The stars of Love Actually will reunite for a special 20th anniversary special on US network ABC, it has been announced.
The one-hour special will look at how the film became a beloved Christmas tradition and a global sensation, with exclusive interviews with cast members.
Hugh Grant, Dame Emma Thompson, Bill Nighy, Laura Linney and Thomas Brodie-Sangster will sit down with ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer for the show.
It will also include an appearance from writer and director Richard Curtis, as well as a message from Martine McCutcheon.
ABC said the special would offer new insight into behind-the-scenes secrets and the film’s famous scenes as well as examining how the Covid-19 pandemic “refocused the ways we love and connect”.
In an exclusive clip of the interview, Dame Emma recalled watching the film for the first time.
“Hugh came up behind me as we were walking out and said ‘is that the most psychotic thing we’ve ever been in?’” she said.
Grant, who plays the British Prime Minister in the iconic Christmas film, also reveals he thought he would “hate” the iconic dancing scene in Downing Street.
“But I will give myself the credit of having the secretary catch me,” he says.
In another clip, Curtis tells Sawyer: “I do think that the way to think about life is that every day has the potential just to be gorgeous.”
Sawyer also poses the ever elusive question to cast members: “Love actually is?”, to which Grant answers “dead”.
The special comes after cast members in 2017 reunited for the short sequel, Red Nose Day Actually, which was also made by Curtis and further developed key character storylines.
Several scenes from the short echoed iconic moments from the film such as the cue card scene with Keira Knightley’s and Andrew Lincoln’s characters.
In the mini sequel, Grant, Liam Neeson, Linney, Colin Firth and Rowan Atkinson made appearances.
Curtis, who was also involved in Four Weddings and a Funeral and Bridget Jones’ Diary as a writer, said in the lead-up he would “never have dreamt of writing a sequel to Love Actually”, but added: “I thought it might be fun to do ten minutes to see what everyone is now up to.”
“We’ve been delighted and grateful that so many of the cast are able to take part – and it’ll certainly be a nostalgic moment getting back together and recreating the characters 14 years later,” he said.
“We hope to make something that’ll be fun – very much in the spirit of the original film and of Red Nose Day – and which we hope will help bring lots of viewers and cash to the Red Nose Day shows.”
Love Actually has consistently rated as the top searched-for Christmas film in France, Italy and 17 other countries, totalling 887,000 worldwide searches a month.
The story of the original film, which is an international co-production between the UK, the United States and France begins five weeks before Christmas and is played out in a weekly countdown until the holiday, followed by an epilogue that takes place one month later.
The Laughter & Secrets of Love Actually: 20 Years Later – A Diane Sawyer Special, will air on Wednesday, November 30 at 1am UK time on ABC.
Why did Rowan Atkinson infuriate him in Love Actually? Could he have started his own religion? And was Betty the tortoise any good on stage? Stars from Ruby Wax to Richard Curtis remember an acting colossus
‘From furnishings to sausages, his taste was impeccable’ Emma Thompson
The most remarkable thing about the first days after Alan died was the number of actors, poets, musicians, playwrights and directors who wanted to express their gratitude for all the help he’d given them. I don’t think I know anyone in this business who has championed more aspiring artists, nor unerringly perceived so many great ones before they became great. Quite a number said that, latterly, they had been too shy to thank him personally. They had found it hard to approach him. Of all the contradictions in my blissfully contradictory friend, this is perhaps the greatest: this combination of profoundly nurturing and imperturbably distant.
He was not, of course, distant. He was alarmingly present at all times. The inscrutability was partly a protective shield. If anyone did approach him with anything like gratitude, or even just a question, they would be greeted with a depth of sweetness that no one who didn’t know him could even guess at. And he was not, of course, unflappable. I could flap him like nobody’s business and when I did he was fierce with me and it did me no end of good.
He was generous and challenging. Dangerous and comical. Sexy and androgynous. Virile and peculiar. Temperamental and languid. Fastidious and casual. My list is endless. There was something of the sage about him – and had he had more confidence and been at all corruptible, he could probably have started his own religion. His taste in all things, from sausages to furnishings, appeared to me to be impeccable. The trouble with death is that there is no next. There is only what was and for that I am profoundly and heartbrokenly grateful.
