How Hugh Grant terrorised Billy Bob Thornton on the sets of ‘Love Actually’
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How Hugh Grant terrorised Billy Bob Thornton on the sets of ‘Love Actually’

Over the last two decades, Richard Curtis’ Love Actually has become synonymous with Christmas. Despite the film not exactly ageing like fine wine, it still graces our screens every December because that’s the power of nostalgia.

But did you know that amid the festive magic the film wove, the cast had a blast behind the scenes, playing pranks and being merry? Hugh Grant, in particular, enjoyed terrorising co-star Billy Bob Thornton, using Thornton’s rather unusual fear of antique furniture. 

Thornton, known for his many eccentricities and unusual phobias, had a self-professed aversion to antique furniture. As cameras prepared to roll, Grant would brandish pieces of antique furniture, which, as luck would have it, is found in abundance in England, and it unsettled Thornton momentarily. 

In a candid interview with The New York Times, Thornton once shed light on his aversion, revealing, “My phobias have been greatly exaggerated. I don’t mind a chair. I can go as far back as you want with Asia or Mexico. It’s that French/English/Scottish old mildewy stuff. Old, dusty, heavy drapes and big tables with lions’ heads carved in it. Stuff that kings were around. That’s the stuff I can’t be around. It was too big to be functional. It creeps me out.”

Thornton also addressed his dislike for silverware in the same interview, saying, “You know when you go to a dinner party and they use good silver and the fork is three feet long? It’s like a damn garden implement, like a hoe or a rake. I want something light, where the food is the foremost thing on your mind.”

Despite Thornton’s offbeat fears, the camaraderie between Hugh Grant and Billy Bob Thornton behind the scenes only adds to Love Actually’s timeless appeal. So, as you cosy up with your loved ones for the umpteenth viewing of this Christmas classic, don’t forget to remember the laughs that happened off-camera.

You can watch Love Actually on Netflix.