The ensemble cast of Love Actually.
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Billy Mack (Bill Nighy)A washed-out ex-heroin addict rock-and-roll singer trying to make a comeback by getting his Christmas-themed cover of "Love is All Around" to the top of the Christmas charts.
- The Cover Changes the Meaning: From "Love is All Around" to "Christmas is All Around" in an attempt to have a Christmas-themed breakaway hit. Personally, he finds the whole thing ridiculous and refuses to promote it without deep sarcasm.
- Drugs Are Bad: Hilariously subverted when Billy Mack makes an appearance on what appears to be a version of old Saturday morning show SMTV Live;Billy: Oh... Hiya kids. Here's an important message from your Uncle Bill. Don't buy drugs. ...Become a rock star, and they give you them for free!
- Fat and Skinny: The skinny to Joe's fat.
- Hates the Job, Loves the Limelight: He finds no joy in music, but loves the fame and fortune.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Joe, although he doesn't realize this until the end.
- Man Hug: Shares an intensely awkward but deeply affectionate one with Joe at the end.
- Only in It for the Money: As stated in Hates the Job, Loves the Limelight, he's really only continuing his music career for fame and fortune.
Joe (Gregor Fisher)Billy's long-suffering manager.
- Beleaguered Assistant: He'd have to be in order to keep up with Billy Mack, who's practically a walking P.R. disaster.
- Bus Crash: Died of a heart attack sometime between the film and "Red Nose Day Actually."
- Fat and Skinny: The fat to Billy Mack's skinny.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Billy, although they don't realize how close they are until the end.
- Man Hug: Shares one with Billy at the end.
- Only One Name: Joe is only ever referred to as "Joe" or "my manager".
Jamie (Colin Firth)A writer who takes a sabbatical in France after he discovers his girlfriend cheating on him with his brother. He's a friend of Juliet and Peter.
- Eloquent in My Native Tongue: Is a professional writer played by the very proper Colin Firth, so naturally has perfect English skills. When he learns Portuguese to propose to Aurelia, his use of the language is terribly mangled. In "Red Nose Day Actually" he's still struggling, while his and Aurelia's kids are being raised bilingual and she encourages them to only talk to him in Portuguese so he'll get better.
- Grand Romantic Gesture: He abandons his family Christmas to fly out and ask Aurelia to marry him.
- Happily Married: He and Aurelia are firmly this in the sequel, as they have three children together and reminisce fondly about their early relationship.
- My Hovercraft Is Fullof Eels: Played with. Jamie's Portuguese grammar is atrocious, but he never says anything wildly incoherent. Eels are mentioned, but the character has good reason to be wary of eels at that particular time.Jamie: I've come here with a view to asking you to marriage me.
Aurélia (Lucia Moniz)The Portuguese housekeeper in Jaime's cottage.
- Eloquent in My Native Tongue: Aurelia is fluent in Portuguese, but starts out speaking no English at all, although she begins to learn. She falls in love with a writer whose English is perfect, but whose Portuguese is even worse than her English. We only see them a few weeks after they've each started learning, though.
- Everyone Looks Sexier If French: A Portuguese housekeeper staying in France, who's quite foreign to Jamie.
- Happily Married: She and Jamie are firmly this in the sequel, as they have three children together and reminisce fondly about their early relationship.
- Language Barrier: Aurelia doesn't know a lot of English, which doesn't deter Jamie all that much.
- Pluralses: When Jamie asks her to marry him she says, "Thank you, that will be nice", and then when he remarks that she learned English too, she says, "Just in cases".
Daniel (Liam Neeson)A man struggling to connect with his stepson, Sam, after the recent death of his wife.
- Closed Door Rapport: He sometimes talks to his stepson through the door. Sam mainly responds by leaving notes on the door itself.
- Genre Savvy: Like Sam, references how romantic films usually go when plotting his courtship with Joanna.
- Like Brother and Sister: He and Karen are very close, with no romantic entanglements between the two of them.
Sam (Thomas Brodie-Sangster)Daniel's stepson, an aspiring drummer hoping to woo a girl in his class named Joanna.
- Disappeared Dad: His biological father is unseen.
- Genre Savvy: "You know the films, they never get together until right at the very end."
- Homage Shot: His entire run through the airport to catch Joanna is one to The Graduate, but especially him shouting her name.
- Missing Mom: His mom's funeral is seen at the beginning of the film.
- Puppy Love: Has a crush on Joanna. They manage to turn it into a Childhood Friend Romance by the sequel.
Karen (Emma Thompson)Harry's wife, struggling with the humdrum domesticity of their marriage. She's also David's sister and a good friend of Daniel's.
- Like Brother and Sister: With Daniel.
- Maybe Ever After: She and Harry decide to soldier on with their marriage, although it's not as happy as it once was. Time will tell if they get past it.
- Stepford Smiler: A very sympathetic example. She encourages Daniel to privately hide the grief of his wife since "No one likes sissies." When she realizes her husband is cheating on her with his secretary, she's heartbroken but only cries when she's in private, putting on a chipper face the rest of the time. Even decides to carry on with her husband afterward rather than go through the drama of a divorce.
Harry (Alan Rickman)Husband to Karen, a manager of a design company.
- Shipper on Deck: Harry goes so far as to call Sarah into his office to discuss what she is going to do about her crush on her co-worker Karl.
- Your Cheating Heart: Within the film itself, it's ambiguous whether or not he actually slept with Mia after her constant come-ons, but at the very least the desire was there. One of the creators confirmed on social media that he did go all the way.