The last thing we did together was change a plug on a standard lamp in his hospital room. The task went the same way as everything we ever did together. I had a go. He told me to try something else. I tried and it didn’t work so he had a go. I got impatient and took it from him and tried again and it still wasn’t right. We both got slightly irritable. Then he patiently took it all apart again and got the right lead into the right hole. I screwed it in. We complained about how fiddly it was. Then we had a cup of tea. It took us at least half an hour. He said afterwards: “Well, it’s a good thing I decided not to be an electrician.”
‘He suggested me for a David Mamet play’ Eddie Izzard
I first met Alan after a benefit show at the London Palladium in 1994. At that time, I knew and loved his work in Die Hard: the seriousness but lightness of touch. I remember chatting to him after and telling him that I really wanted to do dramatic acting, my first love. He said he didn’t think I was crazy, which was nice of him, but we left it at that. Next, I was suddenly told Alan had suggested my name to play opposite Lindsay Duncan in a David Mamet play. It was a wonderful thing for him to do and Lindsay was a fabulous actor to be working with.
Later in 2003, I saw him in New York when I was doing a play. Afterwards, we all went to eat in a restaurant. Alan had started playing Professor Snape from the Harry Potter films. He portrayed him with an intense and brittle spirit. I asked if Snape continued in future stories. “Well,” he said, “the latest book has just come out, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.” Then he quietly added: “And I – I am the Half-Blood Prince!”
He went on to give classic and heartbreaking performances in the Harry Potter films that will live with us for ever.
‘Our tortoise Betty starred in The Taming of the Shrew’ Ruby Wax
My mission in life was to make him laugh and when I did it was better than winning an Oscar. When I hit a comedy nerve, he would fold on to the floor and heave laughing, then he’d make me heave back until we were both on the ground, hysterical.
We had a tortoise called Betty, which was like our adopted child, when we were both performing at Stratford. (Alan played leads, I played seaweed along with Juliet Stevenson.) Alan promised he’d help me get Betty into a show. I had tried to get her into Antony and Cleopatra, telling Peter Brook, the director, in front of Alan, that I’d like to audition Betty for the role of the asp. Alan almost died, because he was playing Antony. I know he was partially upset because Betty would have upstaged him.
In the end, we got Betty on stage during The Taming of the Shrew. Every night, when I’d bring Betty on during a crowd scene, Alan proudly watched from the wings, both of us sick with laughing. He broke my heart by leaving and there isn’t a day when I don’t remember him.
‘Rowan was taking his time while Alan was acting his socks off’ Richard Curtis
I wanted to cast Alan as the lead in Four Weddings and a Funeral – before we got stuck with Hugh Grant – because he’d been so perfect in a film called Close My Eyes, both tender and funny. So it was a great joy to me when Alan agreed to be in Love Actually. My strongest memory was when we were doing the shopping scene where Rowan Atkinson takes too long wrapping Alan’s illicit gift. Rowan was taking his time, doing long, improvisatory takes, even chatting casually to me about ideas – while poor Alan was acting his socks off, in character, angry and impatient, sometimes for 10 straight minutes. It was a great example of true commitment. But also I’m pretty damn sure by the end Alan was actually, quite rightly, extremely angry and extremely impatient.
Another thing about his performance: the most memorable scene is probably Emma Thompson in her bedroom, listening to Joni Mitchell after she’s discovered her husband’s betrayal. I’m convinced that what makes it twice as strong is the subtlety and truth of Alan’s performance with her before that moment. If their scenes hadn’t completely captured a proper, long-term, adult marriage – if Alan hadn’t been so solid, so cool, so not a person who would fall so far – it wouldn’t have all hit so hard. It was an honour to know him and work with him.
‘He turned down perfectly OK jobs because they were just OK’ Harriet Walter
One thing Alan couldn’t do: he couldn’t drive. And that was a blessing because it meant that I could give him a lift every night after The Seagull or The Lucky Chance, the plays we did at the Royal Court. We talked in the car and then he’d ask me into his flat and there I got to know his wife Rima and we’d talk politics and gossip into the early hours over bottles of wine.
In that flat, it struck me that every colour, every piece of furniture, every witty object, had been deliberately chosen and lovingly displayed and prized. Nothing was accidental or superfluous – just as Alan’s jobs and his political causes were very deliberately chosen. Long before he was well known, he’d tell me how he had turned down this or that seemingly perfectly OK job because it was just OK. It was as if he knew that life is short and must be filled only with the things that really matter to you.
