Emma Thompson says she is “too sad” after the death of her Love Actually co-star Alan Rickman to appear in a Comic Relief sequel to the hit film. 

The pair played husband and wife Karen and Harry in the 2003 romantic comedy.

Rickman, also famous for roles including villain Hans Gruber in Die Hard and Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films, died of cancer aged 69 in January 2016.

Speaking at the premiere of her latest film, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Thompson said it was “too soon” after his death for her to appear in the charity revival by director Richard Curtis.

Alan Rickman died last year of cancer
Image Caption:
Alan Rickman died last year of cancer aged 69

Thompson said: “Richard wrote to me and said ‘darling we can’t write anything for you because of Alan’, and I said ‘no of course, it would be sad, too sad’.

“It’s too soon. It’s absolutely right because it’s supposed to be for Comic Relief but there isn’t much comic relief in the loss of our dear friend really, only just over a year ago.”

Thompson said they tried to think of ways for her to be involved in the revival without Rickman’s character, but “it just seemed wrong”.

“It was absolutely the right decision” not to be involved, she said.

The ensemble film starred Hugh Grant as the UK’s prime minister and Bill Nighy as an ageing rock star, as well as Keira Knightley, Liam Neeson, Rowan Atkinson and Colin Firth.

The Comic Relief sequel will take a look at what their characters’ lives are like in 2017, and is due to be broadcast next month.

Thompson said she said she thought it was a a great idea.

“To revisit the wonderful fun characters of Bill Nighy and Hugh Grant and Liam (Neeson) and all of that, that’s fantastic”, she said.