Love Actually’s missing film plots, £3k-a-minute fee and making Olivia Olson’s voice sound worse


It’s been 18 years since Love Actually was first released, and it’s gone on to become a staple to the Christmas TV guide.

The festive romcom has became a firm favourite amongst fans over the years, and it wouldn’t be Christmas without at least one screening of the hit film.

However, it turns out there’s many things we didn’t know about Love Actually.

There’s stars who were originally set for a different role altogether, additional storylines that never made the cut, as well as one star who took home an eye-watering amount for her relatively small appearance.

As we settle down to watch Love Actually for the 100th time, here we take a look through everything you might not know about the classic Christmas film…

Love Actually has became one of the most popular Christmas films of all time
Love Actually has became one of the most popular Christmas films of all time
(Image: Universal Pictures)

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Olivia Olson’s voice

Child star Olivia Olson, who portrayed Joanna, wowed us all with her rendition of Mariah Carey’s festive hit All I Want For Christmas at the end of Love Actually.

There was no doubt 10 year old Olivia was a superstar when she belted out Mariah’s track perfectly.

Producers reportedly thought Olivia Olson's voice was too good
Producers reportedly thought Olivia Olson’s voice was too good

However, Olivia’s voice was that outstanding that the producers actually altered her vocals to make them sound worse.

It was apparently feared that viewers wouldn’t believe Olivia’s original singing voice belonged to her, and people may have though she was lip-synching.

The actress was asked to add more breathing sounds and less vocalisations, and it was then edited to sound less professional.

Claudia Schiffer’s £200,000 fee

Supermodel Claudia Schiffer portrayed Carol in the hit Christmas film, appearing towards the end as a love interest for Daniel (Liam Neeson).

They hit it off while collecting their children from school, and Daniel is instantly smitten.

While Claudia’s role was relatively minor in Love Actually, she actually bagged a huge fee for her appearance.

Claudia Schiffer was paid thousands for her brief appearance in the film
Claudia Schiffer was paid thousands for her brief appearance in the film
(Image: Love Actually)

She took home £200,000 for portraying Carol, which works out at £3,333 per second!

Stolen scene

Colin Frizzel, portrayed by Kris Marshall, is unarguably one of the highlights of Love Actually.

One of Colin’s funniest scenes comes when he attends a wedding and begins criticising the food on offer, unaware that the person he is complaining to is actually the caterer.

A scene featuring actor Kris Marshall was actually stolen from another movie
A scene featuring actor Kris Marshall was actually stolen from another movie
(Image: Love Actually)

However, the iconic scene was actually stolen from hit film Four Weddings and a Funeral, also directed by Richard Curtis.

It was cut from the film but Richard was determined not to waste it, and so it was directly transferred into the Love Actually script!

Four cut plot lines

Love Actually originally had four diverse plot lines lined up for the film, but they were eventually cut.

There were plans for a lesbian couple, a schoolgirl who falls in love with female friend, two Kenyan mums, and a plot line including a young girl who is a wheelchair user.

Their were four other romantic plot lines originally planned for the film
Their were four other romantic plot lines originally planned for the film.
(Image: ©2003 Universal Studios.)

Two of the planned storylines were actually filmed but didn’t manage to make it into the final cut of the film, while the other two were scrapped during the development stage.

The lesbian couple was planned to be the headmistress from Karen’s (Emma Thompson) children’s’ school and her terminally-ill partner, but Richard previously revealed that the storyline was removed when a scene involving Karen’s son was cut, leaving it no longer making sense to include.

Keira Knightley’s age

Keira Knightley’s real age has continued to surprise Love Actually fans over the years, with the actress only actually being 17 when he took on the role in the hit film.

She filmed the movie during the same year that she starred in the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie alongside Johnny Depp.

Keira Knightley was just 18 years old when she filmed Love Actually
Keira Knightley was just 17 years old when she filmed Love Actually

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Emma Thompson’s crying scene

Karen (Emma Thompson) finding out her husband Harry (Alan Rickman) is cheating on her never fails to reduce us to tears every single Christmas.

Having came to the heartbreaking realisation while exchanging Christmas gifts, Karen takes herself upstairs to her bedroom to cry in secret.

It’s emotional just watching the scene, but actress Emma actually filmed the crying scene 12 times!

Emma's heartbreaking crying scene was filmed 12 times
Emma’s heartbreaking crying scene was filmed 12 times
(Image: Universal)

Director Richard Curtis previously explained: “We decided to do it like how Mike Newell did it in Four Weddings – I shot in medium-wide, and didn’t move the camera.

“We just let it happen, and Emma walked into the room 12 times in a row and sobbed. It was an amazing feat of acting.”

Rowan Atkinson’s original role

Rowan Atkinson stars in one of the most hilarious scenes in Love Actually, when he takes on the role of sales assistant Rufus.

When Harry purchases a necklace he innocently agrees to have it gift-wrapped, but Rufus has other ideas in mind.

Rowan was hilarious as Rufus in the 2003 film
Rowan was hilarious as Rufus in the 2003 film
(Image: Universal)

However, Rowan was actually first supposed to portray an angel in the film, who would visit Harry and prompt him to rethink his bad decisions during the festive season.

He would then help Sam distract airport security during the final scenes, and then simply disappear vanish.

Rowan’s stint as an angel was called off after director Richard Curtis decided it wouldn’t be right for the film to suddenly turn supernatural towards the end.

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