“It’s been a frantic few weeks: it’s obviously very strange and sad that Alan Rickman can’t be with us, and that means Emma Thompson won’t be in it, either,” Curtis reveals in this week’s edition of Radio Times magazine, as he takes us behind the scenes on set.
Over the past few weeks Curtis and his partner Emma Freud have been busy whipping the internet (and Twitter in particular) into a frenzy with brilliant teaser shots from various shooting locations around London.
Rickman’s absence was the subject of much discussion online, as fans came to terms with the fact that they wouldn’t be able to see his character, Harry – or his wife, played by Emma Thompson – on screen again.
“Richard wrote to me and said, ‘Darling we can’t write anything for you because of Alan,’” Thompson told PA at the time, “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.
“We thought and thought but it just seemed wrong but to revisit the wonderful fun characters of Bill Nighy and Hugh Grant and Liam (Neeson) and all of that; that’s fantastic but obviously what would he have done?” the actress continued. “Both of them would be in therapy by now and I would be working on some kind of ward. It was absolutely the right decision.”
Curtis has managed to bring quite a few members of the original cast back together, however, and that’s something he’s quite happy about.
“They’re all turning up, and I’m so grateful – and I hope we can make something that leaps into the future with a few surprises and a few laughs”, he writes.
Red Nose Day Actually will air during BBC’s Comic Relief broadcast on Friday March 24th
Read Richard Curtis’s Red Nose Day Actually column in full in this week’s edition of Radio Times magazine, available from Tuesday March 14th in shops and via iTunes