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Love Actually (2003) Poster

(2003)

Trivia

Jump to: Cameo (1) | Director Trademark (1) | Spoilers (6)
Kris Marshall returned his pay check for the scene where the three American girls undress him. He said he had such a great time having three girls undress him for twenty-one takes, that he was willing to do it for free, and thus returned his check for that day.
When casting the part of Sarah, Richard Curtis auditioned a great many British girls, but kept saying, "I want someone like Laura Linney..." The Casting Director eventually snapped and said, "Oh, for fuck's sake, get Laura Linney then." She then auditioned and got the part.
The lake, in which Lúcia Moniz and Colin Firth are "swimming", was actually only eighteen inches deep and they had to kneel down and pretend to be in deeper water. It was also over-run by mosquitoes, and Colin Firth was badly bitten, and his elbow swelled up to the size of an avocado, requiring medical attention.
Olivia Olson (Joanna - Sam's crush), does all her own singing in "All I Want for Christmas is You" at the Christmas concert. She had such an amazing voice, that Director Richard Curtis had it edited, so it sounded more like a child singing.
A speech given by Hugh Grant in this film (where he extols the virtues of Great Britain and refuses to cave to the pressure of its longstanding ally, the United States) was etched in the transatlantic memory as a satirical, wishful statement on the concurrent relationship with George W. Bush. Tony Blair responded by saying in 2005, "I know there's a bit of us that would like me to do a Hugh Grant in Love Actually (2003) and tell America where to get off. But the difference between a good film and real life is that in real life there's the next day, the next year, the next lifetime to contemplate the ruinous consequences of easy applause."
The idea for Mark's surprise of the band singing "All You Need Is Love" at Peter and Juliet's wedding came from Jim Henson's funeral (which Richard Curtis attended) where all the puppeteers brought their Muppets and sang a song.
Thomas Brodie-Sangster didn't know how to play the drums when he was cast. Fortunately for him, his father, Mark Sangster, plays the drum and taught Thomas how to play them.
The airport greeting footage at the beginning and end of the film is real. Richard Curtis had a team of cameramen film at Heathrow airport for a week, and whenever they saw something that would fit in they asked the people involved for permission to use the footage.
Knowing about Billy Bob Thornton's quite unusual fear of antique furniture, Hugh Grant would sometimes flash a piece of antique (which is abundant in England) in front of Thornton just before the cameras rolled, and watch him freak out in amusement.
When Daniel says "We need Kate and we need Leo and we need them now", a toothpick can be seen in Daniel's left hand as he says "now". Later, Sam has a toothpick in his mouth while he and Daniel are lounging on a couch. What Richard Curtis describes as "this toothpick business" was a result of Liam Neeson never being without a toothpick after he gave up smoking.
Lúcia Moniz, who plays the maid Aurelia, got the part as a result of a joke by a friend of hers, who is a casting director, and sent her photos to this movie's casting director. Lúcia went to the casting and ended up being chosen.
According to Richard Curtis they had to put Emma Thompson in a "fat suit" to make her appear heavier because she is actually a very thin woman.
Was the most rented DVD in the UK in 2004.
In the version edited and broadcast in the U.S. on the ABC Family Channel, the entire subplot of John and Just Judy (the characters in the ersatz "porn" movie) is completely edited out, and, even with those and other cuts, the film ran three hours with commercials.
Laura Linney filmed this movie in London, while she was working on Mystic River (2003) in Boston. She flew across the Atlantic Ocean several times within few months, in order to complete her work on both films.
With the exception of Sam's running through the airport scenes, and the footage of people greeting each other, all airport scenes were filmed on a built set, which cost most of the budget for the movie. Some of these scenes include Colin leaving for, and arriving in Wisconsin, and Sam shouting at Joanna through the glass, and all footage of the actors at the airport.
The dolls that Emma Thompson holds up are Ken dolls dressed in drag. Richard Curtis just asked the prop people to take Ken and put him in dresses. Emma Thompson had such a difficult time with the scene, saying she just could not lift the dolls knowing that they were Ken in drag, but in the end she gave in and shot the scene.
The scene where Kris Marshall's character Colin (accidentally) insults the caterer's food to her face, was originally written as a scene for Hugh Grant's character in Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), but was cut from that film.
When Juliet (Keira Knightley) visits Mark (Andrew Lincoln) in his flat to view the footage he shot on her wedding day, a video copy of Hitchcock's Rear Window (1954) can be seen. One of the main themes in Rear Window is voyeurism or watching something or someone, and as we see that is exactly what Mark was doing to Juliet without her knowledge.
Andrew Lincoln wrote the romantic cards himself. In 2013, Andrew reminisced about his climactic gesture in this film with Entertainment Weekly, and revealed, "It is my handwriting! It's funny, because the Art Department did it, and then I said, 'Well, can I do it?' because I like to think that my handwriting is really good. Actually, it ended up with me having to sort of trace over the Art Department's, so it is my handwriting, but with a sort of pencil stencil underneath."
Number 10 Downing Street in the movie is not, of course, the actual Prime Minister's residence, but a replica. The exterior was created in the Shepperton Studios car park and the interior is a set. In preparation for the movie, Richard Curtis and his Production Designer Jim Clay were escorted on a two-hour tour of the actual Number 10 by Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown (Prime Minister June 2007-May 2010). They were not permitted to take photographs or make sketches of the interiors, and throughout the entire tour they were flanked by security. The "Number 10" that appears in the movie was designed by Clay, solely from memory.
Richard Curtis, and other members of the production, had a forty-five minute meeting to determine what color underwear Lucia's character would wear for the lake scene.
Thomas Sangster, who was thirteen years old when he played Sam in this movie, was cast as a thirteen-year-old again a decade later. Sangster started playing the young teen Jojen Reed in the television series Game of Thrones (2011) in 2013, while he was in his mid-twenties.
Hugh Grant hated the dancing scene, because he didn't think a Prime Minister would do something like that.
Directorial debut of Richard Curtis.
When David (Hugh Grant) addresses his speech to the press, after the meeting with the President of the United States, he talks about the great things about Britain and candidly mentions "Harry Potter". Grant was set to appear as Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) but left the film due to scheduling conflicts. Harry Potter co-stars Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Bill Nighy, and Frances de la Tour appear in this film, although the latter is seen only in deleted scenes.
Olivia Olson (Joanna) would go on to play another love interest of Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Sam) in the television show Phineas and Ferb (2007), where Sangster is the voice of Ferb, and Olson is the voice of Vanessa.
The word "actually" is spoken twenty-two times by various characters in the film.
All four leading stars of Sense and Sensibility (1995), technically appear in this film, with Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, and Alan Rickman playing leading roles, and Kate Winslet appearing in stock footage of Titanic (1997).
Thomas Brodie-Sangster, who plays Sam, is the second cousin once removed of Hugh Grant, who plays the Prime Minister.
The vicar used for Peter and Juliet's wedding is a real vicar.
