Diary Home

Love Actually: 19 things you never knew about the hit Christmas film


Christmas is only just around the corner, and that means one thing: It’s socially acceptable to have Love Actually playing on repeat. Yep, ’tis the season to watch it on the train, to watch it at the gym and heck, why not prop your phone up on the bathroom sink and watch it on the loo too?

If, like us, you’ve watched the hit Christmas film approximately 498356435 times since it was released in 2003, then you probably think you know everything there is to know about Love Actually. Right?

Well, as it turns out, there’s actually a whole bunch of behind-the-scenes facts about the film and its star-studded cast that have been kept secret all these years. So, with that being said, here’s everything you never knew about Love Actually.

The age gap between Julie and Sam isn’t quite as big as you’d think

Yep, in fact, Kiera Knightley (who played Julie) was only 17 when she filmed Love Actually. Meanwhile, Thomas Brodie Sangster (the adorable Sam) is only four years younger than Kiera, making him 13-years-old at the time of filming. Our mind = blown.




One actor filmed his iconic Love Actually scene for free

While he didn’t film the whole movie for free, Kris Marshall (who played Colin) returned his pay check for the scene where he’s undressed by three American girls. Why’s that you ask? Well, he said he had such a fab time having three girls undress him for twenty-one takes, that he was willing to do it free of charge.

That romantic lake scene was a lie

You know that very romantic scene where Jamie (played by Colin Firth) and Aurelia (Lúcia Moniz) jump into the lake to save the pages from his book? Well, it turns out the water in said lake was only eighteen inches deep, so the actors had to kneel down to make the water seem deeper.

And, if that’s not bad enough, the lake was also plagued by mosquitoes. During filming, Firth was so badly bitten that his elbow swelled up to the size of an avocado. Ouch.


But the scene did take a lot of preparation

45 minutes to be precise. Surprisingly, the production team sat down for a meeting ahead of the lake scene to decide what colour underwear Aurelia would wear. They opted for pale blue. Great work, guys. Brilliant use of time.

Bill Nighy didn’t actually know what he was auditioning for

To mark the film’s tenth anniversary, Nighy told The Daily Beast: “I did a rehearsal reading of the script as a favour to the great casting director, Mary Selway, who had been trying to get me into a film for a long time. I thought it was simply to help her hear the script aloud and to my genuine surprise I was given the job.” How sneaky!?

The movie’s airport footage is real

There’s a reason you find yourselves reaching for the tissues every time this scene comes on – all those sweet moments are 100% real. In fact, the makers of Love Actually set up hidden cameras at Heathrow Airport’s arrivals lounge to catch friends and family reuniting for the holidays.

One of the roles was written with one actor in mind

In the initial drafts of the script, Eastender’s icon Martine McCutcheon’s character was actually named Martine – with it in mind that she’d take on the role. But, during her audition, the production crew changed the name to Natalie so she wouldn’t assume she’d already landed the role. And, as we all know, the name stuck.


There was basically a Love Actually village

Speaking about where the cast filmed, Bill Nighy revealed they all shared a huge trailer park. In an interview with The Guardian, he said: “There were so many famous people in there, we used to talk about being on Liam Neeson Way or Emma Thompson Road or Hugh Grant Avenue. And it was a masterpiece of diplomacy, too; we all had the same size and type of trailer.”

Hugh Grant almost didn’t do that dancing scene

Screenwriter and director Richard Curtis said in an interview that Grant felt the scene clashed with his Prime Ministerial role: “[Grant] was hugely grumpy about it… He kept on putting it off, and he didn’t like the song – it was originally a Jackson 5 song, but we couldn’t get it – so he was hugely unhappy about it.”


But he did play tricks on other cast mates

While Grant wasn’t a fan of his on-set dancing, he did enjoy winding up his costars, particularly Billy Bob Thornton who played the President of the US. Rumour has it, that Thornton had an irrational fear of antique furniture, so Grant would sometimes flash a piece of antique furniture at him just before the cameras rolled and watch him freak out in amusement.

One of the scenes was stolen from another movie

The scene where Colin accidentally insults the caterer’s food to her face was originally written for Grant’s character in Four Weddings and a Funeral. It was sadly cut, but repurposed for Love Actually.

And one scene had to be ‘made worse’

Olivia Olson’s rendition of Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You was so good, that producers thought viewers wouldn’t believe it, so they asked her to throw in a few mistakes to make it “a little less good.”

Those infamous signs were actually written by Andrew Lincoln himself

Yep, you know the ones. For the iconic scene where his character tells Julie that he loves her, Lincoln opted to handwrite the signs himself for an added touch of romance. At the time, Lincoln told Entertainment Weekly he considered his writing to be pretty good, so asked the art team if he could write the signs.


There’s actually a lot of ‘actually’ in Love Actually

The word ‘actually’ is said a grand total of 23 times by various characters throughout the film. Fun fact.

There’s two drag queens in the movie that we all missed

Well, turns out, there aren’t any drag queens, but they are drag dolls. In the scene where Emma Thompson’s character holds up two Barbie dolls to be wrapped as a gift, the dolls in question are actually Ken dolls in drag.

“Now, which doll shall we give Daisy’s little friend Emily?”


One cast member had their very first kiss in the movie

Speaking about her budding romance with Thomas Brodie Sangster, Olivia Olson (who plays Joanna) revealed: “It was my first kiss and on-screen kiss too.”

“I was really nervous because I kind of had a crush on Thomas back in the day and I was also worried, because I was taller than him if it was going to look weird,” she told E! News.


There’s a very specific meaning behind this character’s name

When screenwriter Richard Curtis was in college, his girlfriend allegedly left him for a man named Bernard. In each of his screenplays, there is a fairly unpopular character named Bernard. In this case, the character is Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman’s “horrid son”.

Two of the actors are surprisingly related

As it goes, Hugh Grant and Thomas Brodie Sangster are second cousins. While we’re not sure how they figured it out, their great-grandmothers were sisters (meaning they share a great great-grandmother).

Speaking about the surprise relation, Sangster told The Telegraph: “He’d call me cousin and ruffle my hair.”

This star’s one-minute cameo earned her *a lot* of money

And when we say a lot, we mean a lot. For her one-minute cameo, model Claudia Schiffer received a reported £200,000. That’s £3,333 per second, in case you wondered.



From Cosmopolitan UK

You Might Also Like

%d bloggers like this: