Character page for Love Actually.
Played by: Bill Nighy
A washed-out ex-heroin addict rock-and-roll singer trying to make a comeback by getting a Christmas-themed cover of his once hit song "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.
- Deadpan Snarker: The whole thing about his return under the spotlights being nothing but cash grab, with a hit song of his being ridiculously tweaked to be Christmas-themed, inspires him an endless flow of sarcasm.
- Drugs Are Bad: Hilariously subverted when he 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'll 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 and makes no secret about it.
Played by: Gregor Fisher
Billy Mack'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".
Played by: 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.
Played by: Lucia Moniz
The Portuguese housekeeper at Jamie'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".
Played by: 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.
- Good Parents: Sam's stepfather, but he completely devoted himself to helping his son.
- Like Brother and Sister: He and Karen are very close, with no romantic entanglements between the two of them.
- Nice Guy: A selfless man who does whatever he can to help his stepson get the girl of his dreams.
Played by: 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."
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: An adorable and well-meaning blond pre-teen.
- 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.
Played by: 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 ultimately decide to soldier on with their marriage, although it's not as happy as it once was.
- 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. She eventually decides to carry on with her husband afterward rather than go through the drama of a divorce.
Played by: 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.
- Uncertain Doom: Harry doesn't appear in the sequel due to Alan Rickman's death in 2016. Whether The Character Died with Him or not is never outright confirmed.
Played by: Heike Makatsch
Harry's new secretary. She's Mark's friend and Natalie's neighbor.
- Flat 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.
- Foil: To Natalie, who is revealed to be her neighbor. Both work as secretaries, but while Mia is assertive and a textbook Femme Fatale, Natalie is modest and shy.
- Hate Sink: She is deliberately teasing a married man with two kids to sleep with her, at times in front of his wife.
- Horny Devils: She wears devil headbands while seducing Harry at one point.
- 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.
- Stealth Pun: Overlapping with Letter Motif, Mia happens to live next door to Natalie.
Played by: Andrew Lincoln
Peter's best friend and best man at his wedding. He works at an art gallery, and is friends with Mia. He secretely loves Juliet.
- 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".
Played by: Keira Knightley
Peter's wife, who wonders why Mark is hostile to her.
Played by: Chiwetel Ejiofor
Juliet's husband and Mark's best friend. Also a friend of Sarah and Jaime.
Played by: Hugh Grant
The recently-elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, as well as Karen's brother.
- 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: One night, he starts dancing to "Jump" by the Pointer Sisters at 10 Downing Street.
- 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."
Played by: 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?"
- Foil: To Mia, who is revealed to be her neighbor. Both work as secretaries, but while Natalie is modest and shy, Mia is assertive and a textbook Femme Fatale.
- Stealth Pun: Overlapping with Letter Motif, Natalie happens to live next door to Mia.
- Subordinate Excuse: Inverted. Her boss David was the one who fell in love with her.
- You Are Fat: Nearly everyone makes quips about her weight, except David.
Played by: 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.
- Eagleland: The Beautiful type, being a nice person and a responsible family member.
- Everyone Can See It: As Harry points out, all of her colleagues are aware of her crush on Karl, including Karl himself.
- 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.
Played by: Rodrigo Santoro
A colleague of Sarah and Harry, the company's creative director.
- Latin Lover: His ethnicity is never commented on. His actor is Brazilian.
- Megane: Very much a Western example.
- Mr. Fanservice: Pretty much a given considering who his actor is.
- Satellite Love Interest: Not nearly as fleshed out as the other love interests.
- Shirtless Scene: When things start getting really intimate with Sarah.
- Tall, Dark, and Handsome: He is Sarah's 6'3 Latin Lover.
- Token Minority: His actor is the only Hispanic cast member in the film.
Played by: Martin Freeman and Joanna Page
A pair of film body doubles who are asked to simulate sex scenes.
- Added Alliterative Appeal: A couple named John and Judy.
- 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 much of their time together naked and try to hold casual conversations in-between takes where they simulate sexual positions (which would be embarrassing in any other context). It develops into a romance.
- Sex Equals Love: A variant. They get acquainted with one another being body doubles for actors for sex scenes in a movie.
Played by: 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 Cuckoolander 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.
Played by: Abdul Salis
A production assistant working on the film John and Judy are involved in, and Colin's best friend.
Played by: Billy Bob Thornton
The U.S. President during David's term. He comes to the UK on an official visit.
- Eagleland: The Boorish type, being a sleazy womanizer and a bit of a bully.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": He's only addressed via his title.
- Jerkass: He makes disparaging comments to David about Natalie's appearance.
- No Name Given: His name is never pronounced.
- No Party Given: Whether he's a Republican or a Democrat is never elaborated on.
- Our Presidents Are Different: Textbook President Jerkass and Playboy, given his unkind comments about Natalie and later making a pass on her. It's implied he is also a President Scheming type, given David believes he is being bullied by his demands.
Played by: Ivana Miličević (Stacey), January Jones (Jeannie), Elisha Cuthbert (Carole-Anne), Shannon Elizabeth (Harriet)
A group of American girls Colin meets upon his arrival in the USA.
- All Women Are Lustful: They are all eager to have sex with Colin despite barely knowing him.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: They seem to be way off and easily swayed.
- Eagleland: The mixed type, they're nice but are blatantly lustful.
- Foreign Fanservice: At least for Colin, who traveled to the U.S to get laid.
- Girl Posse: They seem to be a tight group.
- Give Geeks a Chance: It doesn't take long for Colin to sleep with them.
- Informed Attractiveness: Played for Laughs; Stacey, Jeannie, and Carole-Anne are all beautiful women but mournfully refer to their equally lovely roommate Harriet as "the sexy one".
- Nice Hat: Harriet is always wearing a cowboy hat.