Hugh Grant in Love Actually.
Hugh Grant in Love Actually.

Love Actually scene was ‘absolute hell’

Hugh Grant has revealed which scene from Love Actually was "absolute hell" for him to shoot.

In the upcoming BBC TV special Hugh Grant: A Life on Screen, the actor opens up about the dancing scene from the 2003 movie, according to Variety.

"I thought, 'That's going to be excruciating, and it has the power to be the most excruciating scene ever committed to celluloid,'" Grant says about when he first saw the scene in the script.

Martine McCutcheon with Hugh Grant in Love Actually.
Martine McCutcheon with Hugh Grant in Love Actually.


Grant, who plays the British Prime Minister in the film, says he constantly put off having to rehearse the scene because he was so mortified by it.

"I certainly dreaded filming it and (director) Richard (Curtis) kept saying as the weeks went by … he said, 'Don't you think we'd better rehearse the dancing scene?' And I'd say, 'Oh yeah, yeah, I've got to learn some lines, my ankle hurts today.'"

The scene was filmed on the very last day of shooting on Love Actually, and according to Grant it was "absolute hell".

"On the day, imagine you're a grumpy, 40-year-old Englishman, it's 7 o'clock in the morning and you're stone cold sober and it's just, 'OK Hugh, if you'd like to freak out now,'" he says.

Grant's co-star Colin Firth also features in the BBC special and says about the dancing scene: "I do remember him (Grant) making a terrible fuss about the dance."

He added: "It did delight everybody and I think it's the highlight of the film for a lot of people."

Seeing as it's almost Christmas, we thought we'd gift you with some other fun facts about Love Actually.

Liam Neeson is addicted to toothpicks: The Irish actor got hooked on toothpicks when he quit smoking almost 20 years ago. If you look closely, you can spot him holding one in several scenes in Love Actually.


Thomas Sangster with Liam Neeson in Love Actually.
Thomas Sangster with Liam Neeson in Love Actually.


Claudia Schiffer was never supposed to be in the movie: The original script referred to the blonde character as someone who looked similar to Claudia Schiffer. But the director had trouble finding an actor who fit the mould, so they approached the supermodel to see if she was interested. "It was funny how it ended up, you know, him getting the real deal. I just thought it was brilliant," Love Actually star Elisha Cuthbert said to

Billy Bob Thornton was afraid of some of the props: The actor who played the US President has a real life fear of antique furniture. Hugh Grant often teased Thornton on set by holding up antique pieces just before they were about to film scenes. Director Richard Curtis also revealed that Thornton was petrified of a painting. "Billy Bob Thornton is a curious man with curious phobias," Curtis told Elle. "(He told us) 'The strangest phobia I've got is I'm disturbed by photographs of Benjamin Disraeli. Specifically his facial hair.' It was really unfortunate for him that this would be the only time in his life that there is a photograph of Disraeli on the stairs in a major film he's going to do (at the Prime Minster's home). We just had to walk him past the photograph. (He said) 'I'll just turn away at that moment and I'll be fine.'"


Hugh Grant with Billy Bob Thornton in Love Actually.
Hugh Grant with Billy Bob Thornton in Love Actually.


The lake was only 45cm deep: Remember the lake that Aurelia and Jamie had to swim in after his novel was blown off the desk? It turns out the water was actually so shallow that the actors had to kneel down to give the impression it was much deeper.

Joanna's rendition of All I Want for Christmas was too good: Olivia Olson did such a good job performing the song that the director was worried people wouldn't believe it was actually her singing. The audio was edited in post-production to make it sound more realistic.

The airport scenes at the beginning and end of the movie are real people: The crew had cameras set up at Heathrow Airport for a week filming real people as they greeted their loved ones. Curtis told Vulture: "That was real documentary footage that we shot without anyone knowing we were shooting, and we had to rush up to people and ask for their permission to use it."

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