Who doesn’t love BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN? A brilliant performer and writer, Bruce has musically chronicled the “runaway American dream” for nearly five decades. From 1972’s Greetings from Asbury Park to his new releaseLetter to You, Bruce has shown why he is known as “The Boss.” In the genre of American Rock ‘n Roll, he clearly is that.
And “The Boss” really hates “The Donald.” Infact, The Boss wants him fired.
”There’s no art in this White House. There’s no literature, no poetry, no music. There are no pets in this White House. No loyal man’s best friend, no Socks the family cat. There are no images of the first family enjoying themselves together in a moment of relaxation: no Obamas on the beach in Hawaii moments, or the Bushes fishing in Kennebunkport, no Reagans on horseback, no Kennedys playing touch football on the Cape. Where’d that country go? Where did all the fun, the joy and the expression of love and happiness go? We used to have a president who calmed and soothed a nation, instead of dividing it. We are now rudderless and joyless. We have lost the cultural aspects of society that have always made America great. We have lost our mojo, our fun, our happiness, our cheering on of others— the shared experience of humanity that makes it all worth it. We need to reclaim that country once again.” -Bruce Springsteen (10/30/2020, SiriusXM)
Not only does Bruce endorse Joe Biden, but Biden once somewhat-jokingly endorsed Bruce! “The middle class would have the best chance with Bruce Springsteen as president,” Biden said in a 2016 interview. “He understands issues facing working Americans.”
Wow! That’s probably just how Trump feels about Ted Nugent.
TED NUGENT has none of Springsteen’s compassion, honesty, or artistic talent. As well as performing music, Nugent serves on the Board of Directors of the NRA. “I own many guns,” he says proudly. “I carry many guns. I shoot many guns. I fondle many guns. I caress many guns. I worship many guns.”
Nugent once had some disgusting words for the father of a gun violence victim at one of his rock concerts, calling the grieving dad a “piece of s–t” and a “dumb f–k.”
An unapologetic racist, Nugent once called President Obama a “subhuman mongrel.”
Like Donald Trump, Nugent was a draft dodger. In interviews, he has boasted about “defecating and urinating in his pants” at the draft board office to avoid service to his country. The con-job was a success, though probably a bit messier than faking bone spurs.
One of Nugent’s songs is entitled “Jailbait.” Here’s the lyrics:
“Well, I don’t care if you’re just 13 You look too good to be true I just know that you’re probably clean… Jailbait you look fine, fine, fine… It’s quite alright, I asked your mama Wait a minute, officer Don’t put those handcuffs on me Put them on her, and I’ll share her with you.”
Nugent has played his music at many official Republican events and Trump rallies, and was even invited to the White House. Imagine that.
Oh yes – as well as being a degenerate, his records also really suck.
** WRESTLING **
I must admit, I stopped watching pro wresting since my hero, the legendary George “The Animal” Steele retired in 1990, but I’ve long admired Dwayne Johnson, aka “The Rock.” He was a WWF champion and wisely moved on from the steroid-rotten WWE to become a very successful TV-Film actor. “The Rock” recently said, “I’ve voted for both parties in the past. In this critical presidential election, I’m endorsing Joe Biden.” I bet George “the Animal” Steele chewed-up a padded turnbuckle in heaven to celebrate “The Rock’s” endorsement. Bravo!
In 2018, WWE chairman VINCE MCMAHON had a net worth reaching nearly $4 billion. Thank the Lord for illegal steroids, eh Vince? Trump is a longtime friend of McMahon, and once famously shaved McMahon’s head in stunt at WrestleMania event. Think anyone every paid a buck to watch Dwight Eisenhower shave somebody else’s head – or even his own? Nah.
In 2016, Trump nominated McMahon’s wife Linda to head his Small Business Admin. Linda has since stepped down from that post to work full-time on Trump’s reelection.
In 1992 WWE referee Rita Chatterton, accused husband Vince McMahon of rape.
Dozens of pro wrestlers have died, many from suicide, due to steroid abuse. Steroids is what made McMahon’s WWE a financial juggernaut.
Vince McMahon is a shameless parasite.
