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What Happened To The Cast Of Love Actually?

If you're a fan of British accents, interesting knitwear, and love stories as sweet as peppermint hot chocolate, all set during Christmas, there is no way you've made it this far without seeing "Love Actually."

Released in 2003, the movie gave fans of the season more joy than they could handle with multiple Christmas-related love stories. The ensemble cast included British stars such as Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, and Alan Rickman, as well as a handful of relative newcomers who would later become household names. 

These included Martin Freeman, who would later star in "The Hobbit," Keira Knightley, who had just appeared in "Pirates of the Caribbean," and Andrew Lincoln, who would be made famous by "The Walking Dead." Plus, shoutout to the American contingent bringing that much-needed Hollywood glamour, with January Jones and supermodel Denise Richards also appearing. Not to mention Laura Linney, who had already scooped an Oscar nomination and starred in "Tales of the CIty."

You probably already know what some of these famous "Love Actually" cast members have been doing since the movie came out. However, the very long cast list included actors you may have lost track of, depending on which country you're in, and characters played by now-famous actors you completely forgot were even in the movie, such as Chiwetel Ejiofor. Here's what happened to the cast of "Love Actually," including Mia the flirt, Natalie the tea lady, and Colin, god of sex.

Bill Nighy's film career took off after Love Actually

Before "Love Actually" introduced him to the world as mischievous rock star Billy Mack, Bill Nighy worked consistently in British TV, theater, and radio. Playing such a distinct character could have seen Nighy filed away in the Billy Mack mold forever. Instead, he used his newfound fame around the Christmas-celebrating world to play a wide range of roles in comedy, drama, sci-fi, and fantasy.

The month before "Love Actually" was released, Nighy had played vampire elder Viktor in the first of the "Underworld" movies, and he reprised the role two more times. Nighy also played vengeful sea lord Davy Jones in several "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies, and a planet builder in "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," and appeared in all three of the Cornetto Trilogy movies. In addition to gentle comedies like "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," he's done serious drama, including "Notes on a Scandal" and "The Constant Gardener."

Nighy has also maintained an impressive stage career, earning a Tony nomination in 2015 for comedy "Skylight." Two years after that, he was awarded the BBC's Special Award for Services to Radio Drama. He said of his radio work, "I am as proud of my involvement there as of anything in my professional life."

Martine McCutcheon appeared on the British version of the Masked Singer

Martine McCutcheon was already famous in Britain before she played the Prime Minister's (Hugh Grant) tea lady and love interest Natalie in "Love Actually." For three years, McCutcheon had played fan-favorite Tiffany Mitchell in the popular soap "EastEnders." She left that role to pursue a successful pop career, which in turn led to an Olivier Award-winning run as Eliza Doolittle in the West End version of "My Fair Lady." 

After "Love Actually," McCutcheon moved to LA in the hopes of pursuing a Hollywood career. However, she couldn't quite get a foot in the door, and she returned to the UK, where she began suffering serious health problems. She was diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis (also known as chronic fatigue syndrome), depression, and Lyme disease. She told The Guardian that she pushed through to write a novel, "The Mistress," in 2009. Unfortunately, her illnesses made it hard for her to work, and she was forced to declare bankruptcy in 2013, via iNews.

After hitting rock bottom, McCutcheon has been making a comeback recently. In 2017, she released a new album, "Lost And Found," and in January 2021 she was revealed as a participant on Britain's version of "The Masked Singer."

Heike Makatsch is on a German crime drama

Heike Makatsch had already appeared in "Resident Evil" when she had a brief but memorable role in "Love Actually." She was also regularly seen at red carpet events with her romantic partner of seven years, Daniel Craig. However, Makatsch is still best known to English-speaking audiences as Mia, "Love Actually's" homewrecking, gold-necklace-usurping secretary, who flirts her way between Harry (Alan Rickman) and Karen (Emma Thompson).

