drew on having heart 'very badly broken' by Kenneth Branagh
She and Branagh split after he began an affair with Helena Bonham Carter

Daily Mail, 28 February 2018
By Susie Coen

In 'Love, Actually', Emma Thompson played a wife who sobs uncontrollably after she discovers that her husband has bought jewellery for another woman and realises he is cheating on her.

Now Miss Thompson has revealed that she was so convincing in the 2003 film as a result of personal experience – having her heart ‘very badly broken’ by first husband Kenneth Branagh.

Once the golden couple of British cinema, dubbed Ken and Em, they split after eight years together when he began an affair with Helena Bonham Carter.

Miss Thompson, 58, told an audience that every woman could relate to the heartbreak her character felt in 'Love, Actually' as they could understand the pain of suspecting their husband has been unfaithful.

‘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.’

At the same event, a fundraiser for the Tricycle Theatre in North West London on Sunday, Miss Thompson spoke about the #MeToo protest against sex harassment.

Having once revealed that when she was nine a 45-year-old magician forced her to kiss him, she told how in her youth she was constantly fending off unwanted advances by older men.

‘Our industry, because part of what we have as actors, we have an attractivity level, and that’s something that can get very dirty and grungy,’ she said.

The actress, who is worth £30million, also told the audience: ‘I feel like I look my age and I don’t mind that. I put concealer under my eyes, but I like looking my age. I’m 58, I accept that.

‘The key to the spirit of youth is curiosity. If you’re curious you feel alive. That and not being poor. Being old is heaven.’

Miss Thompson and Branagh, now 57, fell in love when they starred as newlyweds in the BBC drama 'Fortunes Of War' in 1987.

They married two years later and appeared together in films including 'Peter’s Friends', 'Dead Again' and 'Much Ado About Nothing'.

Branagh and Miss Bonham Carter, who is seven years younger than Miss Thompson, are said to have started an affair in 1994 while filming 'Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein'.

The following year, Miss Thompson and Branagh filed for divorce, claiming hectic work schedules had led to the breakdown of the relationship. Branagh and Miss Bonham Carter dated until 1999.

Miss Thompson married actor Greg Wise, with whom she has two children, in 2003. Branagh married art director Lindsay Brunnock the same year. He was knighted in 2012.

In 2013, Miss Thompson revealed that she had ‘made peace’ with Miss Bonham Carter.

Discussing Branagh’s infidelity, she told The Sunday Times: ‘I’ve had so much bloody practice at crying in a bedroom, then having to go out and be cheerful, gathering up the pieces of my heart and putting them in a drawer.

‘That is... all blood under the bridge. You can’t hold on to anything like that. I just think... pfft.

‘It’s pointless. I haven’t got the energy for it.. Helena and I made our peace years and years ago... she’s a wonderful woman.’

The two’s similar ‘slightly mad and a bit fashion-challenged’ traits were what made Branagh fall for them, she suggested.

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