The Holiday: 9 actors you might have overlooked in the Christmas romcom

The Holiday: 9 actors you might have overlooked in the Christmas romcom

The Holiday is a Christmas classic. A cosy romcom set between snow-covered Surrey and sunny Los Angeles, the film tells the story of two women, Iris (Kate Winslet) and Amanda (Cameron Diaz), who decide to swap houses for the festive season.

With each in a new place, and both having sworn off love thanks to terrible experiences, Iris and Amanda somehow both managed to find “the one”, as well as learn new things about themselves along the way.

Miles (Jack Black) and Graham (Jude Law) are everything you want and more in romcom love interests. Funny, kind, and vulnerable, the two men are the perfect choices for Iris and Amanda, respectively.

However, there are a number of other actors who either cameo or appear in some of their earliest film roles.

Here are the ones you might not remember.

Dustin Hoffman as himself

Dustin Hoffman appears in the scene where Miles (Jack Black) and Iris (Kate Winslet) visit the DVD shop together and Miles discovers that his girlfriend has been cheating on him.

Hoffman’s appearance is brief and he plays another customer in the shop. Miles picks up a copy of The Graduate, one of Hoffman’s most famous films, and begins to sing the score. Standing behind Miles, who doesn’t spot him, Hoffman shakes his head and says under his breath: “Can’t go anywhere.”

Hilariously, this cameo appearance was not planned. In fact, Hoffman was driving past the DVD shop whilst filming was taking place. He noticed all the cameras and decided to stop in and see what was happening. Hoffman knew Nancy Meyers so she worked him into the scene.

Kathryn Hahn as Bristol

Hahn plays Bristol, one of Amanda’s colleagues who works with her on creating movie trailers. In the only scene she is in, which comes near the start of the film around the 17-minute mark, Hahn is wearing a prosthetic baby bump as her character is pregnant.

However, unbeknownst to the audience at the time, Hahn was pregnant in real life, although not as far along as Bristol. She toldRadio Times: “I actually was pregnant on set but then I was wearing a huge prosthetic belly on top of it. It was a very surreal experience.”

Kate Winslet (left) and Cameron Diaz in The Holiday (Universal Pictures/The Holiday)
Kate Winslet (left) and Cameron Diaz in The Holiday (Universal Pictures/The Holiday)

John Krasinski as Ben

Krasinski also plays one of Amanda’s colleagues and appears in the same scene as Hahn. When Krasinski took on the role of Ben in The Holiday, he had just started out in The Office, the show which is often credited with really kick-starting his career.

Lindsay Lohan as herself

The cast of ‘Falling for Christmas' (Scott Everett White/Netflix)
The cast of ‘Falling for Christmas' (Scott Everett White/Netflix)

Lohan appears in the movie as herself, in a fake trailer alongside James Franco, that was filmed especially for The Holiday. The trailer she stars in is for an action film, and is worked on by Amanda, Ben, and Bristol.

Meyers explained that she was able to get Lohan on board thanks to her previous work with the actress on The Parent Trap, Lohan’s breakout role when she was a tween.

The director told in 2006: “I told [Lohan] she owes me everything so I made her do it. I called her and said, ‘You have to do this for me,’ but she was sweet about it, she was totally there.”

Lohan starred in her own Christmas movie, Netflix’s Falling for Christmas, released earlier this year.

James Franco as himself

Meyers had met Franco a few times at dinner parties and the pair shared mutual friends.

“I asked him if he would do it,” Meyers explained, “and it turned out Lindsay and James knew each other and it was really fun”.

The fake trailer was shot very quickly, in just a day and a half.

Odette Annable and Alex O’Loughlin as The Kissing Couple

Annable is most known for playing Dr Jessica Adams on House MD and, more recently, Geri Broussard on Walker.

She appears in the very first scene of The Holiday, as part of an on-screen couple from a film, to which Miles is composing the score. Credited as the woman from the “Kissing Couple,” Annable wears a long, white, period drama-esque dress and kisses a man, played by Alex O’Loughlin, by a river in the countryside.

O’Loughlin, known for his role as Steve McGarrett in Hawaii Five-0, played the other half of the “Kissing Couple” in the first scene of The Holiday.

Kate Winslet in ‘The Holiday’ (YouTube)
Kate Winslet in ‘The Holiday’ (YouTube)

Bill Macy as Ernie

Macy, who began his acting career in 1966, played the role of Ernie, one of Arthur’s friends. He appears in the Chanukah Party scene with Iris and Miles at Amanda’s house and is also there in the crowd when Arthur gives his speech at the Writers’ Guild. Sadly, Macy died in October 2019 at the age of 97.

Sarah Parish as Hannah

Known for Stay Close, Broadchurch, Merlin, and You, Me & Him, Parish appeared as Hannah in The Holiday.

Hannah is Iris’ friend and colleague who asks her about her confusing relationship with Jasper at the office Christmas party. Hannah tells Iris, while smoking a cigarette: “Iris, when you catch your guy with another woman you’re not supposed to stay friends with him.”