In the scene after Sarah leaves Harry's office following their conversation about her feelings for co-worker Karl, two clocks can be seen on the wall, showing the time in New York and Brazil. Laura Linney (Sarah) is from New York, and Rodrigo Santoro (Karl) is from Brazil.
Richard Curtis was originally working on two films, one about Hugh Grant's character, and the other about Colin Firth's character. When the plots turned out to be so similar, he merged them into a single film.
Richard Curtis wanted Michael Parkinson to appear as a talk show host, and Michael accepted without hesitation.
For Brazilian movie posters, and VHS/DVD/Blu-ray covers, the image of Bill Nighy was replaced with one of Rodrigo Santoro.
Andrew Lincoln was initially unsure about his character as he thought the scene with handwritten signs was "borderline stalker territory".
The property surrounding the house, in which Colin Firth's character stays in France, including the dock that was specially built for the film, were heavily damaged by fire during the 2003 heat wave, but the house survived.
The video for Billy Mack's "Christmas is All Around" single is a clear reference to a series of memorable, and very popular, videos that Robert Palmer had done - "Addicted to Love", "Simply Irresistible", and "I Didn't Mean to Turn You On" - in which Palmer sings in a good suit, backed up by an all-female band, all dressed alike and dancing in a back-and-forth manner.
In Daniel's eulogy, he says that one of his wife's (joking) requests was to "bring Claudia Schiffer as my date to the funeral." Claudia Schiffer plays the mother of one of Sam's classmates, whom Daniel meets, and develops an interest in, near the end of the film.
One of the working titles is "Love Actually is All Around" taken from The Troggs' song "Love is All Around", written by Troggs lead singer Reg Presley. An alternate version by Wet Wet Wet featured in Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994) was at number one in the UK charts for 15 weeks in 1994, and Richard Curtis thought it would be amusing to start Love Actually (2003) with the same song that had driven everyone to distraction nine years earlier. For this film it is reworked by Bill Nighy's character, who turns it into a Christmas song. "Christmas is All Around", the resulting tacky joke theme song, was actually released in Britain in hopes that it would be "Number 1 for Christmas 2003".
The school used for the Nativity concert at the end of the film is Elliott School, Putney, South West London and is where Pierce Brosnan went to school until he was fifteen.
Although Karen refers to David as her big brother, Emma Thompson is actually seventeen months older than Hugh Grant.
The art gallery, where Andrew Lincoln works, is based on a real Southbank gallery called La Guff. It specialized in arty, but rubbish black and white pictures of butts - some of which can be seen in the movie.
When deciding to cast the part of the Prime Minister, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Michael Gambon, and Michael Crawford were possible candidates. But all three had been unavailable at the time of filming (Hopkins was working on The Human Stain (2003), Gambon on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) and Crawford had returned to Broadway to star in the American version of 'Dance of the Vampires').
For German movie posters, and VHS/DVD/Blu-ray covers, the image of Martine McCutcheon was replaced with one of Heike Makatsch.
Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant play brother and sister in this movie. They previously played lovers in Sense and Sensibility (1995).
Simon Pegg was considered for the role of Rufus.
In the scene in Milwaukee, a Budweiser is ordered, even though Milwaukee was the home to three of its major competitors: Miller, Pabst, and Schlitz.
Lynden David Hall appears singing All You Need Is Love in the church.
Most of Edward Hardwicke's role was removed from the final print.
The character Natalie was originally called Martine. It was changed to Natalie before Martine McCutcheon auditioned.
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Despite their differences in looks, Keira Knightley (Juliet) is only five years older than Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Sam) in real-life.
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Billy Mack and his manager Joe are the only characters in the film whose storyline doesn't directly connect to any of the others. All the other main characters are linked via family, friendship or work.
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In 2017 a handful of the main cast members re-united for a one off special for Comic relief. Aired on the BBC in March 2017. The sketch lasted 10 minutes and followed up on some of the cast members and their lives in 2017. The Highlight was Hugh Grant dancing to Drakes Hotline Bling. Well worth a watch if you are a fan of the original film.
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Daniel owns a huge "Launderette" sign, visible around 26:54. Annie returns to Lisbon. At 1:20:42, Tony is shown to live upstairs from a launderette with the identical "Launderette" sign, and a delicatessen called "Lisboa."
DIRECTOR_CAMEO(Richard Curtis): As a trombone player.
Hugh Grant and Colin Firth previously worked together in Bridget Jones Diary (2001).
Jo Whiley and Wes Butters appear as cameo voices in the movie as disc jockeys, who were on Radio 1 at the time. Emma Freud worked as a Screenwriter for this film, and was also a Radio 1 DJ in 1994.
The very last seconds of the movie the screen is filled with more and more scenes, each smaller and smaller, of people reuniting with loved ones. In the last split second, they form a big "heart" (or "valentine").
In the Czech Republic, the movie went by the name "Heavenly Love" (a saying expressing "The greatest love possible").
In Russian-language markets the film's title is "Realnaya lyubov" (Real Love).
Several actors have worked together before in Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility (1995) (Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman, and Kate Winslet - who only appeared in footage from Titantic (1997) in this film). Kiera Knightly starred in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, as did Colin Firth, but not the same version (hers was film, his was for television).
Karen expresses surprise at the inclusion of (at least) two lobsters among the characters in her daughter's school Christmas pageant ("there was more than one lobster present at the birth of Jesus?"). Although there is a variety of small lobster (Palinurus elephas, also known as the common spiny lobster) native to the Mediterranean Sea, its habitat doesn't stretch as far east as the land that is now known as Israel. Furthermore, since Jesus' family was Jewish, and shellfish, like lobster, is forbidden to devout Jews, who observe the rules for keeping Kosher, Karen is correct that it is highly unlikely that there was any lobster present at Jesus' birth.
There are two actors in this film that played Sherlock Holmes' sidekick Dr. Watson. Martin Freeman (John the x-rated stand in) in Sherlock (2010), and Edward Hardwicke ( Liam Neeson's father-in-law in the funeral scene) in BBC's The Return of Sherlock Holmes (1986).
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Karen (Emma Thompson) and Harry (Alan Rickman) have a son call Bernard. In real-life, this was the name of Alan Rickman's father, who died when the former was just eight years old.
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One of the carpenters is called Paul Carpenter.
Christopher Parker was offered a featured role but chose a stint on British soap opera EastEnders (1985) instead.
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Kate Ashfield was considered for the role of Sarah.
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This movie has 3 Oscar winners: Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, and Billy Bob Thornton , and 4 Oscar nominees: Liam Neeson, Kiera Knightly, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Laura Linney.
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Jamie's last name is Bennett, similar to Jennifer Ehle's character in Pride and Prejudice (1995), whom the other Colin Firth's character, Mr. Darcy, finally married.
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Cameo 

