THEN AND NOW: The cast of 'Love Actually' 13 years later

Oliva Olson then and now 2x1Universal/GettyEver wondered what happened to little Joanna?

“Love Actually” hit theatres just in time for the holiday season of 2003, and audiences immediately deemed it a modern Christmas classic. Though some people — notably author and columnist Lindy West — have since realised that the movie has a problematic treatment of women, “Love Actually” remains a holiday staple for many.

Keep reading for a look at how the star-studded cast looked then, what they look like now, and what they have been up to in between.

We all remember Liam Neeson as the heartbreaking character of Daniel -- a man whose wife had just recently died after battling an illness.

Universal

Neeson went on to portray a man with a very special set of skills in 'Taken' (and 'Taken' 2 and 3), as well as dozens of other notable roles. You can see him in the acclaimed 'Silence' starting December 23.

In 'Love Actually,' Neeson's character had a young stepson named Sam, played by Thomas Brodie-Sangster.

Universal

Brodie-Sangster went on to voice Ferb Fletcher in Disney's 'Phineas and Ferb,' but most will recognise him as Jojen Reed from 'Game of Thrones' seasons three and four.

Sam's school crush in the movie, an American girl named Joanna, sang an unforgettable rendition of 'All I Want For Christmas Is You.'

Universal

Olivia Olson was only 11 when she played Joanna in 'Love Actually.' She went on to do voice acting for 'Phineas and Ferb' as well as Cartoon Network's 'Adventure Time.'

The only other American character was Sarah, who worked at a design firm and harbours a not-so-secret obsession with her coworker Karl.

Universal

Laura Linney starred in horror movie 'The Exorcism of Emily Rose' in 2005, and had supporting roles in the 2016 movies 'Sully' and 'Nocturnal Animals.'

Emma Thompson was cast as the charming wife whom Harry was cheating on -- Karen.

Universal

Thompson also played a Hogwarts schoolteacher in the 'Harry Potter' movies -- Sybill Trelawney. She also starred as the titular character in 'Nanny McPhee' and voices Mrs. Potts in the 2017 'Beauty and the Beast' live-action remake.

The ex-drug addict rock star character Billy Mack helped put some raunchiness into 'Love Actually.'

Universal

Bill Nighy is yet another 'Harry Potter' alumni -- he played Prime Minister Rufus Scrimgeour. Nighy also starred as Davy Jones in the 2006 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.'

Another small character who ramped up the R-rated factor was John -- a nude body double working on a movie set.

Universal

Martin Freeman had far less nudity involved in his roles as Bilbo Baggins for 'The Hobbit' franchise and Dr. John Watson in 'Sherlock.'

Hugh Grant was the charming new Prime Minister who fell in love with one of his staff members just days into the new gig.

Universal

Though Grant hasn't had a US hit like 'Love Actually' since, he was memorable (along with his costar Drew Barrymore) in 2007's 'Music and Lyrics.' He will also be in the upcoming 'Paddington' sequel.

Grant's political nemesis in 'Love Actually was the President of the United States, played by Billy Bob Thornton.

Universal

Thornton went on to star in a different kind of holiday movie, 'Bad Santa' -- which had a sequel in 2016. He also had a recurring role in the TV series 'Fargo.'

One of the smaller roles in 'Love Actually' was the sexy Wisconsin sisters Colin met in a bar. The blonde, Jeannie, was actress January Jones.

Universal

Jones' big breakout role came with AMC's 'Mad Men,' where she played opposite Jon Hamm as his wife Betty Francis. She can now be seen on the FOX comedy 'The Last Man on Earth.'

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Another minor character was Peter, whose wedding is part of the movie's love-filled opening sequence.

Universal

Chiwetel Ejiofor may have had a small part in 'Love Actually,' but his career has exploded since then. Films like '12 Years A Slave,' 'The Martian,' and 'Doctor Strange' have made him a US household name.

Getty Images
Chiwetel Ejiofor

Peter's new wife was Juliet -- the unwitting object of her new husband's best friend's affection (confusing, we know).

Universal

Keira Knightley has made a name for herself in period pieces such as 'Pride and Prejudice,' 'Atonement,' and the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' franchise. She also stars as Love in the 2016 holiday movie 'Collateral Beauty.'

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty

Andrew Lincoln played Mark -- the third wheel in Peter and Juliet's relationship and an art gallery owner/amateur filmmaker.

Lincoln went on to star in one of the biggest TV shows of our time: 'The Walking Dead.' He's recognisable to millions now as the lead character, Rick Grimes.

John Sciulli/Getty Images for AMC

One of the funnier moments in 'Love Actually' came from a short scene with an overly enthusiastic jewellery salesman played by Rowan Atkinson.

Universal

Atkinson has continued to star on TV as Mr. Bean and reprised his role as a rogue agent in a 2007 sequel to 'Johnny English.'

Colin Firth was another household name who co-starred in 'Love Actually.' He was the sad sap Jaime who started the movie being cheated on and ended it with a surprising proposal to a new woman.

Universal

In the years since, Firth has been cast in acclaimed roles for movies like 'A Single Man,' and Oscar-winning drama 'The King's Speech.' He took audiences by surprise with breakout action hit 'The Kingsman,' which has a sequel out next fall.

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.