Here’s Why Emma Thompson Isn’t in the ‘Love Actually’ Sequel

Emma Thompson will be left out of the upcoming Love Actually reunion—and she’s perfectly fine with that.

Though many of her former co-stars recently reunited to film a mini follow-up to the 2003 holiday classic, Thompson was noticeably absent from the list of cast. Apparently, she spoke with Richard Curtis, who scribed the original romantic flick and is tasked with writing the script for its sequel, in private about purposefully leaving her storyline with the late Alan Rickman from the short film.

“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,'” Thompson recently told the Press Association.

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,” she continued. “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?”

She added of their characters, “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.”

As fans would know, Thompson and Rickman played a married couple whose relationship was on the rocks when the husband started developing feelings for another woman. Though their plot line was left open-ended, it was hinted that Rickman’s character had began an affair with his secretary.

Curtis’ partner and Love Actually script editor Emma Freud revealed in 2015 that Thompson and Rickman’s characters did “stay together but home isn’t as happy as it once was.”

Thompson and Rickman were longtime friends who had starred in nine films together, including three Harry Potter movies. When the 69-year-old actor passed away last year after a battle with cancer, Thompson penned a moving tribute to her onscreen partner.

“Alan was my friend and so this is hard to write because I have just kissed him goodbye. What I remember most in this moment of painful leave-taking is his humour, intelligence, wisdom, and kindness,” she wrote in a note shared by The New York Times’ Dave Itzkoff. “I consider myself hugely privileged to have worked with him so many times and to have been directed by him. He was the ultimate ally. In life, art and politics. I trusted him absolutely. He was, above all things, a rare and unique human being and we shall not see his like again.”

The Love Actually sequel will premiere on BBC One in the U.K. on March 24 as part of 2017’s Red Nose Day campaign, an annual charity telethon dedicated to raising funds for children living in poverty. Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, Colin Firth, Andrew Lincoln and Rowan Atkinson are all set to reprise their roles.