** COVID DOCTORS **
The distinguished Holy Cross graduate DR. ANTHONY FAUCI is the most trusted medical professional in America, and with good reason.
When asked recently who the public can trust during the pandemic, Fauci said Americans “can trust respected medical authorities who have a track record of giving information and policy and recommendations based on scientific evidence and good data.” Seems easy enough, right? Yet that same day as Fauci’s statement on trust, Twitter removed a tweet from Trump’s Covid task force that “sought to undermine the importance of face masks because it was in violation of the platform’s Covid-19 Misleading Information Policy.” Phew!
Meanwhile, Trump’s other favorite Covid doctor, Dr. STELLA GRACE IMMANUEL promoted hydroxychloroquine as a Covid miracle cure. (IMPORTANT NOTE: Ingesting hydroxychloroquine is extremely dangerous. DO NOT DO THIS)
Dr. Immanuel also alleges space alien DNA is currently used in medical treatments, and that scientists are cooking up a vaccine to prevent people from being religious. Hell, I don’t need a vaccine to skip church on Sunday, doc!
Dr. Immanuel was recently sued for medical malpractice over the death of one of her patients. “You don’t need masks.” She claimed. “There is a cure.”
Her dead patient no longer needs a mask, that’s for certain.
** CHEERS **
I still love watching reruns of “Cheers” and that show’s star TED DANSON continues to have a cracking career where “everybody knows his name.”(Check out Danson in both “The Good Place” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”) The same cannot be said for former co-star KIRSTIE ALLEY, who made a short tv comeback in 2005’s “Fat Actress.” Alley endorsed President Trump for a second term, because “he’s not a politician.” An avowed Scientologist, Kirstie illustrates just how easy it is to go from one cult to another. On “Cheers”, I always preferred Shelly Long’s Diane” to Alley’s “Rebecca”. Who wouldn’t? Ted Danson of course, is a Biden guy through-and-through.
** RAP **
I know next to nothing about Rap Music, however I respect the fact it holds an important place in American culture. The one rapper I’ve actually heard an entire song from (do we call them ‘songs’?) is EMINEM. He’s probably considered very old hat by now – but he was a VERY big deal in the 1990s. Eminem continuously trolls Trump for his racism, cruelty, stupidity, and especially for the lack of gun control reform. Eminem even says that Trump supporters cannot be his fans. So there!
Eminem’s lyrics are often vulgar and misoginistic, but hell – he’s a rapper, whaddayawant?
A more current rapper is LIL PUMP. He not only endorses Donald Trump, but really gives it to Joe Biden in one of his dumb-and-ugly video messages: “All I gotta say is Trump 2020 (expeletive). (Expletive) I look like paying 33 in taxes for Biden. (Expletive) sleepy Joe.” Not exactly Cole Porter, but message received Lil Pump!
Lil Pump is from Miami. I wonder if he knows Little Marco?
** COMEDY **
Comedy Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus just might be America’s favorite comedienne. The “Veep” and “Seinfeld” star hosted this year’s DNC and destroyed the Trump Crime Family with flawless comedic deliveries: “Just remember: Joe Biden goes to church so regularly that he does not even need tear gas and a bunch of federalized troops to help him get there.” I so love Julia.
Then there’s Trump supporter ROSEANNE BARR. ABC promptly canceled her recent “Roseanne” show-reboot after she attacked former White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, a woman of color, by comparing her to an ape. Remember when Roseanne infamously screeched the national anthem before a Padres baseball game? It was “a national disgrace,” said opera star Robert Merrill, who had sung the anthem in New York’s Yankee Stadium for 18 years. “It was to me like burning of the flag.” Some war veterans at the stadium that day were said to be actually crying. When Roseanne finished the anthem, she rose her middle finger to the booing crowd.
Bill Russell was my very first hero and his biography was the first book I ever read. I’m pretty sure he’s the only basketball player to win an NCAA championship, and Olympic Gold Medal, AND an NBA championship (11 of these for gawdsake!). Russell is dignified, always intelligent, very funny and deeply political still at age 86. The great Bill Russell calls Trump essentially “a coward.” He’s endorsing Biden.
