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Love Actually rekindled pain of Natasha's death for Liam Neeson

By Lisa Smyth

Liam Neeson has said reprising his Love Actually character stirred up difficult memories about the death of his wife Natasha Richardson.

The Ballymena-born actor was reunited with the cast of the hit movie for a one-off short film special in support of last week's Red Nose Day.

However, he said playing the part of widower Daniel wasn't easy, as he first played the role when Natasha was alive.

He also spoke about his co-star in the film, Alan Rickman, who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer in January of last year.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, he said: "Some of us have died. Oh, my dear old friend. God rest him. Some have gotten divorced. I've lost my wife.

"Plenty of times I've thought about this film and my own life. Love Actually, that's the way it is. That's the tapestry of life."

Liam married Natasha, an actress known for her roles in The Parent Trap and Maid In Manhattan, in 1994.

They had two sons together - Micheal born in 1995, and Daniel in 1996.

Mr Neeson (64) has previously revealed his struggle to come to terms with the loss of his 45-year-old wife.

Natasha died following a skiiing accident in 2009, and he described how he threw himself into his work after her death because he did not want their sons to see him grieving over the loss.

"I'm not good without work. I just don't wallow too much.

"I just didn't want to - especially for my boys - seem to be wallowing in sadness or depression," he said.

"It hits you, it's like a wave. You just get this profound feeling of instability.

"The Earth isn't stable anymore and then it passes and it becomes more infrequent, but I still get it sometimes.

"(Her death) was never real. It still kind of isn't. There are periods now in our New York residence when I hear the door opening, especially the first couple of years, and any time I hear that door opening, I still think I'm going to hear her."

Liam has also described that they initially failed to realise how badly she had been injured.

He said: "I spoke to her and she said: 'Oh darling. I've taken a tumble in the snow'.

"That's how she described it. I went into her and told her I loved her.

"I said: 'Sweetie, you're not coming back from this'."

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