Love Actually’s Emma Thompson joins Hugh Grant and Bill Nighy for a TV special to mark 20 years

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Love Actually stars are reuniting to celebrate the beloved Christmas comedy’s 20th anniversary.  

The hour-long special will air on UKTN November 29, with no current UK transmission date, and will feature Emma Thompson, 63, Hugh Grant, 62, Bill Nighy, 72, and Laura Linney, 58, who all memorably started in the movie. 

The Laughter & Secrets of Love Actually: 20 Years Later sees journalist Diane Sawyer interview the actors as well as writer and director Richard Curtis.

Back again: Love Actually stars are reuniting to celebrate the beloved Christmas comedy’s 20th anniversary (Dame Emma Thompson pictured) 

The one-off special will ‘look at how the film became a beloved Christmas tradition and a global sensation, with new insight into behind-the-scenes secrets and iconic scenes’. 

The trailer shows the stars all speaking with Diane as they reminisce about their time making the famous film. 

Hugh, who played David in the movie, admits he was unsure he would be able to complete the now famous Downing Street dancing scene. 

Throwback: The Laughter & Secrets of Love Actually: 20 Years Later sees journalist Diane Sawyer interview the actors as well as writer and director Richard Curtis (Hugh Grant pictured in the movie with Martine McCutcheon)

Throwback: The Laughter & Secrets of Love Actually: 20 Years Later sees journalist Diane Sawyer interview the actors as well as writer and director Richard Curtis (Hugh Grant pictured in the movie with Martine McCutcheon)

Documentary: The hour-long special will air on UKTN November 29, with no current UK transmission date, and will feature Emma Thompson, 63, Hugh Grant, 62, Bill Nighy, 72, and Laura Linney, 58, who all memorably started in the movie (High pictured on the show)

Meanwhile Dame Emma, who plays downtrodden wife Karen, reveals that Hugh asked following the movie’s premiere ‘Is that the most psychotic thing we’ve ever been in?’. 

The movie follows eight London couples as they try to deal with their relationships in different ways, it also starred Liam Neeson and Colin Firth. 

Thomas Brodie-Sangford, now 32, played Liam Neeson’s son Sam in the flick and recently reflected on the lasting enormity of movie.

Beloved: The one-off special will 'look at how the film became a beloved Christmas tradition and a global sensation, with new insight into behind-the-scenes secrets and iconic scenes'

Beloved: The one-off special will ‘look at how the film became a beloved Christmas tradition and a global sensation, with new insight into behind-the-scenes secrets and iconic scenes’

Speaking to People he said: ‘I remember already having the part and going into the read-through and not knowing who else was in it,’

He continued: ‘I’d just go, ‘Oh, it’s another job. Great. I’m on another job.’ 

‘And then all these faces started walking in through the door and I realised that this is probably quite big.’

Glad to be back: Billy Knighy who stole the show as ageing rocker Billy Mack also discusses the movie

Glad to be back: Billy Knighy who stole the show as ageing rocker Billy Mack also discusses the movie

Beaming: Oscar-nominee Laura Linney beams as she recalls her time on set

Beaming: Oscar-nominee Laura Linney beams as she recalls her time on set 

The Cast of Love Actually where are they now …. 

SAM (THOMAS BRODIE-SANGFORD)

Fame: Thomas Brodie-Sangster was 12 when he filmed his role as lovesick Sam, opposite Liam Neeson as his stepdad in the hit flick

Thomas was 12 when he filmed his role as lovesick Sam, opposite Liam Neeson as his stepdad 

Thomas Brodie-Sangster played Jojen Reed in several episodes of the HBO hit series Game Of Thrones

Thomas Brodie-Sangster played Jojen Reed in several episodes of the HBO hit series Game Of Thrones

Game of Thrones fans might have noticed a familiar face beyond the Wall in early series of the monster hit show. 

Jojen Reed was played by Thomas Brodie-Sangster, the child star who played grieving Liam Neeson’s stepson Sam in Love Actually. 

Sangster, who runs through the airport to tell his schoolgirl crush he loves her during the film’s big finale, had a recurring role in the HBO series, as a young heir tasked with helping to protect Bran Stark. 

