Even 16 years after its release, Love Actually fans are still discovering trivia about the 2003 rom-com — including, thanks to a recent viral tweet, the fact that cast members Keira Knightley and Thomas Brodie-Sangster are much closer in age than they seem.
“Yearly reminder that there is only a five year age gap between Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Keira Knightley in Love Actually,” blogger Madeleine Lloyd-Jones tweeted on Saturday, December 14, alongside photos of Sam and Juliet, the actors’ characters in the film.
So far, Lloyd-Jones’ tweet has gotten more than 107k likes and more than 18k retweets. And her math is accurate: Brodie-Sangster, born on May 16, 1990, is now 29, and Knightley, born on March 26, 1985, is now 34.
Weirder yet, while Brodie-Sangster was 12 years old at the time of filming, Knightley was only 17 during the production, which lasted from September to November 2002. Her husband in the film was played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, who’s eight years her senior, and her would-be suitor was played by Andrew Lincoln, who’s 11 years older than Knightley.
On Twitter, Knightley and Brodie-Sangster’s relatively small age gap has astonished fans. “I was so shook by this I thought it had to be fake,” tweeted one. “He looks 5 and she looks 25,” said another.
Love Actually earned more than $247 million worldwide, ranked on many film critics’ lists of best-ever Christmas films, and made reprise appearances at the multiplex during many yuletide seasons. Many of the film’s stars — including Knightley and Brodie-Sangster — reunited in 2017 for the television short film Red Nose Day Actually in support of the eponymous charity event.
Both Knightley and Brodie-Sangster have cultivated lengthy filmographies the years since Love Actually’s release. Brodie-Sangster played Jojen Reed in 10 episodes of Game of Thrones, starred as Whitey Winn in the Netflix miniseries Godless, and portrayed Newt in the Maze Runner movies. Knightley, meanwhile, has made a career of period dramas, including the films The Duchess, A Dangerous Method, Anna Karenina, Colette and The Aftermath. Her performances in Pride & Prejudice and The Imitation Game earned her Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations, and she earned another Golden Globe nod for her work in Atonement.
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