While he’s appeared in various film and TV shows over the years and is currently cutting a dash as handsome outlaw Hector Escaton in HBO’s Westworld, there’s one role that Brazilian actor Rodrigo Santoro just can’t shake – his small role in 2003’s Love Actually, where he played the dream man of Laura Linney’s Sarah.
“The biggest feedback I have is Love Actually,” Santoro told RadioTimes.com, “all the time.”
“15 years, back in 2003. And that was my first time here in London. That’s when I met London. And it was amazing.”
“I’m amazed and surprised by how much people love that movie. They play it every year – that helps. Cos every Christmas, at least in the States, and Brazil as well, they replay – but every every Christmas. It’s not like they jump a year – every Christmas they play Love Actually. And people love it.”
In the film, Santoro’s character Karl eventually goes on a date with Linney’s Sarah after years of her loving him from afar, but just when it seems like things were going well – VERY well, in fact – the night was interrupted by Sarah’s mentally unwell brother, whose dependent relationship with his sister cooled Karl’s fires and ended their courtship.
However, Santoro has now revealed that this might not have been the end for Karl and Sarah. Last year, Love Actually writer/director Richard Curtis created a loose sequel of sorts to the film for the charitable Red Nose Day broadcast, featuring many of the original film’s characters years later in their lives.
Called Red Nose Day, Actually, the US version of the short film (which aired a few months later) brought back Linney’s Sarah for her own happy ending with a character played by Patrick Dempsey – but apparently, Karl was originally supposed to be part of that storyline.
“So Richard invited me to do it!” Santoro revealed.
“I was in Cuba shooting and I couldn’t do it. It was for his charity. I felt so bad because I couldn’t come. But I was invited – Richard Curtis reached out and said ‘Hey, we’re doing this…’
“It broke my heart, but I was in Cuba shooting a film and I couldn’t come. They shot in New York if I’m not wrong.”
Of course, some fans might actually prefer the Dempsey ending for Linney’s character, with Karl’s reaction to Sarah’s predicament – which basically involved him walking out of her life after she kept taking calls from her brother – criticised by some viewers as heartless, with many citing Karl as one of the least likable figures in the movie.
Santoro, however, sees things differently.
“I don’t think so – he behaved very well,” he told RadioTimes.com. “I think Laura Linney’s character, Sarah, is the one who is torn between the brother and being open for a relationship.
“No, I think Karl was in love with Sarah, and he wanted to have a relationship with her very badly. But…let’s see if I remember the line.
“‘Life is full of complications.’ That was a line, when she’s picking up the phone, they’re in bed, they’re about to…but it doesn’t happen. Yeah, life is full of complications. And he’s very understandable, actually.”
Sadly, we’ll now probably never know whether Karl and Sarah could have made it work – though Santoro says he’s still keen to return to the character if the opportunity comes up.
“I think they should do a sequel,” he said. “That’s a movie that I want.
“We are all older now – how about that? It’s been 15 years. What happened to the Love Actually characters? The actors. It would be lovely.
“I was so lucky to be a part of that,” he added.
“Look at all those British, amazing actors who were there. Y’know, amazing, amazing. Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson, Rowan Atkinson. Laura Linney. It’s like, the cast was ridiculous.
“So I’m very grateful today, and have great great memories.”
Whether fans can forgive Karl enough to bring him back is, of course, another matter…
Westworld Season 2 premieres on streaming service NOW TV and Sky Atlantic on Monday 23rd April at 2am. Episodes will be available weekly on demand and repeated at 9pm the same day.