Then of course there is BOBBY KNIGHT, former coach for the Indiana Hoosiers. In 2016, Knight said that he believed Trump would become “one of the four great presidents of the United States.” An impeccable judge of talent (note sarcasm), Knight was the coach that actually allowed Larry Bird to transfer out of his Indiana basketball program as a freshman. Knight was also the coach who cut Charles Barkley from the ’84 Olympic squad. Like Trump, Knight is essentially loudmouth jerk and narcissistic bully. He was fired from Indiana University in 2000 for harassing staff and students. I’ve aways hated him. He’s pathetic,
** BASEBALL **
Boy, do Red Sox fans miss PEDRO MARTINEZ these days! Pedro was not only the greatest pitcher in Red Sox history – he was his best during steroid-fueled era! Pitching aside, Pedro was soooo refreshing and hilarious in the clubhouse and front of the camera. Remember when Pedro had his teammates duck tape him head-to-toe in the dugout during a game for the NESN TV cameras? Today’s MLB stars are dreadfully tedious – without question the worst interviews of any of the major sports. Baseball needs more Pedros.
During Trump’s years in office, Pedro has donated and raised millions for victims of Hurricanes Maria and Irma in Puerto Rico. “To me, it’s a blessing to be able to give back a little bit. I think it’s rewarding because of the opportunity I got through baseball, I’m able to give back a little bit,” said Martinez. Visiting the island after the catastrophe, Pedro never once thought to throw paper towels at the traumatized people. I wonder why?
“Giving back a little bit” is something blowhard CURT SCHILLING was forced to do to Rhode Island taxpayers after the former Red Sox pitcher defaulted on loans and (like Trump) slithered into bankruptcy court in the infamous 38 Studios scandal.
The whole sleazy financial affair was so very … well, Trump-like! It is no wonder Schilling endorses the current president as Schilling ran 38 Studios much like the president did with his Trump University and Trump Airlines. Grifters unite!
ESPN fired Schilling from his analyst job in 2016, after he shared a hateful post about transgender people on Facebook.
Curt Schilling collects Nazi war memorabilia. Really – just ask the hypocrite blowhard and he will talk about it.
[Get the facts about Curt Schilling and the 38 Studio scandal HERE ]
** RELIGION **
The beautiful and courageous Catholic POPE FRANCIS recently attacked unfettered capitalism as “a new tyranny.” His recent writings are seen as a pointed rebuke to Donald Trump in a number of areas, including immigration, systemized racism, and climate change denial. The Pope even criticized Covid response: “I saw the cruelty and inequity of our society exposed more vividly than ever before.”
And how about this one: “A person who thinks only of building walls and not building bridges is not Christian.” Who is he talking about here – Hunter Biden or Hillary?
Now, Francis’ interpretation of Jesus Christ’s message is NOT shared by REV. JERRY FALWELL JR. This fundamentalist Christian chawmouth and loyal Trumpist was recently fired from his billion dollar cashew Liberty University. Seems Falwell was having a sexual affair involving him, his wife and a pool boy. Mainly, Falwell liked to watch (and not the TV, Chauncy Gardner fans).
Falwell is mainly just another wealthy con man. If he ever had to really work for an honest day’s pay – he’d be totally lost and completely broke. Just like DonaldTrump.
Ignore the sexism if you can, and revel in a world of palatial flats where everyone adores the prime minister, says Guardian columnist Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett
By: Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett
What is it about Love Actually? Richard Curtis’s ensemble Yuletide schmaltz-fest came out 16 years ago, and yet whether you adore it or despise it – for this has never been a film to provoke milquetoast emotions – you can’t deny that it remains a cultural touchstone.
The Christmas-centric plot facilitates the film’s annual exhumation by the sort of earmuff-sporting crowd who get excited about the switch to red Styrofoam cups in high street coffee chains, duly followed by its summary dissection by a bunch of misanthropic pseudo-nihilist killjoys whose concept of festive filmic fun is limited to watching the snowy bits in Andrei Rublev. No one comes out of this grudge match well. As I read on a desk once, the darkest parts of hell are reserved for those who, in times of moral conflict, maintain their neutrality (it was attributed to Friedrich Nietzsche, but it seems it’s actually Dan Brown).
Surely, you are thinking, it’s just a Christmas movie? You are wrong. It isn’t just a Christmas movie. It is the Christmas movie that devours all other Christmas movies. Continue reading →