^ OG article

This was one of many fun pieces I wrote during my year of interning one day a week with Marie Claire Australia- It was so much fun and so interesting being a part of the digital team and writing stories that aren’t really examples of hard hitting journalism but fun to write nevertheless!

9 Things you didn't know about Love Actually
Universal Studios

It’s December: which means it’s time to pull out the Christmas gear, the shopping lists, brace yourself for a messy Christmas office party and of course have your annual Love Actually, viewing session.

From Hugh Grant’s reluctance in THAT dance scene, to Billy Bob Thorton’s facial hair phobia, here are 9 things you didn’t know about the beloved Christmas movie.

Bill Nighy in Love Actually
Everett Collection

1. The Cast was meant to be completely British.

Director Richard Curtis apparently intended the whole cast to be British but changed his mind during casting. Laura Linney told The Daily Beast in 2013: “I got a letter in the mail from Richard Curtis saying that he’d been trying to cast this part, and he’d kept saying to his partner, Emma Freud, that he’d been looking for a ‘Laura Linney type,’ and she said, “Why don’t you ask Laura Linney?” My part was originally written for another Brit, but he asked me to do it, and I was so excited to be asked.”

Sexy Karl
Universal Studios

3. Billy Bob Thorton’s phobia of past US president Benjamin Disraeli’s facial hair affected filming.

In an Elle Interview in 2003, Director Richard Curtis said “[He told us,] ‘The strangest phobia I’ve got is I’m disturbed by photographs of Benjamin Disraeli. Specifically his facial hair.’  It was really unfortunate for him that this would be the only time in his life that there is a photograph of Disraeli on the stairs in a major film he’s going to do [at the prime minister’s home]. We just had to walk him past the photograph. [He said] ‘I’ll just turn away at that moment and I’ll be fine.’

Sam and Johanna
Universal Studios

3. Hugh Grant wasn’t a fan of the best scene in the film aka. the dance scene.

Hugh Grant, playing the character of the British Prime Minister, refused to rehearse his charmingly goofy dance scene that infiltrated the hearts of audiences and was “hugely grumpy about it,” according to Director Curtis. Grant wanted to approach the role of Prime Minister in a more serious light and was not happy with the song choice: originally a Jackson 5 song before rights were refused.

4. Emma Thompson wore a fat suit and improvised that heartbreaking crying scene.

“I knew just how to play that part [of a wife who has stumbled across evidence of what might be her husband’s infidelity], I’ve had so much bloody practice at crying in a bedroom and then having to go out and be cheerful, gathering up the pieces of my heart and putting them in a drawer.”

Rohan Atkinson
Universal Studios

5. The Director’s kids were in the movie.

Richard Curtis, the director and Emma Freud, his wife and screen writer watched the film for the first time since the premier last year, with Emma live tweeting the affair and providing glorious new insights into the classic.

6. She was also the “kissing consultant,” and designed the kiss between Colin Firth and Lucia Moniz.

7. Andrew Lincoln’s giant cards scene was based on Bob Dylan’s ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues,’ video and he wrote them himself because he thought he had good handwriting.

The Director also wrote 5 versions of the scene and then enacted them on female crew members to make sure it wasn’t too cheesy. Perhaps It was. But adorable nevertheless!

That cards scene
Universal Studios

8. Actual Claudia Schiffer was cast instead of ‘someone who looks like Claudia Schiffer.’

Liam Neeson’s character has a crush on Claudia Schiffer in the movie and was meant to meet a potential love interest who looks like her… No such actress surfaced so Richard Curtis cast the real Claudia Schiffer.

Claudia Schiffer
Universal Studios

9. Colin Firth and Lucia Moniz had to pretend to swim in 18 inches of water.

The lake in the movie was actually more a puddle in terms of depth and was also infested with mosquitos, which led to Colin Firth requiring medical attention with an avocado sized elbow.

Happy viewing!

