Red Nose Day Actually

Liam Neeson As part of Comic Relief’s fundraising efforts this year, Richard Curtis wrote and directed a short film revisiting some of the characters from his film Love Actually, 14 years on. 

A last-minute switch of location made filming logistics quite a challenge when cameras rolled last week.

Cast members Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, Andrew Lincoln, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Martine McCutcheon, Colin Firth, Lucia Moniz, Liam Neeson, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Olivia Olson, Bill Nighy, Marcus Brigstocke and Rowan Atkinson were lined up and ready to go when plans for the original location fell through. 

With Neeson on a particularly tight turnaround, a backup plan was swiftly scrambled with Bankside, just outside Tate Modern in Southwark with its views across the river to St Paul’s providing the final backdrop.  

Southwark Council’s film office is managed by FilmFixer, whose director Andrew Pavord said of the eleventh-hour change of plan: "We were thrilled to turn around the location request at the last minute - making this fantastic shoot possible. 

"Liam Neeson had flown in especially just for the day's shoot - returning to the US the very next day - so it was vital that the permitting was sorted, despite the last-minute problems."

Red Nose Day Actually

"Remember this is all for charity - everyone has to pull together for this great cause," said Pavord. "We reduced the fee to film there for the day accordingly. The location was booked all day, and the shoot ran from 10.30 to 3.30.

"We took the call just the day before, in the afternoon, when the planned location fell through." 

Red Nose Day Actually

"Despite the last-minute notice, the shoot was no secret and drew a huge crowd - many of whom were wearing their red noses," said Pavord. "It was just a brilliant atmosphere - everyone was so good-natured, the weather held out, and the shots look brilliant."

Curtis said of the project: "I would never have dreamt of writing a sequel to Love Actually, but I thought it might be fun to do 10 minutes to see what everyone is now up to. Who has aged best? I guess that’s the big question… or is it so obviously Liam?”

Richard CurtisThomas Brodie-Sangster

Photos via Karen Everett and Laura Brown of FilmFixer. 

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