Richard Curtis says lack of diversity in Love Actually makes him feel ‘uncomfortable and a bit stupid’

Richard Curtis says lack of diversity in Love Actually makes him feel ‘uncomfortable and a bit stupid’

Love Actually writer-director Richard Curtis has admitted that the lack of diversity in his 2003 Christmas classic doesn’t sit well with him.

The award-winning British filmmaker said there are moments of the film that are now “bound to feel out of date”, but that society’s ongoing love for it was “really touching”.

Love Actually follows numerous storylines about people in love. However, apart from the interracial marriage between Keira Knightley and Chiwetel Ejiofor, the cast is overwhelmingly white.

The relationships are also exclusively heterosexual (although there is homoerotic subtext between Bill Nighy’s rock star and his manager). A lesbian storyline with Anne Reid and Frances de La Tour was cut from the final version of the film.

Curtis’s comments about diversity came during an interview in the new one-hour special, The Laughter & Secrets of Love Actually: 20 Years Later, which was broadcast on US network ABC on Tuesday (29 November).

Cast members including Hugh Grant, Dame Emma Thompson, Bill Nighy, Laura Linney and Thomas Brodie-Sangster also sat down with ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer for exclusive interviews about the movie.

Asked by Sawyer if there were any parts of the film that made him “wince”, Curtis replied: “There are things that you would change, but thank God society is changing.

“My film is bound in some moments to feel out of date. The lack of diversity makes me feel uncomfortable and a bit stupid.”

He added that the love he sees people share in real life makes him “wish my film was better”.

Hugh Grant in ‘Love Actually' (Universal)
Hugh Grant in ‘Love Actually' (Universal)

“It makes me wish I’d made a documentary just to kind of observe it,” he said.

Elsewhere in the special, Grant – who played a prime minister in the movie – called the Love Actually script “a bit psychotic”.

Additional reporting by Press Association