Original Article on Marie Claire Australia: 2016

9 Things you didn't know about Titanic

It’s one of the highest grossing – and most epic films of all time – but there are some things you may not have known about James Cameron’s heart breaking masterpiece.


1. Beloved Leo and Kate weren’t the first picks for the lead roles.

Titanic could have looked very different with studios wanting Mathew McConaughey to play Jack, but James Cameron insisted on Leonardo Dicaprio. Other actresses considered to play Rose included Gwyneth Paltrow, Nicole Kidman, Madonna, Jodie Foster, Cameron Diaz and Sharon Stone.


2. Gloria Stuart, who played old Rose was the only person on set alive when the Titanic sunk in 1912.

She was also the oldest person, at 87, to be nominated for an Oscar.


3. Kate Winslet got pneumonia after filming the water scenes and almost quit production.

Kate was the only cast member to forgo a wet suit while filming the water scenes and almost quit production when she got pneumonia. Most of the scenes were filmed in pools with warmish water however the water used when Rose is looking for Jack in the flooded corridors of the ship was from the Pacific Ocean.

The scenes in the ocean after the ship has sunk also took place in a pool that was only 3 feet deep.


4. There actually was a J. Dawson on board the Titanic.

James Cameron discovered that there was a real J. Dawson who died on the Titanic after the script was finished. It was later revealed that the mystery Dawson was an Irishman who worked in the engine room. He is buried in Halifax with a gravestone, where multiple victims of the tragedy are buried and since he was discovered fans have been known to leave flowers and tributes.

5. James Cameron is the artist behind Jack’s drawings.

Although not surprising that Leonardo Dicaprio isn’t the one responsible for Jack’s drawings, you may be delighted to find that Director James Cameron is. It’s his hands that are filmed sketching Rose and he is also the talent behind the rest of Jack’s sketches.


6. ‘I want you to draw me like one of your French girls…’

One of the most famous and memorable scenes in the film was also the first shot, way back when Kate and Leo weren’t the besties they are today and had just met. To break the ice and to dilute the awkwardness that comes with baring your hot bod to a stranger whilst being filmed, Kate flashed Leo on set prior to filming.

Leo was then so nervous during that scene that instead of saying “lie on that couch,” he said “lie on that bed, I mean couch” and it was adorable so James Cameron kept it.


7. The piece of wood that Rose floats on is based on an actual artefact.

If you find yourself screaming at the television for Rose to shove over every time you watch the movies tragic finale and want to speculate more as to whether 2 people could have fit on that piece of wood, you could check it out in person. The wood that Rose floats on is based on an actual artefact that survived the sinking and is on display at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax, Nova Scotia.


Bonus: Other aspects of the film that were true IRL-

  • Cameron gave over a hundred of the extras actual names of passengers and scenarios.
  • Jack’s description of the water being “like a thousand knives,” is based on a quote from a Titanic survivor.
  • If your tears were jerked by the old couple who died in bed together whilst water flooded the room- they were based on real people. They were Ida and Isidor Strauss, the owners of Macy’s department store in New York. Ida was offered a seat on a life boat but instead chose to stay with her husband saying, “as we have lived together, so we shall die together.”
old people


8. The cast and crew ended up high on the final day of shooting after a chowder spiking incident.

A few unknown people spiked the clam chowder served to the cast and crew with PCP, otherwise known as angel-dust, symptoms of which include vivid hallucinations, landing 80 people in hospital.


9. ‘I’m the king of the world,’ was totally improvised.

Hats off to Leo for winging one of the most famous and memorable lines in cinematic history. The line was completely improvised, as were many others in the film as cameron was a big fan of ad-libbing. The scene where Rose thanks Jack for saving her and he teaches her to ‘spit like a man,’ was almost entirely improvised. Kate Winslet then took inspiration from this when Rose tries to escape from Cal while the ship is sinking. She spits in his face and Billy Zane (who plays Cal) was not informed of this spontaneous script change.


Still one of the best ever screen couples from an amazing movie.