It Turns Out, A Familiar Face From ‘Love Actually’ Was Originally Meant To Play Iris In ‘The Holiday’

The Christmas movie crossover we've always wanted.

When Christmas comes around—and Mariah Carey’s December anthem begins to fill your ears—certain routines and rituals are necessary to commemorate the festive season.

The best ritual? A marathon binge-watch of all our favourite Christmas films.

For some, an annual giggle with Elf or something more cheesy à la A Castle For Christmas is all that’s needed. But for most, the silly season isn’t complete without a yearly sit-down with classic Christmas films, Love Actually and The Holiday.

While both films are equally loved by all, neither have much in common with each other outside the festive cheer they inspire—until now.

It turns out that someone other than Kate Winslet was nearly cast to play The Holiday‘s Iris, and that someone was none other than Love Actually‘s Martine McCutcheon.

But who was meant to take the role? Well, it was Martine McCutcheon.

The Holiday and Love Actually

While, yes, Winslet was the casting director’s first choice for the role of Iris—a British society columnist who swapped homes with Cameron Diaz in Los Angeles—the British actress’ filming conflicts nearly meant McCutcheon signed on for the role instead.

In an interview with Hello!, McCutcheon—who played Hugh Grant’s love interest, Natalie, in Love Actually—revealed that she was actually on hold to play Iris.

“Not many people know this, but I was actually on hold to do The Holiday because Kate Winslet was tied up with a film and she didn’t know if she could do The Holiday in time,” she told the publication.

She continued: “And the studio let her go so she could do. But Michelle Guish, who was the casting director, said to me a couple of days before filming was due to star, ‘Martine, pack your bags, get ready. You’re probably going to be starring opposite Jack Black in The Holiday‘.”

“But Kate did it. She did an amazing job and I am a huge fan of her.”

While we could never imagine anyone other than Winslet as the sweet and adorable Iris, there’s no doubt that McCutcheon would have been an amazing replacement. 

Feeling festive? Check out the best (and most cheesy) Christmas rom-coms to watch on Netflix here.

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