8 things you didn't know about 'Love Actually' that'll make you adore it even more

Must See 31/03/2022

It's arguably a Christmas movie, but in our humble opinion, 'Love Actually' is a perfect romantic comedy for any time of the year. 

With its star-studded cast, awkward English hilarity and of course, the Hugh Grant dance scene, there's a lot to love about the iconic flick - and there's also a lot you might not know about it. 

The fact that the 2003 movie made a whopping US$246 million worldwide on a budget of only $40–45 million shows just how much of a hit it was, but nearly 20 years on from its release - yes, that long ago! - it hasn't lost its charm or its fan base. 

There are no less than 10 interlinking storylines in 'Love Actually', and some hardcore fans have studied them tirelessly, producing diagrams like this to show the dynamics at play: 

We're not going to attempt to get quite that detailed today, but here are a few tidbits that might surprise you about 'Love Actually'.  

1. Keira Knightly, who was still a teenager when she starred in the film, wore her iconic big blue cap to cover up a giant zit on her forehead.

"This is the problem with being 17 and being in films!" she later said of the badly-timed blemish. 

Keira Knightly wore a big hat to cover a zit during this Love Actually scene.

"It was humongous, so there was no choice but to find a hat to cover it - because there was no lighting or makeup that was going to cover it." 

2. The word "actually" is spoken no less than 22 times throughout the movie, by various different characters. How very British. 

3. Claudia Schiffer's one-minute cameo reportedly earned her US$$300,000.

Her name becomes a running joke when Liam Neeson's character Daniel says that his late wife jokingly suggested he bring the German supermodel as his date to her funeral.

Claudia Schiffer made a brief cameo in Love Actually

Claudia then makes a brief appearance at the end of the movie, where she and Daniel get a little bit flirty.  

4. The lake that Colin Firth and Lúcia Moniz's characters Jamie and Aurelia fall into together was actually only around 30 centimetres deep, forcing the actors to kneel down to pretend to be in deep water. 

To make matters worse, it was filled with mosquitoes, and Colin Firth got bitten so badly his elbow reportedly swelled up to the size of an avocado! 

5. Those signs that Mark (played by Andrew Lincoln) holds up for Keira Knightly's character read 'To me, you are perfect' among other loved-up lines, but they were actually handwritten by the actor himself. 

"It is my handwriting," he told Entertainment Weekly in 2013. 

"It's funny, because the art department did it, and then I said, 'Well, can I do it?' because I like to think that my handwriting is really good." 

6. The heart-warming footage of friends, family and lovers greeting each other at Heathrow airport while Hugh Grant narrates the start of the movie is all real. 

Writer and director Richard Curtis assigned a crew to shoot there for a week, where they asked all the people they filmed for their permission to use the clips in 'Love Actually'. 

7. Despite the fact she played a married woman and he played a school-age child, there was only a five year age gap between Keira Knightly, who was 18 at the time and 13-year-old Thomas Brodie-Sangster. 

8. Alan Rickman's character Harry really did cheat on his wife Karen, played by Emma Thompson with his secretary, Mia. 

Scriptwriter Emma Freud, who happens to be married to director Richard Curtis, did away with any doubt about the affair in the film when she responded to a fan's tweet in 2015. 

"[He] DEFINITELY had an affair," she wrote. "I begged Richard [Curtis] just to make it a flirtation, but no. The whole way."