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From Starring In ‘The Queens Gambit’ To A Successful Singing Career: What The ‘Love Actually’ Cast Went On To Do

Surprising, actually.

At this point, it may as well be written into law that it’s absolutely, unequivocally not Christmas until Love Actually has been watched from start to finish—joyfully so. 

The 2003 film written and directed by British wordsmith Richard Curtis is undoubtedly one of the greatest holiday movies of all time. It intertwines tales of love and loss between a cast of heart-achingly loveable characters—you’ll laugh hard, you’ll cry harder and you’ll become emotionally invested in each and every love story it tells for the rest of your life. 

We’re not kidding—when Emma Thompson stood in that room with tears rolling down her cheeks after realising she’d been cheated on by her on-screen husband, we felt that deep in our souls. 

When Liam Neeson grieved the death of his wife by breaking down in front of a box of cereal, we wanted to jump into the screen and hug him (Thompson was stronger than us by telling him to harden up). 

And frankly, we don’t think it’s humanly possible to get over Hugh Grant’s Prime Minister’s speech referencing David Beckham’s right foot and Harry Potter. 

Simply put, the film is a legacy in itself—and it remains just as relevant 18 years later. 

Unsurprisingly, the star-studded cast’s careers have flourish in the years that have followed. Thus, as we look towards another Christmas, and naturally another Love Actually re-watch, we decided to take a look at where they all are now. 

Keep scrolling for a snapshot into the current lives of the broken (and mended) hearts who starred in the Christmas film. 

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Hugh Grant

When Hugh Grant called Margaret Thatcher a saucy minx, he could’ve said the exact same thing to his future self. The British actor has continued to solidify his legacy as one of the UK’s most iconic faces in film. 

Immediately after Love Actually, Grant reprised his role as Daniel Cleaver in Bridget Jones: The Edge Of ReasonHe then went on to star in 2007’s Music and Lyrics alongside Drew Barrymore, and in 2009, he joined Jennifer Aniston in Did You Hear About the Morgans?

More recently, he starred as cockney gangster Fletcher in Guy Ritchie’s The Gentleman in 2019, and he’s also set to star in 2023 film, Dungeons & Dragons. 

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Martine McCutcheon

Martine McCutcheon played the PM’s assistant so well, it seems strange to picture her in any other role—but she managed the feat seamlessly.

The British actor, now 45, has popped up in several UK-based films in recent years, including 2013’s The Home Office and 2018’s The Bromley Boys. Interestingly, the actor hasn’t acted since the latter project, but she’s still a regular fixture at celebrity events. She was last spotted in November 2021 when she attended an installation in Notting Hill with her six-year-old son Rafferty.

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Liam Neeson

He played the grieving widow Daniel in Love Actually, and heartbreakingly, Liam Neeson’s real-life wife Natasha Richardson tragically died in a skiing accident in 2009. The actor has gone on to star in several major blockbusters including TakenStar Wars: The Clone Wars and, most recently, 2021 films The Marksman and The Ice Road.

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Keira Knightley 

One of the most famously talked about points of Love Actually is the fact that British actor Keria Knightley was only 18-years-old when she filmed it. Yep, that made her a mere five years older than youngster Thomas Brodie-Sangster, who played a besotted in-love pre-teen (more on him below). With this in mind, it was clear Knightley had a wildly successful career ahead of her. She went on to star in several milestone films of the noughties, including Pride and Prejudice, Atonement and the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy. 

After welcoming two children with her husband, James Righton, the now-35-year-old remains a stalwart on the big-screen, with her new Christmas flm, Silent Night set for release this month. 

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Thomas Brodie-Sangster

We really did think that Thomas Brodie-Sangster would forever be known as Sam, the 10-year-old darling of Love Actually whose childhood crush on classmate Joanna made us well up as he sprinted through the airport to say goodbye to her before she left (in subsequent years, we’ve also come to learn just how dangerous and completely illegal that whole scene would be IRL).