The has gone on to star in the hit sci-fi adaptation Maze Runner and in 2017 he starred in a 15 minute sequel to Love Actually, shown on the UKTN as part of Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day.

The actor has enjoyed film success in Nanny McPhee, Nowhere Boy – in which he played a young Paul McCartney – and Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.  Thomas has frequently been spotted spending time with his Australian photographer girlfriend Gzi Wisdom in Venice, Los Angeles.

JOANNA (OLIVIA OLSON)  

Olivia Olson captured viewers' hearts with her incredible singing in the hit movie, and her singing was so good that director Richard Curtis was reportedly worried the audience wouldn't believe it was her own voice

Olivia Olson captured viewers’ hearts with her incredible singing in the hit movie, and her singing was so good that director Richard Curtis was reportedly worried the audience wouldn’t believe it was her own voice

Olivia' incredible singing voice saw her release her first EP 'Beauty is chaos' in 2013, before releasing album Nowhere Land in June 2018 (pictured in 2018)

Olivia’ incredible singing voice saw her release her first EP ‘Beauty is chaos’ in 2013, before releasing album Nowhere Land in June 2018 (pictured in 2018)

She was 11 when she starred as the adorable schoolgirl who stole her classmate Sam’s heart – and stunned viewers with her powerful rendition of Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You.

At the time, her singing was so good that director Richard Curtis was reportedly worried the audience wouldn’t believe it was her own voice, and trained her to make it sound ‘more believable’.

Olivia’ incredible singing voice saw her release her first EP ‘Beauty is chaos’ in 2013, before releasing album Nowhere Land in June 2018.

The LA-based actress and singer has also been part of the cast behind two animated series – the Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time, in which she voiced Marceline the Vampire Queen, and Disney’s Phineas and Ferb, in which she voiced Vanessa Doofenshmirtz. 

COLIN FRISSELL (KRIS MARSHALL)

Kris Marshall played Colin Frissell, who famously travelled to the US in search of love in the Christmas rom com Love Actually (pictured)

Kris Marshall played Colin Frissell, who famously travelled to the US in search of love in the Christmas rom com Love Actually (pictured)

The actor, pictured in August, has landed high-profile film roles in the years since the hit film. The star shares two children with wife Hannah Dodkins, who he married in 2012 (pictured in 2019)

The actor, pictured in August, has landed high-profile film roles in the years since the hit film. The star shares two children with wife Hannah Dodkins, who he married in 2012 (pictured in 2019)

Most recently, Marshall has been showing off his acting chops in the ITV adaptation of Jane Austen's Sanditon. Pictured far right as character Tom Parker with the rest of the cast

Most recently, Marshall has been showing off his acting chops in the ITV adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sanditon. Pictured far right as character Tom Parker with the rest of the cast

Aside from his memorable turn as would-be ladies’ man Colin Frissell in Love Actually, Kris Marshall, now 49, is perhaps best known for playing Nick Harper in the comedy series My Family. 

Optimistic geek Colin travels to Wisconsin in Love Actually, in search of American women who will appreciate that ‘Stateside, I am Prince William’.  

Since then Marshall has appeared in the UKTN film Heist, UKTN British rom-com Sparks & Embers in 2015, and starred in a long-running ad campaign for BT. 

He played lead detective DI Humphrey Goodman in the UKTN drama Death in Paradise from since 2014 to 2017, citing pressures placed on his family.

Most recently, Marshall has been showing off his acting chops in the ITV adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sanditon. 

He shares two children with wife Hannah Dodkins, who he married in 2012.

MARK (ANDREW LINCOLN) 

Mark confesses his true feelings for Juliet in a scene from the Christmas classic Love Actually

Mark confesses his true feelings for Juliet in a scene from the Christmas classic Love Actually

Lincoln, 49, starred as sheriff's deputy Rick Grimes in the US show The Walking Dead

Lincoln, 49, starred as sheriff’s deputy Rick Grimes in the US show The Walking Dead 

Lincoln has received various awards and nominations for his portrayal of Rick Grimes; including Saturn Award for Best Actor on Television in 2015 and 2017 (seen at a Walking Dead photocall last year)

Lincoln has received various awards and nominations for his portrayal of Rick Grimes; including Saturn Award for Best Actor on Television in 2015 and 2017 (seen at a Walking Dead photocall last year)

Young Sam had competition in the broken heart stakes from camera man Mark, who struggles to be around his best friend’s wife Juliet [played by Keira Knightley] after falling in love with her himself. 

