'Love Actually' mini-sequel keeps it written in the cards

Sure, rom-com enthusiasts might be having all the feels now that the “sequel” to 2003’s “Love Actually” has been unveiled (for some of us, at least), but Andrew Lincoln has a bone to pick.

“I don't say anything!” Lincoln playfully cracked during a recent sit-down to discuss “The Walking Dead.” “I was like, you got me back here? Everybody else has got a line, and you're not giving me any? I didn't even get radio miked! I was like, can I improvise a funny line at the end? And they just went, no.”

Almost 15 years after the original movie was released — becoming something of a holiday classic in the years since — the Richard Curtis film got a 10-minute sequel that premiered Friday as part of Britain’s Red Nose Day telethon Those in the U.S. can watch the “Love Actually” skit during Comic Relief's "Red Nose Day" on NBC May 24. But viewers across the pond have already tweeted plenty of spoilers.

Dubbed “Red Nose Day Actually,” the 10-minute short film checks in with many of the “Love Actually” characters to see where they are in 2017.

That meant more card-holding for Lincoln.

The 43-year-old English actor has become the face of one of the most iconic moments in the rom-com movie canon. Say the words “Love Actually,” and the image of him, years before he came to be known in the U.S. for his role in “The Walking Dead,” holding cue cards that profess his unrequited love outside his beloved’s home is likely to come to mind.

Among the many plotlines in the 2003 film is the story between Juliet (Kiera Knightley), her husband, Peter (Chiwetel Ejiofor), and his best mate Mark (Lincoln). Mark is hopelessly in love with Juliet. But to hide that fact, he treats Juliet poorly. Later in the film, Mark shows up outside Peter and Juliet’s home with a CD player (remember those?) and the notecards that declare his love to her. (Juliet opens the door while Peter stays watching TV on the couch.)

Lincoln says the scene resonated so deeply that he began getting requests for him to reenact it.

“People want me to help out their love lives,” Lincoln said. “I've become the Patron Saint of Marriage Proposal Miming. I mean, who would've thought?”

But he was more than willing to keep up the act for a sequel for Red Nose Day, a British charity telethon created by comedian Lenny Henry and Curtis that uses live comedy, music and sketches to raise money and awareness for Comic Relief, a charity that supports children living in poverty in the U.K. and Africa.

“It is a bit of a light snack, rather than a full meal,” Curtis told The Times of the film. And, no, don’t expect a full-fledged follow-up. It won’t happen, Curtis said.

In the mini-sequel, Lincoln’s Mark has once again popped up outside Juliet’s door with some cards. And the scene put his facial muscles to work.

“I turned him into a mime artist,” Curtis said. “He doesn’t speak again.” But he jokingly added, “ I should have given him something.”

Lincoln was more concerned that it might be a bit creepy that he’s still pulling the cue card stunt after all these years.

“I’m back outside her door,” Lincoln said. “I told Richard, ‘Wait, now I’m going to be considered the Patron Saint of Stalking.’ How many years has it been?”

The cards, which Lincoln wrote himself, as he did in the original, inquire how Juliet and Peter are getting on. Then, in a nod to the original, it’s revealed that Mark has, indeed, ended up with a supermodel. If you want to know who, we’re sure Twitter can tell you.

Lincoln, while pleased that Mark does have a happy ending, just wishes he could have vocalized his happiness.

“One word. Give me one line,” he said.

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Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times

Chiwetel Ejiofor

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