Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about movies and whether they are true or false. Click here to see all the Movie urban legends featured so far.
MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: One of the characters in “Love Actually” was meant to be an angel the whole movie.
Just the other day, we did a Movie Legends Revealed about how an entire romance was cut from the film, Love Actually, due to the film being too long. When we posted that article, reader Marc H. wrote in about another fascinating aspect of the original film that was cut, although this did not get past the original script (unlike the romance between the school headmistress and her lover that was definitely filmed and cut from the final movie).
As it turned out, one of the characters in the film originally was intended to be an angel the whole time. Can you guess who?
Time’s up! Let’s put some spoiler space (more so that you can guess who it is without automatically seeing who it is) and then I’ll say who.
It was Rowan Atkinson’s jewelry salesman, Rufus!
He’s the one who does an elaborate piece of wrapping for the piece of jewelry that Alan Rickman’s Harry buys for his soon-to-be mistress, Mia.
Later in the film, Rufus makes a scene at airport security which gives Thomas Langster’s Sam the opportunity to slip by security to say goodbye to his American classmate, Joanna (Olivia Olson). When he makes the scene, Rufus gives Daniel (Liam Neeson) a knowing look.
Now, the whole movie is about how the various characters are all slightly interconnected, so it didn’t seem to be that big of a deal to have Rufus play such a role at the airport, but apparently, the original intent of the film was for Rufus to play a larger role in the movie. Curtis and Atkinson, of course, go way back as Curtis wrote for all of Atkinson’s break-out hit sitcoms, “The Black Adder” (later “Blackadder”) and “Mr. Bean.” Rufus was originally going to be a “Christmas angel,” who would subtly try to influence all the various romances in the film through little interferences in their lives. For instance, his elaborate wrapping was intended to deter Harry from going through with his plans to buy the jewelry for Mia. Originally, following his last good deed with Daniel and Sam, he would walk away and disappear!
Here’s Richard Curtis on the reasoning behind Rufus being an angel:
“Rowan is at the airport scene as actually, in an earlier draft, he was sort of a Christmas Angel, like Clarence [in “It’s a Wonderful Life” – BC] but most of that was cut out, but he is helpful at the airport and that’s why he’s there.”
The legend is…
Thanks to Marc H. for suggesting this one! And thanks to Richard Curtis for sharing the information.
Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is email@example.com.