Although some rom-com fans still hold a grudge against her character, Makatsch has moved on. She appeared in the 2013 adaptation of the Holocaust drama "The Book Thief" and has been working consistently in her native Germany. One of her most famous roles is police commissioner Ellen Berlinger in the German crime series "Tatort," whose title translates to "crime scene" in English. The prestigious show has been airing around 30 feature-length episodes a year since 1970.

Makatsch appeared in her first episode in 2016, followed by another in 2018. She reprised the role a third time in 2021. Also, for those who are interested, forget your image of Makatsch as a dark-haired seductress, as she's since gone back to her natural blonde.

Joanna Page starred in a beloved British sitcom

Welsh actress Joanna Page had one of the cheekiest roles in "Love Actually." She played Judy (or Just Judy, as she's credited), the naked stand-in who connects with Martin Freeman's John while they work as body doubles in an explicit love scene for two movie stars. The couple meets five weeks before Christmas, and they're engaged by January.

Before "Love Actually," Page's biggest role was in a thriller inspired by Jack the Ripper, "From Hell," starring Johnny Depp. After "Love Actually," she struggled to find work, despite the movie's success. By 2006 she was working in a shoe store and had just lost out on the chance to star in "Dirty Dancing" on the West End, as she explained during an interview with The Sun.

However, Page soon landed her most famous role as Stacey in "Gavin & Stacey," a sitcom co-created by James Corden, about an English man and Welsh woman who fall in love across cultural boundaries. The show aired for three seasons and is considered a heart-warming classic. A Christmas special that aired in 2019, nine years after the series finale, garnered 11.6 million viewers, making it the UK's most-watched scripted show of that year, according to The Guardian

Since "Gavin & Stacey" finished, Page has switched her focus to her three young children. Before the pandemic, Page had a few TV projects lined up, but she told The Mirror that she now wants to shift to presenting, which can give her a more family-friendly schedule.

Kris Marshall escaped typecasting to play a detective

Kris Marshall played would-be god of sex Colin in "Love Actually," the gawky Brit who discovers that he's irresistible to American women when he travels to Wisconsin. By the time "Love Actually" came out, Marshall was already one of British TV's most recognizable stars, thanks to his role as idiotic goofball Nick in the sitcom "My Family." Playing Colin was a continuation of appearing as the lovable loser for Marshall. However, after "Love Actually," the actor struggled with typecasting.

He took an interesting approach to transitioning to more mature roles. Between 2005 and 2011, Marshall starred in a series of TV commercials for British communications company BT, which charted Marshall's character Adam's relationship with his girlfriend Jane (Esther Hall) and her children. Marshall later told The Guardian that the ads paid well but made it hard to get auditions. For comparison, try picturing Jake from State Farm leading a movie.

Marshall worked fairly consistently in theater, and finally, in 2014, he landed a part that supplanted his previous roles in the minds of British audiences. He played Detective Inspector Humphrey Goodman for three seasons of the long-running crime drama series "Death in Paradise." Although the show has elements of dark comedy, it allowed Marshall to leave his sitcom roots behind. Marshall departed the show in 2017 to spend more time with his family but returned to TV in 2019 for the Jane Austen adaptation "Sanditon."

Lúcia Moniz is the Madonna of Portugal

The English-speaking world knows Lúcia Moniz as Aurelia, recipient of a jumbled but urgent marriage proposal from Colin Firth's Jamie in "Love Actually." However, in her native Portugal, she's a musician known only by her first name, and she's won the Portuguese equivalent of the Oscars.

Moniz's music career had already made her famous in Portugal by the time she appeared in "Love Actually." She represented Portugal at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1996, the same competition portrayed in "Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga" starring Will Ferrell. After appearing in "Love Actually," Moniz did musical theater and appeared in several TV series, including HBO Canada comedy "Living in Your Car" and a Portuguese production of "A Streetcar Named Desire," as she recounted during an interview with Fade to Her.

Moniz's biggest movie role to date came in 2020's "Listen," in which she plays a Portuguese woman living in London who fights to get her children back after they are taken away by British social services. Moniz won numerous awards for the film, including best performance at the Raindance Film Festival, best actress at the Portuguese Film Academy Sophia Awards, and best actress at the Portuguese Golden Globes. In 2021, Moniz told an interviewer for Portuguese Soul that making "Love Actually" "was incredible" and that she keeps in touch with Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, and Bill Nighy.

