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“Love Actually” hit theaters just in time for 2003’s holiday season, and audiences deemed it an instant Christmas classic. Though the movie has a problematic treatment of women, “Love Actually” remains a holiday staple for many.
Keep reading for a look at how the star-studded cast looked then, what they look like now, and what they’ve been up to in between.
We all remember Liam Neeson as the heartbreaking character of Daniel — a man whose wife recently died after battling an illness.
Neeson went on to portray a man with a very special set of skills in “Taken” (and in its two sequels), as well as dozens of other notable roles.
In “Love Actually,” Neeson’s character had a young stepson named Sam, played by Thomas Brodie-Sangster.
Brodie-Sangster went on to voice Ferb Fletcher in Disney’s “Phineas and Ferb,” but most will recognize him as Jojen Reed from “Game of Thrones” during seasons three and four.
Sam’s school crush in the movie, an American girl named Joanna, sang an unforgettable rendition of “All I Want For Christmas Is You.”
Olivia Olson went on to do voice acting for “Phineas and Ferb,” as well as Cartoon Network’s “Adventure Time.”
The only other American character was Sarah, who worked at a design firm and harbors a not-so-secret obsession with her coworker Karl.
Laura Linney starred in horror movie “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” in 2005, and now you can watch her in the Netflix drama series “Ozark.”
Sarah’s memorable love interest in the movie was Karl, played by Rodrigo Santoro.
Santoro drastically switched up his look to play the god-king Xerxes in both “300” movies, but was more recognizable as Hector Escaton on the 2016 premiere season of HBO’s “Westworld.”
Sarah and Karl’s boss was Harry, a wry man who had an emotional affair with his secretary. He was played by the late Alan Rickman.
Rickman died in early 2016 after battling cancer. His most memorable roles in the years after “Love Actually” were Severus Snape in the “Harry Potter” movie franchise and Judge Turpin in “Sweeney Todd.”
Emma Thompson was cast as the charming wife whom Harry was cheating on — Karen.
Thompson also played a Hogwarts schoolteacher in the “Harry Potter” movies, Sybill Trelawney, and voiced Mrs. Potts in the 2017 “Beauty and the Beast” live-action remake.
The ex-drug addict rock star character Billy Mack helped put some raunchiness into “Love Actually.”
Bill Nighy is yet another “Harry Potter” alumni — he played Minister of Magic Rufus Scrimgeour.
Another small character who ramped up the R-rating factor was John — a nude body double working on a movie set.
Martin Freeman had far less nudity involved in his roles as Bilbo Baggins for “The Hobbit” franchise and Dr. John Watson in “Sherlock.”
Hugh Grant was the newly elected Prime Minister who fell in love with one of his staff members just days into the gig.
Though Grant hasn’t had a US hit like “Love Actually” since, he was memorable (along with his co-star Drew Barrymore) in 2007’s “Music and Lyrics.”
Grant’s political nemesis in “Love Actually was the President of the United States, played by Billy Bob Thornton.
Thornton went on to star in a different kind of holiday movie, “Bad Santa” — which had a sequel in 2016.
One of the smaller roles in “Love Actually” was the sexy Wisconsin sisters Colin met in a bar. The blonde, Jeannie, was actress January Jones.
Jones’ big breakout role came with AMC’s “Mad Men,” where she played opposite Jon Hamm as his wife Betty Francis.
Another minor character was Peter, whose wedding is part of the movie’s love-filled opening sequence.
Chiwetel Ejiofor may have had a small part in “Love Actually,” but his career has exploded since then. Films like “12 Years A Slave,” “The Martian,” and “Doctor Strange” have made him a US household name.
Peter’s new wife was Juliet — the unwitting object of her new husband’s best friend’s affections (confusing, we know).
That was Keira Knightley, who has made a name for herself in period pieces such as “Pride and Prejudice,” “Atonement,” and the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise.
Andrew Lincoln played Mark — the third wheel in Peter and Juliet’s relationship and an art gallery owner/amateur filmmaker.
Lincoln went on to star in one of the biggest TV shows of our time: “The Walking Dead.” He’s recognizable to millions now as the lead character, Rick Grimes.
One of the funnier moments in “Love Actually” came from a short scene with an overly enthusiastic jewelry salesman played by Rowan Atkinson.
Atkinson has continued to star on TV as Mr. Bean and reprised his role as a rogue agent in a 2007 sequel to “Johnny English.”
Colin Firth was another household name who co-starred in “Love Actually.” He was the sad sap Jaime who started off the movie being cheated on, and ended it with a surprising proposal to a new woman.
In the years since, Firth has been cast in acclaimed roles for movies like “A Single Man,” and Oscar-winning drama “The King’s Speech.”
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