But alas, these days, the now 31-year-old Brodie-Sangster is all grown up with a slew of slighty more, shall we say mature roles under his belt.

He played a chess pro and love interest to Beth Harmon in the sensational Netflix hit, The Queens Gambit, as well as scoring a role in renowned HBO series, Game Of Thrones.

At present, Brodie-Sangster seems to be busying himself with several television projects, with his new small-screen productions Unskinable and Pistol set for release in the coming months. 

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Olivia Olson

Her voice left Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman and, well, a million other watchers absolutely speechless when she performed Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You at the end of Love Actually (fun fact, her voice was actually too good, and producers on the film had to tone down parts of the song in post-production to make the scene more believable).

While her live acting work has been limited in the years since, the now 29-year-old singer has utilised her dulcet tones by doing a bunch of voice work on various animated projects.

She’s best known for voicing Vanessa Doofenshmirtz in Phineas and Ferb, and she’s also dropped several albums, her latest being 2018 K-pop collaboration, Nowhere Land.

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Colin Firth

Colin Firth’s role as the damaged, cheated-on uncle Jamie (we definitely don’t hate uncle Jamie, just saying…) was perfect for the romantic drama/comedy star who nails brief in playing the slightly awkward, albeit charming love interest every. Single. Time. 

Firth, now 61, has remained relevant as ever in Hollywood, starring in major films including The Kings Speech, A Single Man and—how could we forget—Mamma Mia!

His most recent project, television series The Staircase is due for release in 2022—the based-on-a-true-story drama also stars Toni Collette and Sophie Turner. 

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Emma Thompson

Emma Thompson remains just as iconic today as she did nearly two decades ago when she asked on-screen Love Actually husband Alan Rickman whether she should give her daughter’s friend a doll that looks like a dominatrix.

Heartbreakingly, Rickman passed away in 2016 after a battle with cancer, but Thompson continues to make her former co-star and friend proud with her incredible career trajectory. If anything, she’s only gotten more popular with recent films Last Christmas (2019) and Cruella (2021) garnering critical acclaim

Next year, the 62-year-old’s role as Miss Trunchball in live action musical Matilda will no doubt spark some serious joy—she’s essentially the British version of Meryl Steep—a true on-screen chameleon. 

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Bill Nighy 

Bill Nighy, AKA the collective imaginary granddad of anyone and everyone in the world is still kicking some serious goals as a seasoned actor, now aged 71. 

From his tear-jerking role as a doting, albeit aging father in 2013 film About Time to the stringent Minister For Magic in the later Harry Potter films, Nighy’s legacy will continue to live on. He has two major films in the pipeline for 2022 as well—The Beautiful Game and Dragonkeeper.

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January Jones

She was the sweet, American companion of Colin “God Of Sex” Frissell in Love Actually, but January Jones became much more than a supporting actor in later years. 

She scored the role of Betty Draper in Mad Men, which ran for seven successful seasons between 2007 and 2015, and since then, the 43-year-old added two other major TV productions to her resume—Netflix hit The Politician and 2020’s Spinning Out. 

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Kris Marshall

A clear standout as the American-bound Brit abroad, Kris Marshall been a little more low-key on screen (in comparison) since Love Actually was released. The now 48-year-old scored roles in a number of other British television projects, including Murder City and Death in Paradise. His comedic performance in Death At A Funeral also deserves a special mention—but it’d be safe to say Colin Frissell will forever remain his most iconic role. 


Billy Campbell 

Yes, we had to know. The young kid who smugly announced “we’re here!” in Love Actually whilst sitting contently in an impressive Octopus costume didn’t end up pursuing a career in acting after his mini-appearance in the 2003 film, but he appears to be alive and thriving almost two decades on. In 2017, his godmother shared a new picture of the former actor all grown up. In it, he sports a mop of dark hair with his uncanny bright eyes. Apart from this photo update, it’s unclear what Campbell is up to now—but we’ve no doubt he takes the cake for dinner party revelations. 

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