Why Rowan Atkinson's Love Actually character took so long to wrap

People are only just discovering why Rowan Atkinson’s Love Actually character took so long to wrap Alan Rickman’s present

  • Love Actually’s script editor Emma Freud, 61, explained the funny scene’s origin
  • READ MORE: Four Weddings and a Funeral writer Richard Curtis says he was ‘stupid and wrong’ for way he wrote women and joked about people’s size in his films after being confronted by his own DAUGHTER

Love Actually is among the most popular Christmas films of all time, watched every year by thousands of people to get into the festive spirit.

And even with an A-list cast, including Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson and Keira Knightly acting out sweet love scenes and dramatic proposals, there’s one scene that sticks in the memory of millions.

Rowan Atkinson has a cameo in the smash hit as shop assistant Rufus, who takes a comically long time to wrap up a necklace that Alan Rickman’s character Harry is buying for his secretary, Mia (Heike Makatsch), behind his wife Karen’s back.

Karen, played by Emma Thompson, is shopping in the same store at the time.

Panicking, Harry hopes Rufus will wrap up the present quickly, but Rufus clocks this and wraps up his purchase extra elaborately.

Rowan Atkinson’s character Rufus wrapping the present is one of the most memorable scenes in the film

Harry can be seen becoming so physically irate with Rufus’ adding of ornate embellishments that he tells him to stop what he is doing.

While many viewers assumed that the hilarious scene from the 2003 was purely comedic, 20 years on many are just clocking the real reasons behind it.

Taking to X, formerly known Twitter, many have realised that he is deliberately being slow in the hope Emma’s character Karen catches them.

The theory was confirmed on Twitter by script editor Emma Freud, 61, who worked on the film alongside her husband and its director Richard Curtis, 67, penned an explanation on X, formerly known as Twitter.

 ‘Alan Rickman’s character over-wrapped the gift on purpose to stop Alan Rickman being able to buy the necklace. Because he was an angel,’ she wrote in 2015.

One stunned user then asked: ‘Did anyone ask the if Harry ACTUALLY have an affair or just tempted to? Alan Rickman villains are usually loveable but not this one!’

The esteemed script editor then explained: ‘DEFINITELY had an affair. I begged Richard just to make it a flirtation, but no, the whole way’.

It comes after Four Weddings and a Funeral writer Richard Curtis said he was ‘stupid and wrong’ for joking about people’s size in his films after he was confronted by his daughter.

The  director said he regrets much of his work and he was ‘unobservant’ and ‘not as clever’ as he should have been.

Rowan Atkinson played irritating shop assistant Rufus who tried to dissaude Alan Rickman’s character Harry from cheating in Love Actually (2003)

He added that he would never use the words ‘fat’ and ‘chubby’ again.

The weight of Renée Zellweger’s character Bridget Jones was discussed in the film while the prime minister’s personal assistant Natalie in Love Actually, played by Martine McCutcheon, was depicted as the ‘chubby one”.

But Curtis said those jokes weren’t funny any more when he was quizzed by his daughter Scarlett at The Times and Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival.

It comes after Richard Curtis revealed that Love Actually almost featured an LGBTQ+ romantic storyline but it was ‘cut’ out.

The screenwriter has previously spoken about the lack of diversity in Love Actually and addressed criticism of his jokes about people’s sizes in the movie.

Now, speaking to Katie Strick on the London Love Stories podcast, Richard admitted he felt like he ‘let himself down’ by cutting out the LGBTQ+ story from the final edit.

Richard Curtis has revealed that Love Actually almost featured an LGBTQ+ romantic storyline but it was ‘cut’.

The screenwriter, 67, is famous for penning 2003’s Love Actually, which follows eight different couples over the festive season (pictured: Keira Knightley and Chiwetel Ejiofor in the film)

‘There are things about Love Actually that I wish I’d done,’ Richard said as he spoke on a Christmas episode of the podcast in aid of Comic Relief. 

‘If I had 10 stories – we did in fact have a sort of LGBTQ story but it got cut and I feel as though I let myself down there.’

Richard went on to detail some more changes he would make to the film if he was writing it today as he addressed its lack of diversity.

‘The diversity issue is very different now and it would’ve been lovely to make the film more culturally rich,’ he said.

‘To have had Hanukkah, to have had Diwali in there, I didn’t focus on that. So I do think if I did it again it would have a broader spread to it than the film now does.’

When asked if he would make a new version of Love Actually now, Richard insisted that he doesn’t intend to recreate the Christmas classic.

He explained: ‘I don’t think I’ll do another one, because Love Actually was one of my films that was closest to a disaster in fact. Two months before it came out, it was an absolute mess. So I feel as though I got lucky once, I don’t want to risk it again.’

The movie is now famous for its interwoven storylines, but Richard revealed the script was originally arranged in a much more linear fashion, before he decided it wasn’t interesting enough.

He said: ‘With all those stories, it was very hard keeping people interested. I originally wrote the film like A, B, C, D, E, F, G – I would have one part of the film one after the other. 

Richard has admitted he felt like he ‘let himself down’ by cutting out the LGBTQ+ storyline from the final edit of the smash hit Christmas movie

Richard has previously spoken about the lack of diversity in Love Actually and his jokes about people’s sizes in the movie (pictured: Hugh Grant and Martine McCutcheon in the film) 

‘But when I watched the film, it was as though I didn’t actually care about any of the stories. The moment you did an extra bit, you lost interest.’

‘The final film is like I threw up the original script and put it back together in a completely different order,’ he added.

It is not the first time that Richard has addressed Love Actually’s lack of diversity and its jokes about women and people’s sizes.

Last year, Richard admitted Love Actually’s lack of diversity now makes him feel ‘uncomfortable’ and ‘a bit stupid’.

‘There are things you’d change, but thank god, society is, you know, changing. So, my film is bound, in some moments, to feel, you know, out of date,’ he said.

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