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Love Actually (2003) Poster

(2003)

Trivia

Jump to: Cameo (1) | Director Cameo (1) | Director Trademark (1) | Spoilers (6)
Kris Marshall returned his pay cheque 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.
The lake that Lúcia Moniz and Colin Firth are "swimming" in 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.
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.
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 the director had it edited so it sounded more like a child singing.
A speech given by Hugh Grant in 'Love Actually' - 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 director Richard Curtis describes as "this toothpick business" was a result of Liam Neeson never being without a toothpick after he gave up smoking.
Portuguese actress 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 the 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.
Laura Linney filmed this movie in London, while she was working on Mystic River (2003) in Boston, USA. She flew across the Atlantic Ocean several times within few months, in order to complete her work on both films.
In the version edited and broadcast in the US 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 3 hours with commercials.
Was the most rented DVD in the UK in 2004.
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".
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.
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.
Thomas Sangster, who was 13 years old when he played Sam in this movie, was cast as a 13-year-old again a decade later. Sangster started playing the young teen Jojen Reed in the TV series "Game of Thrones" in 2013, while he was in his mid-twenties.
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, writer-director 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.
Andrew Lincoln wrote the romantic cards himself. In 2013, Andrew reminisced about his climactic gesture in Love Actually 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."
Richard Curtis and other members of the production had a forty-five minute meeting to determine what colour underwear Lucia's character would wear for the lake scene.
All four leading stars of Sense and Sensibility (1995), technically appear in this film, with Grant, Thompson and Rickman playing leading roles, and Kate Winslet appearing in stock footage of James Cameron's 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.
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 Love Actually (2003), although the latter is seen only in deleted scenes.
The word "actually" is spoken twenty-two times by various characters in the film.
Olivia Olson (Joanna) would go on to play another love interest of Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Sam) in the TV show Phineas and Ferb (2007) where Sangster is the voice of Ferb and Olson is the voice of Vanessa
In the scene after Sarah leaves Harry's office following their conversation about her feelings for coworker 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 wanted Michael Parkinson to appear as a chat 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.
Hugh Grant hated the dancing scene because he didn't think a Prime Minister would do something like that.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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 who Daniel meets and develops an interest in near the end of the film.
Although Karen refers to David as her big brother, Emma Thompson is actually seventeen months older than Hugh Grant.
Andrew Lincoln was initially unsure about his character as he thought the scene with handwritten signs was "borderline stalker territory".
The art gallery where Andrew Lincoln works is based on a real Southbank gallery called La Guff. It specialised in arty but rubbish black and white pictures of bottoms - some of which can be seen in the movie.
When deciding to cast the part of the Prime Minister, 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.
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."
Hugh Grant and Colin Firth previously worked together in Bridget Jones Diary.
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 script writer for this film and was also a Radio 1 DJ in 1994.
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 5 years older than Thomas Sangster (Sam) in real life.
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Chris Martin (Coldplay) plays guitar in the church scene.
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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").
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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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 (Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman, and Kate Winslet - who only appeared in footage from Titantic 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's 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 quantity of lobster present at Jesus's birth.
One of the carpenters is called Paul Carpenter.
There are two actors in Love Actually that played Sherlock Holmes Dr. Watson. Martin Freeman (John the x-rated stand in) in Sherlock, and Edward Hardwicke ( Liam Neeson's father in law in the funeral scene) in BBC Sherlock Holmes 1986.
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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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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 Cameo 

Richard Curtis: as a trombone player.

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 coworker Mia (Heike Makatsch). In December 2015, Emma Freud (who was the movie's script editor and is the life partner of its writer and director Richard Curtis) confirmed on her Twitter account that it was indeed a full-fledged sexual affair, and not just an inappropriate but nonphysical 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."
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".
For her one-minute cameo, Claudia Schiffer received a reported £200,000 sterling. (Roughly $300,000 U.S. dollars)
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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