11 surprising things you didn't know about 'Love Actually'

Universal Pictures‘Love Actually’ was released in 2003.
  • “Love Actually” is a popular holiday rom-com that was released in 2003.
  • The lake where Colin Firth’s character loses his script is actually very shallow and less than 12 inches deep.
  • Keira Knightley and Thomas Brodie-Sangster were both teenagers when they filmed the movie, even though one played an adult and one played a child.
  • The surprise wedding singers in the film were inspired by the Muppets at Jim Henson’s funeral.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

“Love Actually” debuted over 15 years ago and no holiday season has been the same since.

With a cast jam-packed full of stars like Liam Neeson, Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Martin Freeman, Andrew Lincoln, and Keira Knightley, it’s no surprise that the film became an instant classic.

And although you might’ve seen in dozens of times, here are 11 things you probably didn’t know about “Love Actually.”


There’s a sequel that shows what some characters are up to now.

Nick BriggsIt’s missing a few of the main characters.

“Love Actually” has a sequel that’s 10 minutes long and only includes a handful of the original characters.

Created for Red Nose Day, the film was produced for charity in 2017 and it reveals what some of your favourite characters have been up to over the years.

And, according to Digital Spy, the UK and US each got slightly different versions of the sequel.


“Love Actually” was one of Martin Freeman’s first movies.

Universal StudiosHe later became best-known for his role in ‘The Hobbit’ series.

Before he was Bilbo Baggins and the famed Dr. John Watson,Martin Freeman played a porn stand-in named John in “Love Actually.”

Technically, this film was his third feature-length project since launching his career in 1997.


Colin Firth filmed his parts first, even though he wasn’t sure if the movie could work.

UniversalColin Firth filmed his parts first.

According to a Phase 9 interview with Colin Firth, the actor was first to film his parts and even though he thought the script was fantastic, he was worried about director Richard Curtis pulling it off, especially because he was the writer as well.

Of course, he was proven wrong, as the film has gone on to make nearly $US250 million worldwide, according to BoxOfficeMojo.


Olivia Olson, who played Joanna, is now primarily a voice actor.

UniversalShe’s voiced multiple cartoon characters over the past few years.

Olivia Olson played Joanna, Sam’s crush in the film, but she has since moved on to voiceover acting.

She’s voiced a plethora of characters including Marceline the Vampire Queen on “Adventure Time,” Bliss on “The Powerpuff Girls,” and Vanessa Doofenshmirtz on “Phineas and Ferb.”


Emma Thompson channeled one of her real-life heartbreaks in the film.

Universal PicturesShe said she’d had ‘her heart broken badly’ by her former husband in real life.

Emma Thompson said she used her own heartbreak as fuel while filming the scene where her character uncovers her husband’s affair

Thompson had also dealt with infidelity in her marriage to Kenneth Branagh and said in an interview with The Telegraph that she channeled those same emotions into the iconic scene – which is perhaps why the pain felt so tangible to some viewers.


The surprise wedding singers in the film were inspired by the Muppets at Jim Henson’s funeral.

DisneyJim Henson created ‘The Muppets.’

Richard Curtis said his inspiration for the surprise wedding singers in the film came from Jim Henson’s funeral, where puppeteers who had worked with Henson brought Muppets to the ceremony and surprised guests by performing a song dedicated to the deceased creator.

“So what happened was there was this huge audience of people and then all of a sudden there was this audience full of Muppets singing together,” Curtis told Montclair Film. “So that’s where I got this idea of everyone bringing their instruments and playing.”


Much of the airport B-roll footage was secretly filmed by crew members.

Universal PicturesThe crew later got permission from the people in the footage.

Curtis also told Montclair Film that the crew hid and filmed people at the airport in order to get some authentic and candid B-roll footage.

When they recorded something they liked, they got permission to use the clips from the people in them.


The lake in the film was actually only 11 inches deep.

Universal PicturesThe lake scene was filmed in France.

Curtis also told Montclair Film that the lake in which Jamie (Colin Firth) and Jamie’s girlfriend (Sienna LĂșcia Moniz) famously splash in was actually very shallow, about 11 inches deep.

“No one inspected the depth of the lake, so you see them sort of lying around pretending to be swimming,” the director shared, explaining that Firth and Moniz had to kneel down and pretend to flounder for Jamie’s lost script.


Keira Knightley and Thomas Brodie-Sangster were both teenagers when they filmed the movie.

Universal PicturesBoth of them were fairly new to the acting scene.

Although her character Juliet was playing an adult who was getting married and settling down in the film, Keira Knightley was 18 years old when she filmed “Love Actually.

Interestingly enough, co-star Thomas Brodie-Sangster, who played a schoolboy much younger than Juliet, was 13 when the movie was filmed – just five years younger than Knightley.


Thomas Brodie-Sangster learned to play drums for the role.

UniversalHis dad is a drummer in real life.

Thomas Brodie-Sangster had to learn to play the drums for his role because his character learns how to play to impress his crush.

Thankfully for Brodie-Sangster, his dad is a drummer and he taught him how to master the drum set.


Hugh Grant messed with Billy Bob Thornton on set.

UniversalGrant played off of Thornton’s fear of antique furniture.

Playing the Prime Minister and President of the US respectively, Grant reportedly messed with Thornton on set.

Thornton previously told The New York Times about his fear of antique furniture and, according to the New Zealand Herald, Grant would often go out of his way to point out antiques to Thornton while on the set of the movie.

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