What Ever Happened To The Stars Of Love Actually?

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It's that time of year: The holidays are here. Along with good tidings and cheer comes a list of must-haves. On that list — for most people — is a required viewing of Love Actually. Whether you love it or hate it, you know it's true.
Love Actually came out in 2003 — that's 13 years ago — and in the time since, the movie has come to be associated with everything warm, fuzzy, and British. Who doesn't love watching Hugh Grant dance to "Jump For My Love"? Doesn't everyone love it when that little girl brings the house down singing "All I Want For Christmas Is You"? Plus, we all need a little bit of Emma Thompson every now and then.
The funny thing is, when Love Actually was released, quite a few of the actors weren't all that famous — now, they're major stars. Sure, Brits knew who Martin Freeman was thanks to The Office, but Americans didn't have a clue. Hell, did anyone know who Chiwetel Ejiofor was back then? (Sadly, no).
In 13 years, a lot has changed for this cast — some good and some sad. Scroll through to see the cast of Love Actually, then and now.
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Photo: Universal/Dna/Working Title/REX/Shutterstock.
Keira Knightley (Juliet)
Before 2003, Keira Knightley was a very young actress with only a few movies under her belt. The most successful being Star Wars: Episode I (in which she had a minor role) and Bend It Like Beckham.

That was all about to change. In 2003, at only 18-years-old, she starred in Pirates of the Caribbean and Love Actually.

In Love Actually, Knightley played Juliet, the newlywed who couldn't understand why her husband's best friend seemed to hate her guts until it became all too clear. He didn't hate her guts — or her terrible taste in pie — he was actually in love with her.

Can you say awkward?
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Photo: Nils Jorgensen/REX/Shutterstock.
So What's Keira Knightley Doing Now?
After Love Actually, she became a household name and movie superstar. Knightley went on to star in two more Pirates of the Caribbean sequels, plus movies like Atonement and The Jacket.

She earned her first Oscar nomination for Pride & Prejudice in 2006 and her second nod in 2015 for The Imitation Game.

When she's not starring in major movies, she's the face of Chanel.

Keep living your best life, Keira Knightley.
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Hugh Grant—Photo: Universal/Dna/Working Title/REX/Shutterstock.
Hugh Grant (The Prime Minister)
When Love Actually came out in 2003, Hugh Grant was already a major movie star. Movies like Bridget Jones's Diary, Notting Hill, and Four Weddings and A Funeral made him lovable — and the go-to Brit for every romantic comedy.

In Love Actually, Grant played the new prime minister who falls in love with a member of his staff. Naturally, insanity ensues — as it generally does whenever Hugh Grant is playing the guy who's falling in love.

Side note: He really didn't want to do that famous dance scene. But clearly, it all worked out in the end.
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Photo: Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock
So Where's Hugh Grant Now?
After Love Actually, Hugh Grant was in the Bridget Jones sequel (that no one ever asked for) and Music and Lyrics (which has a great soundtrack). More recently, Grant has remained busy with movies like Cloud Atlas, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., and Florence Foster Jenkins with co-star Meryl Streep.

Grant's also become a father to three children. In a recent interview, Grant said that becoming a dad transformed him from someone "nasty" into a "delightful" person.
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Martine McCutcheon (Natalie)
Before Love Actually, Martine McCutcheon was best known to Brits for her role of Tiffany on the popular series EastEnders and her singing career. In 1999, she had success with the song "Perfect Moment."

But in Love Actually, McCutcheon played Natalie, the cursing staffer at 10 Downing Street who was being body-shamed by everyone from her parents to her ex and her coworkers — for absolutely no reason, may we add! Who cares about those jerks, anyway? She catches the attention of the prime minister and POTUS during his visit to the U.K.

In the end, she picks the prime minister and they make out in front a large group of children at a school play. Maybe it wasn't the best intro to the world as the prime minister's bae, but whatever. Remember this, Natalie: Haters gonna hate.
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Photo: Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock.
So Where's Martine McCutcheon Now?
Martine McCutcheon has been a busy bee. She's had roles in several TV shows, such as Echo Beach. She just wrapped a movie called The Bromley Boys. McCutcheon also released a new album called The Collection in 2012.

