Richard Curtis has revealed which Love Actually scene drove Alan Rickman “insane”.
In a 20th anniversary special for the 2003 film, Diane Sawyer interviews Curtis, as well as cast members, including Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Laura Linney, and Bill Nighy.
During the special, Curtis revisited the memorable scene in which Rickman’s character Harry sneaks away from his wife (Thompson) on a shopping trip in order to purchase a necklace for his younger colleague Mia (Heike Makatsch).
When he attempts to pay for the jewellery, however, Harry is served by Rowan Atikinson’s eccentric shopping clerk Rufus.
Rufus promises to have Harry’s gift wrapped in “the flashiest of flashes” before he proceeds to elaborately wrap the gift with unnecessary items like flower buds, lavender, holly, and a cinnamon stick. The whole process takes a comically long time, making Harry nervous that his wife will return.
While the scene is generally considered among the funniest in Love Actually, Rickman was apparently unamused.
“Rowan was just taking his time,” Curtis told Sawyer in the special. “So he would do 11-minute takes.”
“[Rowan would say], ‘Let’s go back and do that. Let’s start again.’ And poor Alan was there all the time going, ‘Grr, ugh.’”
Rickman died aged 69 in January 2016 after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Elsewhere in the special, Thompson revealed Grant’s amusing first reaction after watching Love Actually.