Love Actually director defends casting Keira Knightley despite shocking age gap

28 November 2023, 12:03 | Updated: 21 January 2024, 08:56

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By Sam Prance

Keira Knightly was just 18 years old when she starred in the beloved film.

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Love Actually director Richard Curtis has addressed the age gap between Keira Knightley and her co-stars in the iconic film.

Every a year a tweet goes viral with people only just finding out how young Keira Knightley was in Love Actually. At just 18 years old, she was only five years older than Thomas Brodie-Sangster (13) who plays schoolboy Sam in the film. She was also 8 years younger than Chiwetel Ejiofor (26) and 12 years younger than Andrew Lincoln (30) - her two love interests.

As a result, people have criticised the film for casting Keira when she was so young and now Richard Curtis has responded.

Love Actually director defends shock Keira Knightley age gap in movie
Love Actually director defends shock Keira Knightley age gap in movie. Picture: Universal Studios / Alamy Stock Photo

Speaking to LadBible, Richard said that Keira's age "didn’t seem too peculiar" at the time. However, he then added that they would have approached the role differently if they were making the film today: "I'm really interested in whether or not I would think ‘don't do that’ now. And that actually now we probably wouldn't have gotten someone as young as Keira was in."

Richard then praised fans for speaking up about what they don't like today. He said? "The great thing now is that everybody is bold enough to say anything they don't particularly like in what you do - kind of gives you a filter these days."

He also said that he doesn't regret casting Keira: "But on the other hand, I'm thrilled we cast Keira because I thought she was perfect. And I don't think she reads in the film as being a teenager, I think she reads as being about 23."

Keria Knightley was just five years old than Thomas Brodie-Sangster in Love Actually
Keria Knightley was just five years old than Thomas Brodie-Sangster in Love Actually. Picture: Alamy

Richard ended by saying: "But it's interesting that they were far apart."

What do you think? Was Keira too young for the role?

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