Just last year, she and her husband welcomed a baby. In addition to everything else happening in her life, McCutcheon has been very open about her battle with ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis), a chronic fatigue syndrome, and depression.

These days, she's on the show Loose Women.
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Photo: Peter Mountain/Universal/Dna/REX/Shutterstock.
Emma Thompson (Karen)
By 2003, Emma Thompson was already a bit of a legend in Hollywood. She was already a two-time Oscar winner (and had several more nominations to her name).

Thompson already had movies like Much Ado About Nothing, Sense and Sensibility, and Primary Colors on her résumé. So Love Actually was a movie that needed her star power — and gravitas. And boy did she bring it. Do you remember dying inside just a little bit when she finds out her husband has been cheating on her? Yeah, we all do.

Whether or not Love Actually was a success didn't matter too much — after all, Thompson was also in HBO's Angels in America television miniseries in 2003, which scooped up tons of critical acclaim.
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Photo: Axel Schmidt/AP/REX/Shutterstock.
So Where's Emma Thompson Now?
She's been doing what she does best: Being a boss. Just a year after Love Actually, Thompson played Professor Trelawney in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban — and secured a spot in the wizarding franchise.

In the years that followed, she starred in plenty of other movies, too, such as Nanny McPhee, An Education, Brave, and Saving Mr. Banks.

In addition to being an accomplished actor, Thompson is also an all-around badass. Remember when she went on stage at the Golden Globes with her drink and tossed her shoes? Yes, it's true: Not all heroes wear capes.
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Photo: Peter Mountain/Universal/Dna/REX/Shutterstock.
Liam Neeson (Daniel)
By 2003, Liam Neeson was kind of a big deal. He'd been in a ton of movies, including Schindler's List, Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace, and Gangs of New York.

In Love Actually, Neeson played Daniel, the grieving widower dedicated to helping his preteen stepson find true love. He was also lusting over Claudia Schiffer.

The best things about Daniel? He fully encourages his son's romantic interests, he asks Sam if he's in love with a boy or a girl without judgment, and he is totally willing to do anything for his son. No wonder he gets Schiffer in the end.
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Photo: Broadimage/REX/Shutterstock.
So Where's Liam Neeson Now?
Remember how Liam Neeson was kind of a big deal when Love Actually came out 13 years ago? Well, in the time since, he's transformed into a badass. His career has benefited from roles as hardened fatherly spies and mercenaries who can destroy bad guys with a few quick moves.

But when Neeson isn't playing a badass in movies like Taken or The Grey, he's doing voice work. He's reprised his role as Qui-Gon Jinn in the show Star Wars: The Clone Wars. He's also narrated documentaries and had voice work in feature films.

But let's never forget his most important post-Love Actually moment: When he gave the best monologue, ever, over the phone in Taken. That movie was so well received that it led to two sequels.
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Colin Firth (Jamie)
Long before Love Actually, Colin Firth was associated with romance. After all, he's the original on-screen Mr. Darcy.

But beyond Pride and Prejudice, Firth had a few other major roles, including movies like The English Patient.

In Love Actually, Firth played Jamie, a writer whose wife cheats on him — with his brother. Ouch. He goes to a lake house in France to write a novel and get away from the reality of his crumbling marriage. That's where he falls in love with Aurelia, who only speaks Portuguese. But their story proves that love knows no bounds, or...erm, languages.
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Photo: Gregory Pace/BEI/Shutterstock.
So Where's Colin Firth Now?
You mean where is Oscar winner Colin Firth now? Yes, he won an Oscar. It's kind of hard to believe — not because Firth isn't a talented actor. But around the time of Love Actually, he was making movies like What A Girl Wants. A classic, for sure, but not an Oscar-worthy film. In the years that followed, Firth was making bad Bridget Jones sequels and Mamma Mia. Yikes.

But by 2010, he found his footing. He won best actor for his role in The King's Speech. Since then, he's taken on roles in movies like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Kingsman: The Secret Service.

Firth also happens to be the producer behind the film Loving, which has been getting tons of Oscar-season buzz.

