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Love Actually director reveals last-minute change to the script

Martine McCutcheon's foul-mouthed character could have been very different...

Published: Tuesday, 15th December 2020 at 2:51 pm

Is it even Christmas if you haven't re-watched Love Actually yet? (Spoiler alert: the answer is no).


As it turns out, the beloved festive cult classic could've been quite different had director Richard Curtis not made a last-minute change to the script that involves Martine McCutheon's foul-mouthed Natalie.

Curtis sat down with star Martine McCutcheon as part of Comic Relief's Love Actually Christmas Quiz – and revealed why the change was necessary.

"When I was writing the film, I was absolutely determined that Martine was going to play the woman that Hugh Grant fell in love with," he said. "And it was only when we were about to have the read-through, which is actually sort of going to be her audition, that I suddenly realised I had called the character Martine.

"So literally the day before, we did that sort of 'change all' thing on the computer. [We] changed everything to Natalie suddenly, and then hoped it would be okay, because we didn't want Martine to see the part was for her and then do so badly and be sad for the rest of her life."

Obviously that didn't happen, as Curtis was quick to add, saying: "But she was absolutely perfect at the read-through, as we expected."

You can watch the clip, and McCutcheon's reaction below:

The full quiz is available at and costs £5. Once you purchase it, you can enjoy it until 29th January.

Funds raised will go towards Comic Relief projects working to give children the best start in life, support people struggling with their mental health or feeling lonely or unsafe this Christmas and in the new year, across the UK and around the world.

McCutcheon hosts and, as well as Curtis, she is joined by other cast members including Bill Nighy, Keira Knightley, Kris Marshall, Olivia Olson and Thomas Brodie-Sangster.


Love Actually is available to watch on Sky Cinema or via a NOW TV Sky Cinema pass. For more Christmas viewing suggestions, check out our best Christmas TV for 2020 guide. For what to watch now, check out our TV Guide


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