Rodrigo Santoro plays a villain in Westworld

One of the most heart-wrenching "Love Actually" plotlines involves the almost-romance between nonprofit worker and devoted sister Sarah (Laura Linney) and the nonprofit's enigmatic chief designer Karl (Rodrigo Santoro). The pair leave the office Christmas party together and go back to Sarah's, but they are uninterrupted when she gets one of her many phone calls from her brother (Michael Fitzgerald), who stays in an assisted living facility. At the end of the movie, Karl and Sarah silently accept that it's not going to work out.

Santoro and Linney have both spoken warmly of their scenes together, with Linney describing Santoro as her "best kiss ever" and Santoro responding, "Same here, Laura." He's also said he thinks the characters ended up together, via BuzzFeed. Although Karl may be his most beloved role, Santoro has been busy since "Love Actually." In 2006, he was almost unrecognizable as villainous Persian king Xerxes in "300," a role he reprised for the sequel "300: Rise of an Empire" eight years later. In between, he voiced ornithologist Tulio in the animated movie "Rio" and played Jennifer Lopez's husband in the comedy "What to Expect When You're Expecting."

Most recently, Santoro has become best known as the bandit Hector Escaton in the dystopian robot series "Westworld." Whether he'll be in "Westworld" Season 4 is unclear, but in the meantime, he played another deeply unlikeable character — a human trafficker — in the 2021 Brazilian drama "7 Prisoners."

Gregor Fisher is a Scottish sitcom star

Before portraying irreverent rock star Billy Mack's (Bill Nighy) long-suffering manager Joe in "Love Actually," Gregor Fisher was most recognizable as the star of the BBC Scotland sitcom "Rab C. Nesbitt." He'd also appeared on various sketch shows and Charles Dickens adaptations.

After "Love Actually," Fisher continued to land roles in projects based on works of literature. He was in the 2004 movie version of "The Merchant of Venice," which starred Al Pacino and featured Fisher's "Love Actually" co-star Kris Marshall. Three years later, Fisher played Mr. Bumble in a BBC mini-series based on "Oliver Twist," starring Tom Hardy. And in 2018, he had a small part in a TV mini-series based on Agatha Christie's Poirot novel "The ABC Murders."

Fisher's most famous role is still Rab C. Nesbitt. As noted by the Independent, the character first appeared in the Scottish sketch show "Naked Video" in 1986 and got his own show three years later. It ended in 1999 but returned for a 2008 Christmas special that spawned a revival. That ended in 2011 but would return again for a one-off episode in 2014. Joe proved to have less staying power. In the 2017 "Love Actually" reunion for charity Comic Relief, it was revealed that the character had died.

Olivia Olson voices a character on this cult animation series

It was easy to see why Olivia Olson's character Joanna in "Love Actually" was, as her biggest fan Sam (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) put it, "the coolest girl in school." After all, her version of Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You" impresses even the adults in the audience. Olson told Entertainment Weekly that the performance in the movie was her second of just two takes. She also said she had to tone down her singing skills after the first take because the producers thought it sounded so good that no one would believe an 11-year-old had sung it.

Olson was offered record deals after "Love Actually" but turned them down because she felt she needed more life experience. Olson has since released several records, including the album "Nowhere Land" in 2018. In 2019, she appeared on "X Factor: Celebrity" in the UK but was voted out on the first week of live performances, which was an emotional experience for her, as she shared on Instagram.

You may have heard Olson's voice elsewhere. She's done voiceover work on a few beloved shows, including the revival of "The Powerpuff Girls" and "Adventure Time," in which she voiced Marceline the Vampire Queen, opposite her father Martin Olson as Marceline's father. Olivia and Martin also worked together on the Disney series "Phineas and Ferb," which her father also wrote for. Here's a "Love Actually" callback: Olivia voiced Vanessa, the love interest of Ferb, who was played by Brodie-Sangster!