Basically, Mr. Darcy is doing very well for himself.
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Photo: Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock.
Bill Nighy (Billy Mack)
Look, Bill Nighy's been around for a long time. Love Actually is just one on a list of over 130 of Nighy's roles. But for many Americans, this was their first introduction to the power of Bill Nighy.

In Love Actually, Nighy played Billy Mack. As his character describes, Billy Mack is "an old ex-heroin addict searching for a comeback at any price." Even if it requires him singing the crappiest Christmas song, ever.

Despite being "left with no one...wrinkled and alone," Billy Mack finds real love over the holidays, too. He also does a striptease. That's the power of Love Actually — Nighy stripped down to a Christmas song for us. What more do you need?
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Photo: REX/Shutterstock.
So Where's Bill Nighy Now?
You know, Nighy is just busy continuing to be awesome. He's been in tons of movies over the last 13 years: Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest, Notes on a Scandal, Hot Fuzz. He's also been in mega-franchises like Harry Potter and Underworld.

Nighy actually won a BAFTA for Love Actually (though it was definitely not his first major award).

At age 66, Nighy shows no signs of slowing down.
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Andrew Lincoln (Mark)
Andrew Lincoln loved Love Actually from the moment he saw the script.

"It was such a good script," Lincoln told Entertainment Weekly. "When I read it, I knew in my heart that that was such a beautiful scene at the doorway with Keira. I just thought, This is marvelous."

Yes, the doorway scene will live on forever and always. Fun fact: Lincoln said that he wrote out the cards himself (with a small trace assist from the art department). As for acting that scene, he says it was pretty easy.

"I mean, there’s no acting required, really," he told EW. "I just had Richard Curtis’ brilliant words, which I didn’t even have to say. And then, I had to be infatuated with Keira Knightley’s character. It’s not one of the greatest challenges I’ve been posed as an actor."
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Photo: MediaPunch/REX/Shutterstock.
So Where's Andrew Lincoln Now?
Stop playing, you know exactly where Andrew Lincoln is now. He's Rick on The Walking Dead. And in case you missed it, that show is pretty well-known. Fairly successful. Might have a spin-off. May have broken records for viewership on a TV show. Basically, it's the biggest show on TV.

It's hard to believe that a man with such a great Southern accent is really British, but that's the magic of acting, baby.

Even better news: Lincoln is still friends with several of his Love Actually castmates, like Chiwetel Ejiofor and Bill Nighy. He even got dinner with Colin Firth. Doesn't it just warm your heart to hear it?
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Photo: Peter Mountain/Universal/Dna/REX/Shutterstock.
Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Sam)
Thomas Brodie-Sangster was only 13-years-old when Love Actually was released. He had only made a few TV appearances, meaning Love Actually was his big break.

He played Sam — sweet, lovesick Sam. Sure, he'd just lost his mother, but there was no use in pretending that he wasn't also in love with Joanna, the coolest girl in school.

According to Brodie-Sangster, he had no idea how to play the drums before Love Actually. His father taught him how to play — so, yes, that's really him playing before your eyes.

Is there anything as heartwarming as a 13-year-old running through an airport to "go get the shit kicked out of [him] by love"? No, no there is not.
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Photo: Joanne Davidson/Silverhub/REX/Shutterstock.
So Where's Thomas Brodie-Sangster Now?
Good news: Thomas Brodie-Sangster's acting career has been a big success.

After Love Actually, he starred in movies like Nanny McPhee (with two Love Actually alums, Emma Thompson and Colin Firth). He snagged TV roles on shows like Doctor Who. He also voiced Ferb on the show Phineas and Ferb from 2007 to 2015.

In 2013 — 10 years after Love Actually — Brodie-Sangster was playing a 13-year-old again on HBO's Game of Thrones. Most recently, he's been starring in the Maze Runner franchise and even got to play a First Order Officer in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
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Photo: Snap Stills/REX/Shutterstock.
Chiwetel Ejiofor (Peter)
Before 2003, Chiwetel Ejiofor was relatively unknown, save for a role on the show Trust and a tiny part in Amistad.