One of Love Actually’s most famous scenes shows Mark standing outside the couple’s house in the snow to finally tell Juliet how he feels – via a series of hand-scrawled cardboard signs, and to a soundtrack of carolers singing Silent Night. 

Since then, Andrew has gone on to enjoy success Stateside, where he stars as sheriff’s deputy Rick Grimes in the hugely popular AMC series The Walking Dead. 

Lincoln has received various awards and nominations for his portrayal of Rick Grimes; including Saturn Award for Best Actor on Television in 2015 and 2017.

He has two children, Matilda and Arthur, with Gael Anderson, daughter of Ian Anderson, flautist and vocalist of Jethro Tull.

DAISY (LULU POPPLEWELL)

Daisy, the daughter of Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman's characters, was cast as the lobster in her school nativity play  

Daisy, the daughter of Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman’s characters, was cast as the lobster in her school nativity play  

Now 32-years-old, Love Actually cast-member Lulu Popplewell is a comedy writer

Now 32-years-old, Love Actually cast-member Lulu Popplewell is a comedy writer 

She performs a monthly set in North London with tickets starting at just £5

She performs a monthly set in North London with tickets starting at just £5

Schoolgirl Daisy, the daughter of Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman’s characters, was memorably cast as a lobster in her school nativity play in Love Actually.

Now 32, former child star Lulu Popplewell is a writer and stand-up comedienne.

Lulu previously voiced the character of Lyra Belacqua in the UKTN Radio 4 version of His Dark Materials, and her older sister is Anna Popplewell, who played Susan Pevensie in the Chronicles of Narnia films. 

She performs a monthly set in North London with tickets starting at just £5. 

NATALIE (MARTINE MCCUTCHEON) 

Cast: Love Actually also starred Martine McCutcheon as character Natalie (pictured with Hugh Grant)

In Love Actually the Prime Minister, played by Hugh Grant, falls for Martine’s character Natalie 

As a newly installed member of staff at 10 Downing Street, Natalie hits it off with the PM

As a newly installed member of staff at 10 Downing Street, Natalie hits it off with the PM

Now, 47, Martine McCutcheon appeared on the panel of the ITV show Loose Women for one season

Now, 47, Martine McCutcheon appeared on the panel of the ITV show Loose Women for one season

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She was previously best known for playing Tiffany in Eastenders, but since Love Actually Martine McCutcheon will forever be the Downing Street staffer who swears like a sailor and wins the heart of the Prime Minister, played by Hugh Grant. 

Since playing Natalie, McCutcheon, who won an Olivier award for her role as Eliza in My Fair Lady in the West End, has made guest appearances in Spooks, starred in a Tesco ad campaign, and published a novel, The Mistress.

In 2016 she was unveiled as a new full-time panelist on the ITV show Loose Women, but left after one season. 

BILLY MACK (BILL NIGHY) 

Bill Nighy steals the show as an ageing rocker desperate for one last hit in the Christmas film

Bill Nighy steals the show as an ageing rocker desperate for one last hit in the Christmas film

The actor has enjoyed a career resurgence in the years since the classic rom com was released (pictured in 2019)

The actor has enjoyed a career resurgence in the years since the classic rom com was released (pictured in 2019)

Bill Nighy stole the show in Love Actually as an ageing rocker in search of one last hit for old time’s sake – a role that won him a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor. 

The actor,has enjoyed a career resurgence in the years since the classic rom com was released, racking up roles in major franchises like Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter and the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. 

Nighy has also lent his talents to several children’s and young adult films, with roles in Detective Pikachu and Arthur Christmas. He also appeared in the 2016 film version of Dad’s Army.  

