Love Actually, the romantic comedy directed by Ricard Curtis, turned 20 earlier this year. The film is still a Christmastime staple for many — although there are a few controversies surrounding the plot.
For those unfamiliar, Love Actually provides a glimpse into the intricate and convoluted love lives of several couples during the holiday season. One of these characters is Juliet, portrayed by Keira Knightley.
Every year fans are surprised to discover that there was merely a five-year age difference in real life between Keira Knightley and Thomas Brodie-Sangster. Brodie-Sangster is the actor who plays the young character, Sam. During the filming of Love Actually, Keira was only 18 years old, while Thomas was 13.
Adding to the mix, the character Juliet recently wed Peter, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, who was 26 at the time of filming. The age gap between those two amounted to eight years. That’s larger than the one between Keira and young Thomas.
20 years since our lives were changed forever (not exaggerating.) Happy Birthday Love Actually! 🎉 pic.twitter.com/JD9xhJWFOv— NOW (@NOW) November 21, 2023
‘Love Actually’ Director Admits He Might Not Cast the Same 20 Years Later
Director Richard Curtis engaged in a conversation with LADbible, addressing the contentious age difference. The director openly acknowledged that, at the time, the age difference “didn’t seem too peculiar.”
When the observed age gaps were brought to Curtis’s attention, he admitted that the casting decisions might be approached differently today. After all, it’s not 2003 anymore.
Curtis wondered whether he would advise against such casting choices now. He noted that he probably wouldn’t have cast someone as young as Keira Knightley at the time. This acknowledgment hints at a shift in perspectives over the years regarding age-appropriate casting in the film industry.
A film like Love Actually would be hard to make now. Especially the way that it was made in 2003.
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