In the hit Richard Curtis movie, Nighy played ageing rocker Billy Mack, who has a penchant for hard-partying, promiscuity and drugs.
Speaking on ITV’s This Morning on Friday (11 November), Nighy reflected on the scene where Billy says to a TV camera: “Hiya kids. Here is an important message from your Uncle Bill. Don’t buy drugs. Become a pop star, and they give you them for free!”
“If I get an obituary, that will be on it,” Nighy, 72, told hosts Dermot O’Leary and Alison Hammond. “Kids used to run after me in my district, shouting that line.”
He also told the presenters he will “never be sick of people talking about Love Actually”, adding: “It was a big and important thing for me and changed the way I went to work. I’ll never get bored talking about it.
“People have used it for all sorts of purposes to get through dark times… there’s nowhere in the world where people don’t watch it on a regular basis, every Christmas.”
Nighy was on the show to promote his new movie, Living, in which he plays a veteran civil servant facing a fatal illness.
In a recent interview with The Independent, Nighy talked about how he didn’t feel he needed to method act to give a good performance in the film.
“If you’re in the company of anybody who suggests that an actor has to feel everything that they portray, then you’re talking to somebody who’s basically an amateur,” he said.
“Often it’s a way to punish actors. I think drama teachers do it sometimes to control students. To just stand there and say, ‘You’re not feeling it.’
“How do you know I’m not feeling it? What am I supposed to be feeling? You don’t have to have been bereaved in order to act somebody who’s bereaved – otherwise, well, how would we proceed? Y’know, acting is acting.”