JULIET (KEIRA KNIGHTLEY) 

Love story: Keira Knightley played Juliet in the film and thought her husband's best friend didn't like her

As Juliet, Keira Knightley thought her husband’s best friend didn’t like her 

Now a married mother, the actress most recently, she appears as real-life whistleblower Katharine Gun in Official Secrets. She is pictured at the Chanel Cruise show in Paris in 2019

Now a married mother, the actress most recently, she appears as real-life whistleblower Katharine Gun in Official Secrets. She is pictured at the Chanel Cruise show in Paris in 2019

Keira’s star continued to rise and rise after she appeared as Juliet in Love Actually at the age of 18. 

In the years since, Knightley has gone on to deliver Oscar-nominated performances in Pride and Prejudice and The Imitation Game. 

The British star has previously been listed among Hollywood’s highest paid actresses. 

Keira shares two children with her former Klaxons band member husband James Righton.

PETER (CHIWETEL EJIOFOR)

Chiwetel Ejiofor went on to deliver an Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA-nominated performance in Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave, pictured

Chiwetel Ejiofor went on to deliver an Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA-nominated performance in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, pictured

Ejiofor was cast in the all-star remake of Disney animated classic the Lion King, released this summer. Pictured, the actor promoting the film at an event in California

Ejiofor was cast in the all-star remake of Disney animated classic the Lion King, released this summer. Pictured, the actor promoting the film at an event in California

His character Peter had few lines in Love Actually, but Chiwetel Ejiofor has become one of the most successful of the film’s alumni. 

He was nominated for an Oscar, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA for his searing performance as Solomon Northup in the film 12 Years a Slave, and starred opposite Thandie Newton in the big-screen adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel, Half of a Yellow Sun.

He is also an acclaimed stage actor – his portrayal of Othello at the Donmar Warehouse in 2008 earned him an Olivier award for Best Actor. 

Chiwetel has since starred in Doctor Strange, The Lion King, and The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.

MIA (HEIKE MAKATSCH) 

Mia turned the head of her married colleague, played by the late Alan Rickman, in the film  

Mia turned the head of her married colleague, played by the late Alan Rickman, in the film  

Heike, 48, pictured in 2019, has appeared on the panel of the German TV 'Goldene Kamera' Awards and lives in Berlin with her husband Max Martin Schröder and their three daughters

Heike, 48, pictured in 2019, has appeared on the panel of the German TV ‘Goldene Kamera’ Awards and lives in Berlin with her husband Max Martin Schröder and their three daughters

The German actress plays Mia, who makes her intentions towards her married boss – played by the late Alan Rickman – more than clear in the movie as staff prepare for the annual work Christmas party. 

Bemused but intrigued, Harry buys Mia a necklace as a Christmas present, which his wife Karen (played by Emma Thompson) discovers and thinks is for her. 

Karen holding back tears after tearing the wrapping paper off a CD from her husband – and realising he bought the necklace for another woman – is one of the most moving scenes in the film. 

Since playing temptress Mia, Heike, a former flame of Daniel Craig, has appeared in German productions and also played Leisel’s mother in the movie version of The Book Thief in 2013. 

Heike, 51,  has appeared on the panel of the German TV ‘Goldene Kamera’ Awards and lives in Berlin with her German Indie band husband Max Martin Schröder and their three daughters.

DAVID (HUGH GRANT)

Grant appears to pick and choose occasional film roles that appeal rather than working on back-to-back projects.  

He appeared in the sci-fi drama Cloud Atlas in 2012 and won widespread acclaim for his role in Stephen Frears comedy drama Florence Foster Jenkins, opposite Meryl Streep.  

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Grant gave his talents to surprise hit film Paddington 2 in 2017 and a Very English Scandal in 2018. 

SARAH (LAURA LINNEY)

Laura Linney starred in Love Actually as Sarah, who is nursing a crush on colleague Karl

Laura Linney starred in Love Actually as Sarah, who is nursing a crush on colleague Karl

 

In 2017 she joined Netflix hit drama Ozark alongside Jason Bateman, a performance which sawher Screen nominated for the Actors Guild Award. She is pictured at the Tony Awards this year

In 2017 she joined Netflix hit drama Ozark alongside Jason Bateman, a performance which saw her Screen nominated for the Actors Guild Award (pictured in 2019)

Three-time Oscar nominee Laura Linney played Sarah in Love Actually, who prioritised caring for her brother over her secret crush on her colleague Karl in the movie. 

