'Love Actually' Stars Hugh Grant, Laura Linney and More Spill On-Set Secrets Ahead of Film's 20th Anniversary

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The cast of Love Actually is reuniting for a look back at the iconic Christmas film, 20 years later.

In a new special presented by Diane Sawyer, Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Bill Nighy, Laura Linney, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Olivia Olson and more, revisit the 2003 film and discuss how it not only became a beloved Christmas tradition but a global sensation.

"It's quite kind of out there, isn't it?" Thompson said of her initial thoughts after watching the film for the first time. "And then Hugh came up behind me as we were walking out and said, 'Correct me if I'm wrong, but is that the most psychotic thing we've ever been in?' I just thought, 'What is he talking about?'"

When asked if he remembers saying that to Thompson, Grant wasn't so sure, but the sentiment still rings true for the 62-year-old actor.

"It is a bit psychotic," Grant quipped. "It's Richard on steroids, the thing with him when he writes about love he means. It is quite rare.

As fans of the film remember, Love Actually follows the lives of eight very different couples dealing with their love lives in various loosely interrelated tales all set during a frantic month before Christmas in London, England.

While the film has been parodied on Saturday Night Live, TV commercials and TikTok, there's a few on-set secrets that die-hard fans of the love story would be surprised to know, like the infamous cue cards. It really is Andrew Lincoln's handwriting on those cards he wrote for Keira Knightley's character, Juliet. And Knightley's infamous newspaper boy hat? She wore that to hide a pimple on her forehead.

As for Grant's big dance scene in the film, he told Sawyer that the now-viral moment almost didn't happen.

"I saw it in the script, and I thought, 'Well, I'll hate doing that.' I didn't fancy doing the dance at all, let alone rehearsing it," Grant shared.

Writer and director Richard Curtis confirmed Grant's hesitation, telling the longtime journalist the Notting Hill star "was grumpy" but knew it was a "contractual obligation."

"I think he was hoping I’d get ill or something and we’d say, 'Oh, well, what a shame, we’ll have to lose that dancing sequence,'" Curtis added.

Pointing out that he was out of rhythm at the beginning of the scene, "especially at the beginning when I wiggle my a**," Grant revealed that it was his idea to have the prime minister’s secretary come into the room he was dancing in to end the moment.

"I will give myself this credit, it was my idea to have that secretary lady catch me...genius," he said. "And to this day, there's many people, and I agree with them, who think it's the most excruciating scene ever committed to celluloid, but then some people like it."

See where the stars of the film are now and catch up with the cast when The Laughter & Secrets of Love Actually: 20 Years Later -- A Diane Sawyer Special airs Nov. 29 at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC.


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