Love Actually is one of the greatest (if not the greatest) Christmas movies of all time. In fact, it has become an important tradition to watch it at least once every year as we enter the festive season. And while, like us, you’ve probably seen the star-studded film a million times, how much do you really know about it?
You may be able to recite the entire script, but there are still a few secrets you don’t know about Love Actually. Why did Keira Knightly wear that famous hat? How exactly did Hugh Grant feel about his iconic dance scene? And just how much of Emma Thompson’s role was improvised? Luckily, we’ve got the answers to all of the above.
Here are five things you didn’t know about Love Actually.
1. Keira Knightly wore that baker boy hat because she had a massive spot on her forehead
Fans of Love Actually will remember the black baker boy hat Keira Knightly’s character wore in the film – especially as there have been a lot of opinions about it over the years. Well, it turns out the hat wasn’t actually apart of the script. In a recent interview with BBC Radio One, Knightly revealed that she had a ‘humongous’ spot on her forehead on the day of filming – hence the choice of headgear.
Discussing her fashion regrets, the 33-year-old actress said: ‘Do you know why the hat was there? I had a massive spot in the middle of my forehead.’
Just 17-years-old at the time of filming, she explained that even the make-up artist couldn’t cover it up, so there was ‘no choice but to find a hat.’
2. Hugh Grant really didn’t want to do his iconic dance scene
Anyone who has watched Love Actually will agree that Hugh Grant dancing to the Pointer Sisters’ ‘Jump’ is the highlight of the entire film. But while the scene has gone down in history, it was revealed that Grant was very reluctant to do it in the first place.
According to director Richard Curtis, the actor felt the scene clashed with his Prime Ministerial role. ‘He was hugely grumpy about it. He was so wanting his bit not to be fake; he wanted to feel as though he could be prime minister. Whenever I said, “Do it a bit sweeter,” or “Do it a bit more charming,” he thought he was being tricked,’ Curtis said in an interview with Vogue.
‘He kept on putting it off, and he didn’t like the song—it was originally a Jackson 5 song, but we couldn’t get it—so he was hugely unhappy about it. We didn’t shoot it until the final day and it went so well that when we edited it, it had gone too well, and he was singing along with the words.’
3. Emma Thompson wore a ‘fat suit’ in the film
Apparently the actress, who recently received her damehood, was thinner than director Richard Curtis had imagined her character in the film to be so he made her wear a fat suit to make her appear bigger. ‘I wore a fat suit for Love Actually,’ she told the Telegraph in 2005.
4. This actor refused to be paid for a specific scene
Actor Kris Mashall, who played Colin Krissell in Love Actually, loved filming his scenes with the three American girls so much that he returned his paycheck for that day, according to BuzzFeed. He supposedly said that he had such a good time that he was happy for it to be for free.
5. This Emma Thompson scene was completely improvised
Remember the scene where Emma Thompson weeps to Joni Mitchell’s ‘Both Sides Now’ after finding out about her husband’s affair? That was actually improvised. ‘I just wrote that she goes upstairs, puts on the record, and lets the emotion show. Everything in that scene is just Emma,” Richard Curtis said in an interview.
Speaking to the Telegraph about the scene in 2005, Thompson explained that she could relate to her character, saying: ‘I knew just how to play that part [of a wife who has stumbled across evidence of what might be her husband’s infidelity], I’ve had so much bloody practice at crying in a bedroom and then having to go out and be cheerful, gathering up the pieces of my heart and putting them in a drawer.’