See the “Love Actually” Cast 20 Years After the Christmas Movie’s Release
Since bursting into theaters in 2003, “Love Actually” has become a Christmas movie staple. The festive season is not complete without seeing those opening hugs at Heathrow airport, hearing Hugh Grant utter the line, “Love actually is all around”, and, of course, getting cozy with the stellar “Love Actually” cast and their intertwining storylines.
The Richard Curtis movie, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, brought with it a collection of A-list stars that needed no introduction. Theater, film, and TV icons like Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, and Grant were cast in lead roles, while the film also helped to catapult the careers of Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Olivia Olson, whose sweet childhood romance pulled on the hearts of many.
While the movie has arguably aged badly and is not without its troubles (Natalie getting dumped for being “fat,” Mark’s creepy wedding video, and many of the women characters being passive), it continues to be viewed with fondness for many Christmas lovers. So in the two decades since it first premiered, where’s the cast of “Love Actually” now?
Keep scrolling to find out how the last two decades have been for the beloved Christmas characters.
“Love Actually” is making a grand return to the big screen as it marks its 20th anniversary in 2023. You can grab your tickets here.
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In “Love Actually,” Nighy played the aging rock and roll star Billy Mack who decided to make a Christmas song to cash in on the season. He won a BAFTA for the role and has continued his established acting career since.
The 73-year-old starred as Davy Jones in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, as radio ross boss Quention in “The Boat That Rocked,” and as Cliff LGBTQ+ film “Prime.” Most recently, the dad of one was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of terminally ill Mr Rodney Williams in “Living” opposite Aimee Lou Wood. Speculation has grown of late over his relationship with US Vogue Editor, Anna Wintour.
In one of the most heart-wrenching scenes in “Love Actually,” Thompson played Karen, who finds out her husband (played by Alan Rickman) has been having an affair. She was nominated for a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress for her role.
Since then, Thompson’s career has continued to thrive. From playing divination teacher Sybill Trelawney in the Harry Potter films to the iconic nanny in “Nanny McPhee,” the 64-year-old has been a movie regular. She took on the character of Miss Trunchball in the musical movie “Matilda” in 2022 and proved she’s great fun on a night out a year earlier when she stole the show during “An Audience With Adele” thanks to her incredible dance moves. After separating from Kenneth Branagh in 1995, Thompson married fellow actor, Greg Wise. She gave birth to a daughter when she was 39 and later the couple informally “adopted” a Rwandan orphan.
Playing Thompson’s husband, Harry, in “Love Actually” Rickman was arguably considered the villain of the movie after his head was turned by his secretary, Mia.
The actor continued to play the role of Severus Snape in all of the Harry Potter movies, as well as directing and starring in the 2014 film “A Little Chaos.” Rickman passed away in January 2016 from pancreatic cancer.
German actor Makatsch played meddling Mia, Harry’s secretary, in “Love Actually,” who used her sexuality to turn her boss’s head away from his wife.
She played the role of Lisa Addison in “Resident Evil” prior to the Christmas rom-com and was in a relationship with Daniel Craig for seven years. Now, the 52-year-old is a mom of three and resides in Berlin.
While not a lead character in the Christmas film, Atkinson certainly made an impression as the perfectionist Selfridges shop assistant, helping Harry buy a necklace for his mistress.
Already a household name thanks to TV series “Mr. Bean” and “Blackadder,” Atkinson’s comedic style continued following “Love Actually” with TV and films including the Johnny English film series. He is also set to star in the 2023 prequel, “Wonka,” alongside Grant. The 68-year-old began an affair with comedian Louise Ford in 2018, who was 26 years his junior. He separated from his wife and Ford ended her relationship with comedian James Acaster so they could be together. They went on to have a child together, Atkinson’s third.
When it comes to memorable “Love Actually” scenes, Grant playing the Prime Minister and dancing to Girls Aloud has to be up there, before his character falls in love with Natalie.
From playing Firth’s love-rival in the Bridget Jones franchise to Phoenix Buchanan in “Paddington 2,” Grant’s movie roles have cemented him as a British icon. The dad of four is set to star as an Oompa Loompa in the upcoming remake of “Wonka,” premiering in December, and we can’t wait.
Former “Eastenders” star McCutcheon took her career to new heights when she played a new member of staff at No.10 Downing Street. Playing Natalie, who was dumped for being “fat” – jokes Curtis has since admitted he regrets including in the film – she falls for the Prime Minister.
Since the film, McCutcheon starred in TV shows “Spooks” and “Echo Beach.” She got married and became a mom in 2015. She has also spoken of her chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and Lyme disease diagnoses.
Knightley played newlywed Juliet in “Love Actually” who turns out to be the object of Mark’s affection and the best man at her wedding.
Knightley, 38, went on to star in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, “Pride & Prejudice,” and “Atonement.” She took some time away from acting, telling the Always Chatter podcast that she had a mental breakdown at 22. The mom of two starred as Loretta McLaughlin in the “Boston Strangler” this year.
Lincoln came to prominence playing Mark, the best friend of Peter. He was the best man at Peter and Juliet’s wedding only for him to reveal on Christmas Eve, through the now-famous placards scene, that his dislike of Juliet had in fact been masking his love for her.