Since playing Sarah, she’s appeared in numerous acclaimed films, including Kinsey and The Savages.

She starred in Sully, the Clint Eastwood movie about a pilot who tried to make an emergency landing on New York’s Hudson River, alongside Tom Hanks. 

In 2017 she joined Netflix hit drama Ozark alongside Jason Bateman, a performance which saw her Screen nominated for the Actors Guild Award.

KAREN (EMMA THOMPSON) 

Emma Thompson plays Karen, who is married to Harry, played by the late Alan Rickman 

Emma Thompson plays Karen, who is married to Harry, played by the late Alan Rickman 

Emma, has received a number of credits in recent years for her performances in Beauty and The Beast (2017), Late Night and Years and Years this year

Emma, has received a number of credits in recent years for her performances in Beauty and The Beast (2017), Late Night and Years and Years this year

Emma Thompson, who plays a wife who discovers her husband has bought a necklace for another woman, is responsible for many of Love Actually’s most memorable scenes. 

The acclaimed British actress, an Oscar and a BAFTA winner, has appeared in everything from Harry Potter to an instalment of Men in Black in the years since the movie’s release. 

She appeared in the new Bridget Jones movie alongside her fellow Love Actually cast-member Colin Firth, and was also part of the cast for Disney’s action version of Beauty and the Beast. 

Emma has received a number of credits in recent years for her performances in Beauty and The Beast (2017), Late Night and Years and Years this year.

JAMIE (COLIN FIRTH) 

Colin, 63, went on to appear in Bridget Jones's Baby, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again and Mary Poppins Returns

Colin, 63, went on to appear in Bridget Jones’s Baby, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again and Mary Poppins Returns

As Jamie, Colin Firth escapes to France after learning his brother has been sleeping with his other half behind his back. 

But the would-be author finds love again with his Portuguese housekeeper in the Christmas classic. 

He’s appeared in acclaimed films including The King’s Speech, Tom Ford’s A Single Man, and the John le Carré adaptation Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. 

Colin went on to appear in Bridget Jones’s Baby, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again and Mary Poppins Returns.

… And the fortunes of other stars 

HARRY (ALAN RICKMAN)

Alan Rickman starred in Love Actually as Harry, an office manager who couldn’t resist the temptations of employee Mia. 

The celebrated actor became known to a new generation of filmgoers as Professor Snape in the Harry Potter film industry. 

In January 2016 the film world was rocked by news of Rickman’s death at the age of 69. It emerged the star had been battling cancer but only shared his diagnosis with his closest family and friends. 

DANIEL (LIAM NEESON)

As widower Daniel, Sam’s stepfather, Liam Neeson made Love Actually audiences laugh and cry. 

While he had long enjoyed success on screen, Neeson reached a new level of fame after he was cast in the hit Taken film series. 

JOHN (MARTIN FREEMAN)

Freeman’s Love Actually storyline as a body double for sex scenes was deemed so raunchy it was cut from some versions of the film. 

While the character of ‘John’ might not have the renown of others he shared the screen with, Freeman has had far greater fortune. 

The actor has enjoyed success in a string of high profile roles in recent years, including The Hobbit, Fargo and Sherlock. 

JOE (GREGOR FISHER)

Long-suffering and gloriously ‘normal’ music manager Joe was the perfect folly to the outrageous Billy Mack. 

Fisher has had landed a handful of film roles in recent years and in TV shows including Missing and OIiver Twist.  

AURELIA (LUCIA MONIZ)

As a Portuguese cleaner, Moniz made viewers believe in true love as she fell for Colin Firth’s character Jamie. 

The multi-talented star had success as a singer before starring in the Richard Curtis film and returned to the music industry after its release, producing albums in 2005 and 2011. 

Moniz reprised her role from Love Actually for Red Nose Day Actually, a short-film sequel that was broadcast on British television in March 2017. 

 

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