In Love Actually, he played Peter, the man who falls in love with and marries Keira Knightley's Juliet. Their wedding is probably one of the better scenes from the movie (minus their supremely heinous outfits) — complete with trumpets, guitar solos, and The Beatles.

Poor Peter has no idea that his best mate loves his wife. But the good news is, Juliet only has eyes for him and his BFF loves him more than he loves coming between the happy couple.
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Photo: Samantha Nandez/BFA/REX/Shutterstock.
So Where's Chiwetel Ejiofor Now?
Oh, you mean BAFTA-winner Chiwetel Ejiofor? The same Chiwetel Ejiofor from the Oscar-winning movie 12 Years A Slave? The same man who's starred in movies with Denzel Washington, Angelina Jolie, and Matt Damon? Oh, that Chiwetel Ejiofor! He's doing quite well.

He's been in everything from The Martian to American Gangster to Phil Spector to Children of Men to Kinky Boots. Most recently, he played Mordo in Marvel's Doctor Strange.
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Photo: Courtesy of Universal Studios.
Martin Freeman (John)
In 2003, Martin Freeman wasn't Martin Freeman. He was Tim Canterbury on The Office.

But in Love Actually, Freeman plays John, a body double for pornos and sex scenes. While on the job, he falls in love with Judy, another body double.

Their love story is usually cut from Freeform when Love Actually airs — because of the nudity and positions — but it doesn't matter. We all know that John and Judy found love in a hopeless place. And it was adorable.
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Photo: Jonathan Hordle/REX/Shutterstock.
So Where's Martin Freeman Now?
Martin Freeman is so famous now! He is so beloved! After The Office and Love Actually, he went on star in movies like The Hobbit and TV shows like Fargo.

But perhaps he is most loved for playing John Watson on Sherlock and having the sweetest, most bromantic relationship with his partner-in-crime-solving Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch). As luck would have it, there's more Sherlock to come (thank God).

Most recently, Freeman signed up for the Marvel universe, where he plays Everett K. Ross. He already popped up in Captain America: Civil War and we can expect more Martin Freeman in 2018's highly anticipated Black Panther.
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Photo: Courtesy of Universal Studios.
Joanna Page (Just Judy)
Before Love Actually, Joanna Page had only been in a few TV and film projects. But it turns out that she was a serious dramatic actress, working years in costume dramas for the National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company.

In Love Actually, she plays Judy (credited as "Just Judy"). She's the sweetest, shyest person in the movie, which is funny given that she spends lots of the film nude or partially nude.

She falls in love with John, despite his horribly cold hands (which he always warms up for her, first).
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Photo: Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock.
So Where's Joanna Page Now?
Just being a superstar, that's all. Page went on to star on the extremely popular, BAFTA-winning BBC show Gavin and Stacey from 2007 to 2010.

Since then, she's been on tons of shows, including Doctor Who's 50th-anniversary episode, where she played Queen Elizabeth I.
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Photo: Courtesy of Universal Studios.
Rodrigo Santoro (Karl)
Before Love Actually, Rodrigo Santoro had only been in one Hollywood film, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle — though he'd been in several Brazilian movies and shows.

In Love Actually, he played Karl, the most handsome chief designer at a company, ever. Karl was so handsome that Laura Linney's Sarah is too scared to even talk to him.

The good news is, she does talk to him at the holiday party and thanks to some Justin Timberlake and Norah Jones music, they go home together to have sex. The bad news is that they never have sex — because Sarah's brother needs her.

It's still heartbreaking to think that Laura Linney got Karl down to his underwear...and just ended it. *Sigh*
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Photo: Broadimage/REX/Shutterstock.
So Where's Rodrigo Santoro Now?
Well, for starters, he's still ridiculously good-looking. He's also made his mark on Hollywood. Santoro starred as the villain Xerxes in the 2004 movie 300. He played Paulo on Lost.

In 2004, he starred in a Chanel No. 5 ad with Nicole Kidman, as one does between acting gigs.

Years later, he was the voice of Tulio in the movie Rio. He's been in movies like Focus and Jane Got A Gun. Earlier this year, he starred as Jesus in Ben-Hur and got a papal blessing after an audience with the Pope in April.