Dad-of-two Lincoln, 50, grew global notoriety after being cast as Rick Grimes in “The Walking Dead” in 2010; a character he played until 2018. A film trilogy has reportedly been in the works but was put on hold due to the pandemic.
Ejiofor played Peter, who married Juliet in “Love Actually.” Unbeknown to him, his best friend, Mark, who he thinks hates his wife, actually has feelings for her.
Stage and screen actor, Ejiofor, 46, received an OBE in 2008 for services to the arts and he took on the role of Solomon Northup in “12 Years a Slave” in 2014, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award. He made his directorial debut in 2019 with “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” and returned to play Mordo for the Doctor Strange sequel in 2022.
Neeson’s “Love Actually” character, Daniel, was grieving for his recently deceased wife but put his efforts into helping his son, Sam, find true love.
Tragically, life imitated art when in 2009 his wife, Natasha Richardson, died after suffering a head injury after a skiing accident. Neeson, 71, starred in action films “Taken” and as Ra’s Al Ghul in “Batman Begins.” His acting has been routed in the action genre, most recently starring in “Retribution” in 2023.
Brodie-Sangster was just 12 years old when he played Sam in “Love Actually.” He declares his affection for classmate Joanna to his dad and his mission is to tell her his feelings.
Now 33, Brodie-Sangster has gone on to have a successful career in a number of cult TV shows. He played Jojen Reed in “Game of Thrones” and Benny Watts in “The Queen’s Gambit,” opposite Anya Taylor-Joy. He got engaged in July to fellow British actor, Talulah Riley.
Olson blew everyone away when she played a young Joanna who belted out Mariah Carey‘s “All I Want for Christmas” at the age of 10 at the crescendo of “Love Actually.”
Olson went on to voice the recurring character of Vanessa in the Disney animated series “Phineas and Ferb” alongside her “Love Actually” costar Brodie-Sangster. She has also recorded a number of albums and competed on “The X Factor: Celebrity” in 2019.
Award-winning actor Freeman had perhaps one of the funniest roles in “Love Actually.” Playing John, a stand-in for films, he meets Judy while they are simulating sex scenes, yet are both inherently shy. They end up falling for each other and get engaged.
Since then, Freeman’s career has been nothing but varied. The 52-year-old played Dr. John Watson in BBC’s “Sherlock,” for which he won a BAFTA and an Emmy, Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit movie franchise, and Everett K. Ross in “Black Panther.” The dad of two was previously married to fellow actor Amanda Abbington but the two separated in 2016.
Welsh actor Page, 46, played Judy, the fellow stand-in for the sex scenes who ended up falling for John.
Since the release of the film, Page became best known for playing Stacey in the TV sitcom “Gavin & Stacey” alongside James Cordon and Ruth Jones. She has also become a mom of four, married fellow actor James Thornton, and joined “Loose Women” as a panelist in 2023.
Rom-com favorite Firth, 63, played Jamie in “Love Actually” who, after finding his wife cheating on him with his brother, retreats to his French cottage and falls in love with the Portuguese housekeeper, Aurélia, who does not speak English.
Fresh from his role as Mark Darcy in “Bridget Jones,” he reprised the character for the two follow-up movies after “Love Actually.” He went on to star in iconic films “Mamma Mia” and “Mamma Mia Here We Go Again” as Harry Bright, and gained critical acclaim for his acting in “A Single Man” and “The King’s Speech,” the latter of which he won an Academy Award for Best Actor in 2010. The dad of three recently starred in “The Staircase,” a true-crime miniseries, alongside Toni Collette and Sophie Turner.
Portuguese actor and singer Moniz played Aurélia, a housekeeper tending to Jamie’s French abode who does not speak English. He falls in love with her, learns Portuguese, and proposes in front of her family.
Moniz, 47, has since released a number of albums and won the Best Performance award at the Raindance Film Festival for her role as the struggling mother of a deaf child in the 2020 film “Listen.”
Marshall, 50, played Colin, the “god of sex,” who travels across the pond in a bid to attract women with his British accent.
His breakout role prior to “Love Actually” had been in the BBC sitcom “My Family” where he played Nick Harper, a role he reprised a number of times in the years following the movie’s release in 2003. The dad of two took on the role of DI Humphrey Goodman in BBC drama “Death in Paradise” from 2013-2017, and reunited with the character in 2023 for the spinoff, “Beyond Paradise.”
While not a main character in “Love Actually,” Jones played Jeannie, one of the American party girls who meets Colin as he arrives in the USA.
The 45-year-old later became best known for playing Betty Draper Francis for seven seasons of “Mad Men,” for which she received Golden Globe and Emmy nominations. The mom of one has also played Emma Frost in “X-Men: First Class” and Lizbeth Sloan in Netflix’s “The Politician.”
Linney played Sarah in “Love Actually,” an American working in London who is in love with the creative director at her work, Karl. When they connect at the Christmas party, she is interrupted by her mentally ill brother.
Linney, 59, starred in the 2004 film, “Kinsey,” 2005’s “The Squid and the Whale,” and 2007’s “The Savages,” for which she received her third Academy Award nomination. From 2017 to 2022, she starred in “Ozark” alongside Jason Bateman. Linney married in 2009 and fellow “Love Actually” star, Neeson, walked her down the aisle. She gave birth to a son in 2014.