This Thursday, NBC airs their 3rd annual Red Nose Day telethon. The special, from the folks behind Comic Relief, didn’t attract as much attention last year as in 2015. Though there will be some elements during the 8pm “American Ninja Warrior” and 9pm “Running Wild” episodes, the fact that NBC only has the 10pm hour on Thurs. under the “Red Nose Day” brand name shows that the popularity may be waning.
But there is a lot of anticipation heading into this year’s Red Nose Day, because during the 10pm hour, NBC will air a 15-minute sequel to the 2003 holiday rom-com “Love, Actually”. The star-studded film from British writer/director Richard Curtis has been a fan-favorite in the holiday movie genre since its release.
“Red Nose Day Actually” features the majority of the original cast returning to reprise their roles, including Liam Neeson, Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Keira Knightley, Laura Linney, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rowan Atkinson and Bill Nighy as rocker Billy Mack. His performance in the original earned him the Best Supporting Actor BAFTA.
One cast member who won’t be appearing is the late Alan Rickman, who passed away last year. Emma Thompson, who played Rickman’s wife in “Love, Actually” had discussions with Curtis about whether she should return without Rickman, and they decided it would be best if she didn’t. Thompson told England’s Press Association:
“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. 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? 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.”
I just watched “Love Actually” for the first time a month ago to get ready for “Red Nose Day Actually”. I enjoyed the film very much. It’s sweet and full of heart, with a surprising amount of genuine emotion poured into every story. “Love Actually” is like comfort food – I could watch it again and again. I understand why so many people do each holiday season.
Here’s hoping “Red Nose Day Actually” lives-up to the hype and gives fans a fun, memorable “Love Actually” mini-sequel they deserve.