Most recently, he's been on HBO's Westworld, playing host Hector Escaton.
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Photo: Courtesy of Universal Studios.
Laura Linney (Sarah)
2003 was a big year for Laura Linney, who starred in the critically acclaimed film Mystic River and Love Actually. Basically, it was a breakout year.

In Love Actually, Linney played Sarah. She was totally in love with Karl — so much that she couldn't even say more than a few words to him. So much that her boss, played by Alan Rickman, is sick of watching her yearn for him.

Sarah is tough to watch, because she finally gets the guy — but loses him because of family obligations. But sometimes, you have to take care of your brother rather than hook up with a hot guy. That's how family, and love, actually work.
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Photo: Ovidiu Hrubaru/REX/Shutterstock.
So Where's Laura Linney Now?
That's Golden Globe-winning actress Laura Linney to you. The same Laura Linney who won a SAG Award. She's just chugging along — churning out amazing work.

Linney went on to star in movies like Kinsey, The Exorcism of Emily Rose (which is actually really good), The Savages, and Breach. But in 2008, she won tons of awards and acclaim for playing Abigail Adams in the miniseries John Adams.

Since then, she's had her own TV show, The Big C, and keeps popping up in major movies. Need proof? She's in two buzz-worthy 2016 films: Nocturnal Animals and Sully.
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Photo: Courtesy of Universal Studios.
Olivia Olson (Joanna Anderson)
Little Olivia Olson's first movie, ever, was Love Actually. How dope is that? To land a gig with some of the biggest movie stars on the planet on your first try?

Olson played Joanna Anderson — better known as the little girl from Love Actually who sang Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You" and knocked it out of the park. In fact, her voice was so powerful, they reportedly had to alter her vocals in post-production to make her sound more childlike.

If you can't tell from her cool braids or sparkly top, Joanna is "the coolest girl in school and everyone worships her, because she's heaven." Well, at least according to Sam, who is head over heels for Joanna.

Lucky for him, she's into him, too. Ah, young love.
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Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images.
So Where's Olivia Olson Now?
YOU GUYS! She's all grown-up and lovely! We even wrote an entire article about her being so incredible, 13 years later.

After Love Actually, Olson had a few roles on shows like The Tracy Morgan Show and Zoey 101. But eventually, she decided to turn to her amazing voice.

She was the voice of Vanessa Doofenshmirtz on Phineas and Ferb (yes, the same show as her on-screen boo, Thomas Brodie-Sangster). Now, she's the voice of Marceline on the hit show Adventure Time.

Get it, girl!
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Photo: Universal/Dna/ Working Title/REX/Shutterstock.
Heike Makatsch (Mia)
Before Love Actually, Heike Makatsch was best known for her role in Resident Evil.

In Love Actually, she played Mia, who's probably everyone's least favorite character. She's Harry's (Alan Rickman) assistant and she wants him to have an affair with her so badly.

Mia drops hints and innuendos — with her and Harry even flirting in front of his wife (ugh) — until they eventually start their affair. Harry even buys her a necklace (which is actually kind of hideous) — and that's all the evidence his wife needed to put two and two together.
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Photo: James Gourley/REX/Shutterstock.
So Where Is Heike Makatsch Now?
Makatsch has been busy working in both English and German-language productions. In 2013, she starred in The Book Thief, playing Liesel's mother.

Right now, she's playing Petra Paul on the TV series Capelli Code.
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Photo: Courtesy of Universal Studios.
Kris Marshall (Colin Frissell)
Kris Marshall played Colin Frissell — a.k.a. the thirstiest man in England — in Love Actually.

His character was gross. For example, he picked his nose while talking. He also spit out food and put it back on a plate. But somehow, Colin was convinced that his lack of charm or manners were not the reason he was single AF. He thought that English women were just stuffy. Of course he did.

So he went to America to get laid. It worked, too. We still aren't sure how, but it did. It must be true: There really is someone out there for everybody.
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Photo: Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock.
So Where Is Kris Marshall Now?
He's been busy on several TV shows since his Love Actually days. From 2000 to 2005, he starred on the show My Family.