Mia (Heike Makatsch)Harry's new secretary. She's Mark's friend and Natalie's neighbor.
- Bit Character: Not given as much in the way of development besides "sexy and flirts with boss." Considering how many characters the movie is juggling already, this is rather a necessity.
- Just Friends: With Mark, though in their deleted scene she does suggest they have an affair.
- Lady in Red: She's dressed in a skimpy red outfit when she dances with Harry at the company Christmas party... in front of his wife, no less.
- Sexy Secretary: Her principal attribute.
Mark (Andrew Lincoln)Peter's best friend and best man at his wedding. He works at an art gallery, and is friends with Mia.
- Anguished Declaration of Love: To Juliet, with cuecards!
- Badass Beard: He's tried to grow one in the sequel (due to Andrew Lincoln's role on The Walking Dead), which he and Juliet agree doesn't really work for him.
- Belated Happy Ending: The sequel reveals that he found "the love of his life" and they are now very happy together, to Juliet's relief.
- Did Not Get the Girl: In the end, he lets Juliet go, but not without giving her an Anguished Declaration of Love.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: The film heavily implies he'll try to move on from his feelings for Juliet, and kept his distance from her for his dear friend Peter's sake as well. The fact that he still organized a grand gesture at their wedding reaffirms this.
- Just Friends: With Mia, though this is only hinted at in the actual film.
- Talking with Signs: Mark uses a set of pre-made signs to confess his feelings to Juliet and wish her a merry Christmas while covering for his presence with a taped choir singing "Silent Night".
Juliet (Keira Knightley)Peter's wife, who wonders why Mark is hostile to her.
Peter (Chiwetel Ejiofor)Juliet's husband and Mark's best friend. Also a friend of Sarah and Jaime.
David (Hugh Grant)The recently-elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, as well as brother to Karen.
- No Party Given: Although is implied to be Conservative (he is clearly implied to succeed Tony Blair and seems to have achieved the position by virtue of winning an election rather than succeeding within the party). He also... admires Margaret Thatcher.
- Our Presidents Are Different: Textbook PM Personable, but played in a way that virtually no work has ever done.
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Before finding Natalie:David: Hi, Jack? I need a car... Right now. (Theme Music Powerup)
- "Risky Business" Dance: Set to "Jump" by the Pointer Sisters.
- Singing Voice Dissonance: In-universe, he's openly shocked at his driver/bodyguard's incredibly rich, deep and very very Welsh voice when they are entreated to sing Christmas carols by some pleading children while going door to door.
- Title Drop: "Love actually is all around us."
Natalie (Martine McCutcheon)A junior member of the household staff at 10 Downing Street.
- Can't Believe I Said That: When meeting the Prime Minister for the first time, Natalie worries about how she thought '(she) was going to say "shit" or something and ruin everything'.Natalie: Hello, David. I mean, sir. Shit, I can't believe I've just said that. And now I've gone and said shit. Twice. I'm so sorry, sir!
David: It's fine, it's fine! You could have said fuck, and then we'd both have been in real trouble.
Natalie: Thank you, sir. I did have a terrible premonition I was going to fuck up on my first day. ...Oh, piss it.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Apparently. She tries to keep from doing this at work (though there are a few fuck-ups, see above). When David sees her off the clock, the first thing she says (before realizing he's there) is "Where the fuck is my fucking coat?"
- You Are Fat: Nearly everyone makes quips about her weight, except David.
Sarah (Laura Linney)An employee at Harry's graphic design company, who's been crushing for years on Karl.
- Belated Happy Ending: In the US version of the sequel, she is Happily Married to a man played by Patrick Dempsey.
- Did Not Get The Guy: In her case, she gives up pursuing Karl in order to focus on caring for her brother... for the moment.
- Insecure Love Interest: To Karl; she thinks he's "too good for [her]".
- Loving Details: When Sarah is called in to speak with her boss Harry at the start of the film, it seems at first that she simply keeps very close track of her own employment history. It soon becomes apparent, however, that she can only recite the details because they're relevant to the first moment she met her crush Karl.
- Promotion to Parent: With regards to caring for her mentally ill brother.
Karl (Rodrigo Santoro)A colleague of Sarah and Harry, the company's creative director.
John & Judy
John and Judy (Martin Freeman and Joanna Page)A pair of film body doubles who are asked to stimulate sex scenes with each other.
- Beta Couple: The two of them are this to the other couples in the film. Unlike them, whose relationships are complicated by extraneous factors and/or end unhappily, John and Judy get along instantly and otherwise have a straightforward workplace romance (sex body double aside).
- Intimate Artistry: Because of their jobs, they spend all their time together naked and try to hold conversations while in compromising positions. It develops into a romance.
Colin (Kris Marshall)A guy disgruntled with his lack of success on the dating scene who dreams of moving to America to find love.
- Casanova Wannabe: Despite his efforts, he can't get with a woman while in Britain. In America, he's a Kavorka Man.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Somewhat.
- Kavorka Man: Becomes one when he travels from his native Britain to the United States. Lampshaded by way of his pre-travel hypothesis that American women can't resist a man with a British accent, even if he lacks good looks.
- The Cuckoo Lander Was Right: Throughout the movie, Colin is convinced that his British accent will make him irresistible to women in America, and is justly mocked for this belief. When he finally arrives in America, he is proven completely correct.
- Everything Sounds Sexier in French: Colin is certain his British accent will make him irresistible to American girls. He's somehow right, and it's taken to such an extreme it turns into pure parody.