“You can never use the word again”: Love Actually Director Was Reprimanded by Daughter for His ‘Insensitive’ Joke After Casting 18 Year Old Keira Knightley in Christmas Classic 

Time hasn't been kind to Richard Curtis' Christmas classic, as his daughter him out on his usage of insensitive jokes in the movie.

Love Actually Director Was Reprimanded by Daughter for His ‘Insensitive’ Joke After Casting 18 Year Old Keira Knightley in Christmas Classic


  • Richard Curtis' daughter called him out on his usage of weight jokes in the Christmas classic.
  • Richard Curtis regrets resorting to such insensitive jokes, wishing he was ahead of the curve.
  • While it didn't cause much debate 2 decades back, Curtis admits he wouldn't have gotten someone as young as Knightley in the present landscape.
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Producer/screenwriter Richard Curtis made several rom-com classics back in the 90’s and 00’s that effectively made Hugh Grant a huge star. One of Britain’s best-ever screenwriters, his Christmas classic Love Actually remains one of his most beloved hits. Starring Keira Knightley, the film was a huge success at the box office despite failing to win over most critics.

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However, despite having a remarkable record, the director concurred that some of his movies haven’t aged quite well. This was after his daughter called him out on his use of insensitive jokes.


Also read: “I thought she was perfect”: Keira Knightley Playing Marvel Star’s Love Interest at Just 18 for $246M Christmas Movie Gets Perfect Response from Director 

Love actually
Love Actually (2003)

Richard Curtis recalled being called out by his daughter for ridiculing someone’s weight

Speaking with his daughter in a recent interview, she confronted the director on his treatment of women and lack of diversity in his filmography. Reflecting on these criticisms, Richard Curtis expressed regret over not involving a more diverse cast in some of his hits, especially Notting Hill, while also lamenting his insensitive jokes in Love Actually. Referring to the subplot in Love Actually, in which Martine McCutcheon’s Natalie is ridiculed for being “fat”, Curtis explained that five years ago, his daughter Scarlett called him out on his insensitive jokes. He said,


“I remember how shocked I was five years ago when Scarlett said to me, ‘You can never use the word ‘fat’ again,'” he said. “Wow, you were right. In my generation calling someone chubby [was funny] — in Love Actually there were jokes about that. Those jokes aren’t any longer funny.”

While the insensitive jokes don’t completely ruin the movie and fans can still very much enjoy his work, the director wished he’d have been ahead of the curve and didn’t resort to such jokes.

Also read: “I showed off my knickers”: The Pirates of the Caribbean Movie Keira Knightley is Proud of

hugh grant love actually-2
Hugh Grant | Love Actually

Richard Curtis wouldn’t have cast a young Keira Knightley for Love Actually in the present landscape

Insensitive jokes about people’s weight weren’t the only thing that came back to haunt the Christmas classic years later, as the age gap between the movie’s leads also sparked major controversies. Starring Keira Knightley at the forefront, who was only 18 at the time, the age gap between her and TWD Star Andrew Lincoln, who was 30 at the time, reasonably caused fans to showcase distaste for the casting. And while the director admitted that he wouldn’t cast someone as young as Keira Knightley for the role today, he explained that the age gap “didn’t seem too peculiar”.

He told LADbible,


“I’m really interested in whether or not I would think ‘don’t do that’ now, ” Curtis said. “And that actually now we probably wouldn’t have gotten someone as young as Keira was in.”

Also read: Keira Knightley Was Chased Through a Park By Titanic Fanatics After They Mistakenly Thought Actress Was Kate Winslet

Keira Knightley and Andrew Lincoln | Love Actually
Keira Knightley and Andrew Lincoln | Love Actually

With Curtis returning to craft another Christmas-themed movie, it’s reasonable to assume this one would improve upon Keira Knightley’s Love Actually in the jokes department.


Love Actually is available to stream on Netflix.




Written by Santanu Roy

Santanu Roy is a film enthusiast with a deep love for the medium of animation while also being obsessed with The Everly Brothers, Billy Joel, and The Platters. Having expertise in everything related to Batman, Santanu spends most of his time watching and learning films, with Martin Scorsese and Park Chan-wook being his personal favorites. Apart from pursuing a degree in animation, he also possesses a deep fondness for narrative-driven games and is currently a writer at Fandomwire with over 1000 articles.