Rebecca Frayn: Daniel's dead wife, Joanna, in slideshow during the funeral scene.

Director Trademark 

Richard Curtis: [Bernard] When Curtis was in college, his girlfriend 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".

Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Rowan Atkinson's character was initially supposed to be an angel, and disappear as he walked away from Liam Neeson's character in the airport scene.
Laura Linney said she herself wished that her character didn't pick up the phone while Karl (Rodrigo Santoro) was in her apartment.
For many years after this movie's release, viewers have argued about whether Harry (Alan Rickman) actually cheated on his wife, Karen (Emma Thompson), with his co-worker Mia (Heike Makatsch). In December 2015, Emma Freud (who was the movie's Script Editor, and is the life partner of Richard Curtis) confirmed on her Twitter account, that it was indeed a full-fledged sexual affair, and not just an inappropriate but non-physical flirtation, as some viewers assumed it was. Freud also confirmed that Karen and Harry stayed married after Karen discovered the affair, "but home isn't as happy as it once was."
For her one-minute cameo, Claudia Schiffer received a reported 200,000 pounds sterling (roughly 300,000 U.S. dollars).
When Jamie Bennett appears to ask for the hand of the chubby Portuguese sister, her line is subtitled "But I've never seen him before." What she actually says in Portuguese is "But I've never seen him fatter". That's an idiomatic expression in Portuguese for "I've never seen him before".
When Colin Firth's character proposes to Aurelia, her sister tells her to accept so she can go to England and meet "Prince William instead." Firth played William's great-grandfather, George VI, in The King's Speech (2010).

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