Emma Thompson thinks your heart is stronger after being ‘broken 10 times’

Emma Thompson has said she believes that “your heart’s no good as a heart until it’s been broken 10 times”.

On Tuesday (29 November), Thompson was interviewed as part of Diane Sawyer’s ABC special The Laughter & Secrets of Love Actually: 20 Years Later.

Sawyer hosted the primetime episode in celebration of the 20 year anniversary, where Thompson and other cast members shared their favourite memories of making the film and revealed secrets behind the original script.

The first star who makes an appearance with Sawyer is Thompson. The 63-year-old played Karen in the movie, whose husband (played by the late Alan Rickman) betrays her by becoming involved with one of his female employees.

The 2003 romantic comedy Love Actually tells 10 separate yet interwoven love stories set against the backdrop of London at Christmas. It stars Martin Freeman, Colin Firth, Rowan Atkinson, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, among others.

“I so get it,” Thompson said of the film’s 20-year popularity. “We forget, time and time again we forget, that love is all around us.”

“It’s all that matters. My grandmother used to say your heart’s no good as a heart until it’s been broken 10 times,” she said. “There’s something about the scar tissue that makes it stronger.”

Thompson previously revealed that she drew upon the heartbreak she experienced following her past relationship with Kenneth Branagh. The couple’s marriage broke down in 1994 after Branagh had an affair with his Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein co-star Helena Bonham Carter in 1994.

“That scene where my character is standing by the bed crying is so well known because it’s something everyone’s been through,” she told The Telegraph, adding: “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.”

Notting Hill star Hugh Grant and director Richard Curtis also appear in the reunion episode, the latter making it clear that he stands by the film’s themes.

“There’ll be a million people falling in love, feeling it’s the most interest moments of their lives,” Curtis said.

Kiera Knightley, Liam Neeson, Hugh Grant and other cast members — without Alan Rickman, who passed away in 2016 — last reunited for a mini sequel called "Red Nose Day Actually" in 2017.

The Laughter & Secrets of Love Actually: 20 Years Later is available to stream on Wednesday 30 November on Hulu in the US.