“Love Actually” is 20: What happened to the stars of the Christmas film?

“Love Actually” is 20: What happened to the stars of the Christmas film?
“Christmas is all around me”: The aging rock star Billy Mack (Bill Nighy) scores a Christmas hit in the film.
Image: (Universal)

The romantic comedy “Actually… Love” (originally: “Love Actually”) was released in cinemas 20 years ago and is a constant companion during Advent for many people.

The plot of the cult film begins five weeks before Christmas and interweaves the stories of several people in Great Britain. Hugh Grant, as the British Prime Minister, falls in love with a female employee (“Who do you have to fuck to get a cup of tea and a chocolate chip cookie?”). Bill Nighy sings “Christmas is all around me” with a silver chain. And Rowan Atkinson (“Mr. Bean”) takes a long time to wrap a gift. Very long.

  • What happened to the stars of the film? What do the main actors look like today? We show it in our picture gallery:

“Comedy with a quick expiration date”

When “Love Actually” came to the cinema, opinions varied. A critic from The Guardian called the film a nicely packaged feel-good comedy. With a few exceptions, many of the stories are rubbish. The New York Times criticized the film for being an indigestible Christmas pudding and resembling a record label greatest hits compilation.

And what did the OÖN write back then? “A film like an overflowing, colorful plate of biscuits: the taste palette ranges from extremely sweet to bittersweet. Fine acting confections from Emma Thompson to Liam Neeson, from Laura Linney to Hugh Grant shine out of the gold paper,” said the OÖNachrichten film review in November 2003 . And further: “After enjoying it, you get the feeling of your stomach knotting up without really having eaten anything decent. A comedy with a quick expiration date, only bearable before Christmas.” Nobody could have expected the current cult status of “Actually… Love” 20 years ago…

  • Ranking: These are the 10 most beautiful Christmas films
  • Quiz: Can you answer our questions about the most famous films? Click here for the quiz!

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