Richard Curtis makes confession about infamous Love Actually ‘stalker’ scene

Richard Curtis has admitted that even he questioned the actions of Andrew Lincoln’s character, Mark, in his 2003 Christmas classic, Love Actually.

Mark is the best friend of Peter (played by Chiwetel Ejiofor), who declares his unrequited love for Juliet (played by Keira Knightley), Peter’s new wife.

During one much-maligned scene, Peter tells Juliet she’s “perfect” with a series of cue cards. In the years since the film’s release, the sequence has faced derision as well as accusations of romanticising stalkers.

In a new interview with The Independent in support of his forthcoming film, Genie, 67-year-old screenwriter Curtis addressed the controversial scene.

Curtis recalled the plotline incredulously: “He actually turns up, to his best friend’s house, to say to his best friend’s wife, on the off chance that she answers the door, ‘I love you.’

I think it’s a bit weird. I mean, I remember being taken by surprise about seven years ago, I was going to be interviewed by somebody and they said, ‘Of course, we’re mainly interested in the stalker scene,’ and I said, ‘What scene is that?’ And then I was, like, educated in it,” he said.

Richard Curtis (left) and a scene from ‘Love Actually’ (Getty Images/Universal Pictures)
Richard Curtis (left) and a scene from ‘Love Actually’ (Getty Images/Universal Pictures)

“All I can say is that a lot of intelligent people were involved in the film at the time, and we didn’t think it was a stalker scene,” he added. “But if it’s interesting or funny for different reasons [now] then, you know, God bless our progressive world.”

Stars of Love Actually have previously defended the doorstep scene. In 2020, Martine McCutcheon, who played the role of Natalie, refuted the suggestion that the scene was somehow “creepy”.

“I don’t think it’s creepy at all,” she said. “I think people do crazy things when they are in love with people.

“He had his moment where he thought, ‘Enough now, I’ve told her how I feel, I love my friend too but I had to get it off my chest in the right way.’”

Love Actually also starred Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Laura Linney, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Bill Nighy and Rowan Atkinson.

Meanwhile, Genie stars I May Destroy You’s Paapa Essiedu as a workaholic Englishman in New York who, with the help of an eccentric wish-granter played by Melissa McCarthy, wins back his wife and daughter.

Genie is released on 1 December on Sky Cinema and Now.