Emma Thompson Says She Wasn’t ‘Very Well Paid’ for ‘Love Actually’

"That's the things you remember, not the good ones," Thompson said during the film's 20th anniversary.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 07: Emma Thompson poses at a New York Special Screening of the Netflix film "Roald Dahl's Matilda: The Musical" at Darling at the Park Lane Hotel on December 7, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/WireImage)
Emma Thompson

Two-time Academy Award winner Emma Thompson wants “Love Actually” fans to see both sides now 20 years later.

The beloved holiday classic film celebrated its milestone anniversary this year with the ABC special “The Laughter & Secrets of Love Actually: 20 Years Later.” Yet Thompson shared a different take on the Richard Curtis-helmed love story.

While on “Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” Thompson was asked by the host if she ever rewatches “Love Actually.”

“No. That was 20 years ago,” Thompson said. “You’re just saying, ‘I don’t think I was very well paid for that. There was that terrible trailer with the loo that really stank and had that sort of….’ That’s the things you remember, not the good ones.”

Director Curtis recently reflected on how the film makes him feel “uncomfortable and a bit stupid” when watching through a modern lens. “There are things you’d change but, thank God, society is changing, so my film is bound, in some moments, to feel out of date,” Curtis said in an interview with Diane Sawyer for the 20th-anniversary special. “The lack of diversity makes me feel uncomfortable and a bit stupid. You know, I think there are sort of three plots that have sort of bosses and people who work for them.”

The film focused on 10 separate love stories, with Thompson, Hugh Grant, Laura Linney, Bill Nighy, Liam Neeson, Alan Rickman, Keira Knightley, Colin Firth, and Chiwetel Ejiofor among the cast.

Billy Bob Thornton, January Jones, Denise Richards, Elisha Cuthbert, Shannon Elizabeth, Claudia Schiffer, and Rowan Atkinson also made cameos in the ensemble piece. Claudia Schiffer famously pocketed £200,000, or the equivalent of $540,000 in 2003, for a 60-second cameo as Neeson’s love interest, as reported by The Sun.

Actor Grant added during the anniversary special that while “Love Actually” is a “bit psychotic,” director Curtis’ heart was in the right place.

“The thing is with him, what you have to remember is when he writes about love, he means it,” Grant said. “And that is quite rare. It comes from the heart — it’s true. And I did drunkenly watch a bit of ‘Love Actually’ a few months ago with my wife, and she was the one who said, ‘Oh look, it’s all about pain; it’s all about suffering.’”

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