Since then, Marshall has been on shows like Traffic Light, Citizen Khan, and Death in Paradise.
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Photo: Courtesy of Universal Studios.
Lúcia Moniz (Aurelia)
Here's something you might not have known: Lúcia Moniz is a singer. In 1996, she came in sixth place at the Eurovision Song Contest — which is the longest-running international singing contest in the world.

So when Moniz starred in Love Actually in 2003, she was already a singer with two albums under her belt (Magnolia and 67). She
plays Aurelia, a woman hired to clean a lake house where Jamie (Colin Firth) is staying. Yes, they fall in love despite not being able to speak the same language.

They also jump into a lake together — freezing temperatures and all — because Jamie doesn't know how to use computers despite it being 2003.
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Photo: StarsOnline/REX/Shutterstock.
So Where Is Lúcia Moniz Now?
After Love Actually, Lúcia Moniz went on with her singing career. She released two more albums; Leva-me P'ra Casa in 2005 and Fio de Luz in 2011.

She's been in quite a few Portuguese-language movies and soap operas, too.
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Photo: Peter Mountain/Universal/Dna/REX/Shutterstock.
Elisha Cuthbert (Carol-Anne)
Fun fact: In the '90s, a young Elisha Cuthbert was on the show Are You Afraid of the Dark? Her first big movie was 2003's Old School, where she played Darcy.

That was the same year she got a small part in Love Actually, where she was credited as "Carol-Anne — American Goddess." Seriously.

Carol-Anne, the goddess in question, is a hot blonde at a bar in the U.S. who hooks up with Colin Frissell. It doesn't make sense. She's apparently dazzled by his accent and the way he says things like "straw" and "table."
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Photo: MediaPunch/REX/Shutterstock.
So Where's Elisha Cuthbert Now?
Following Love Actually, Elisha Cuthbert continued to play "the hot girl" in tons of early aughts movies.

Cuthbert starred in films like The Girl Next Door and House of Wax. But she also nailed down a gig as Kim Bauer on the mega-hit 24.

In 2011, Cuthbert starred in the (best) comedy (ever), Happy Endings. More recently, she's been on shows such as One Big Happy and The Ranch.

Seriously, though, Happy Endings was great. Can Netflix or Hulu try and bring that one back? Okay, thanks.
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Photo: Snap Stills/REX/Shutterstock.
January Jones (Jeannie)
In the late '90s and early 2000s, January Jones was looking for her big break (while dating then-BF Ashton Kutcher). Unfortunately, Love Actually wouldn't be that break — but it did lead to her later success.

Jones played Jeannie, one of the blonde Americans at the bar that falls for Colin Frissell's charm accent.
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Photo: Broadimage/REX/Shutterstock.
So Where's January Jones Now?
January Jones never gave up on her career and now she's a two-time Golden Globe nominee. Following Love Actually, she made a few movies, including We Are Marshall.

Then, she snagged the role of a lifetime: Betty Draper on Mad Men. Jones also appeared as Emma Frost in the X-Men series.

Now, she's starring on the show Last Man on Earth.
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Photo: Snap Stills/REX/Shutterstock
Alan Rickman (Harry)
Alan Rickman was already the stuff of acting legend long before Love Actually. He'd been in movies like Die Hard, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and Sense and Sensibility (with Love Actually co-stars Thompson and Grant). By 2001, he had already taken on the role of Severus Snape in the Harry Potter movies.

In Love Actually, Rickman played Harry, a man who starts an affair with his assistant. Harry was a complex character. On the one hand, he's a cheater — and cheating on his lovely wife — so you want to hate him. But on the other hand, he's funny and charming — because he's Alan Rickman — so you want to like him.
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Photo: Broadimage/REX/Shutterstock.
Let's All Take A Moment To Appreciate The Life & Career Of Alan Rickman
Sadly, we all know how this one ends. Rickman died from cancer at the age of 69 in 2016. Both fans and celebrities mourned his death with tributes and kind words.

In his lifetime, Rickman won a BAFTA, an Emmy, a Golden Globe, and a SAG Award.

Rickman was a legend — and he'll be remembered for his voice, kindness, and the intensity he brought to each role.
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