Love Actually’s Martine McCutcheon opens up about friendship with ‘protective’ Hugh Grant

Virgin Radio

8 Dec 2022, 14:30

(L) Martine McCutcheon, (R) Hugh Grant

Credit: Getty

Martine McCutcheon has opened up about working with Hugh Grant when they shared the screen in the iconic Christmas film, Love Actually. 

She won the hearts of film lovers all over the world when she starred as Natalie in the 2003 Richard Cutis classic, in which she fell for devilishly handsome Prime Minister David, played by Hugh.

Love Actually was Martine’s first big film role, so it’s no surprise to hear some of her co-stars, including Emma Thompson and Bill Nighy, made sure to look out for the fledgling actress. 

But for Martine, her close relationship with Hugh really blossomed on set, and while chatting exclusively to, the singer revealed what he was like to work with, and if they still keep in touch all these years later. 

When asked about a memory or moment that stuck out to her while filming Love Actually, Martine explained: “I think how much Hugh really wanted me to shine in that movie, he was very protective. He wanted me to be the best I could be, and he made no bones about that, and verbalised that and championed me. Every time I was with him on set, that's something that I instantly think of.”

Another treasured memory comes from the final moments of the film, during which Natalie and David shared their first kiss behind the scenery of the school nativity, which happened much to the shock of the real-life audience.

“They pulled back the curtains and [the audience] saw us kissing. There was this huge gasp and the reactions that you see on the film were the first reactions and with all the cameras that Richard had got in place.

“The gasps were so loud, and I just got shivers. Both me and Hugh were laughing and that was all very real. That was I think that was probably one of the most magical moments for me.”

While it’s been almost 20 years since cameras stopped rolling on Love Actually, Martine admitted she does keep in touch with Hugh and the gang, in a friendship she holds close to her heart. 

“I was invited to his birthday party…We're in touch,” she shared. “He's really happy and seems really content. In all the time I've known him, he seems really happy. Also Bill Nighy, and I've seen Richard and we email each other. 

“We did have a dinner at Richard's house once just to sort of reunite because you're part of this little club that no one else will quite ever get. It's different to other films. I can't explain it. There's lots of movies you make and you make lots of friends along the way. But there was something special about this.”

You can read more from our chat with Martine, and her new campaign with One4all Gift Cards here.