Chiwetel Ejiofor was nominated for an Oscar

If you're struggling to remember who Chiwetel Ejiofor played in "Love Actually," it's probably because the character was only on screen for maybe five minutes max. He quickly is sidelined by his devious friend Mark (Andrew Lincoln) and his wife-seducing cue cards.

Ejiofor played Peter. Still nothing? OK, he was the man who married Keira Knightley's character, Juliet. The dashing and extremely naive gentleman who doesn't notice that his best friend is madly in love with his new wife. Unlike many actors on this list, Ejiofor is not best known for "Love Actually." He's since had bigger roles in other famous projects. In 2005, Ejiofor starred in the comedy "Kinky Boots," now a Broadway musical. In the following years, he also appeared in "Children of Men," "American Gangster," "Salt," and climate disaster movie "2012." 

Ejiofor's most significant moment in the spotlight — so far — came in 2014 when he was nominated for a leading actor Oscar for "12 Years a Slave." He followed that with theater work but still found time for major movies, including "The Martian," "Dr. Strange," and the live-action version of "The Lion King."  He'll reprise his role as Mordo in the MCU for the next "Dr. Strange" movie.

Thomas Brodie-Sangster was in this popular Netflix chess drama

After playing the lovelorn aspiring drummer Sam in "Love Actually," Thomas Brodie-Sangster struggled with being typecast as a preteen. Brodie-Sangster's next two projects — BBC children's drama "Feather Boy" and "Nanny McPhee," which reunited him with Emma Thompson and Colin Firth — cemented this issue. 

Between 2014 and 2018, when Brodie-Sangster was 24 to 28, Brodie-Sangster played teenager Newt in "The Maze Runner" trilogy. He also played 13-year-old Jojen Reed in "Game of Thrones" when he was 23 and 24 — even though Brodie-Sangster is just under one-and-a-half years younger than "GoT's" Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, aka The Mountain, as noted by Digital Spy.

He did get to play one role that Sam would have been proud of. In 2009's John Lennon biopic "Nowhere Boy," Brodie-Sangster played famous Beatle Paul McCartney. Not a drummer, but still a music legend. Brodie-Sangster has also been working in voiceovers, most notably on the Disney series "Phineas and Ferb," as the latter character. Speaking of Disney, eagle-eyed "Star Wars" fans may have recognized him as a First Order officer in "The Force Awakens."

Brodie-Sangster may be frozen in time to some "Love Actually" fans, but he has managed to break into more adult roles. He played a Deputy Sheriff in the Netflix series "Godless" and a chess champion in "The Queen's Gambit."

Nina Sosanya is in some of your favorite shows

Nina Sosanya played Annie in "Love Actually," the Prime Minister's (Hugh Grant) highly capable if somewhat judgemental private secretary. Before the movie, her best-known role was in the sitcom "Teachers," also starring Andrew Lincoln, who played the fake carol-singing Mark with the infamous cue cards from "Love Actually."

Since then, Sosanya has appeared in a few major TV series. She was in an episode of "Dr. Who," opposite David Tenant, and played MI6 officer Jess in "Killing Eve," and Elaine Parry, mother of his protagonist Will (Amir Wilson) in HBO's "His Dark Materials." Aside from that, she's worked consistently in Britain, including in crime drama "Marcella," satire "W1A," and the movie follow-up the British version of "The Office," "David Brent: Life on the Road."

Sosanya reunited with Tenant for the TV series "Good Omens," which also starred Michael Sheen. When COVID-19 hit, she appeared in a couple of episodes of Tenant and Sheen's pandemic comedy series "Staged." Perhaps unsurprisingly, given her long resume, Sosanya is somewhat baffled by the attention "Love Actually" still gets, including from her co-stars. She told "The Graham Norton Show" that an unnamed young male co-star once admitted that it was weird working with her because he watched her in the movie every Christmas. "I'm in his living room and have been ... ever since he can remember. Which is worrying, really," she said.