Whatever happened to the characters from Love Actually?
Tonight, American fans of the 2003 sentimental favorite finally get their answer, thanks to writer/director Richard Curtis, who also happens to be the co-creator of Red Nose Day, Comic Relief’s annual charity event. Proceeds go to help disadvantaged children around the world.
Among the Love Actually stars reprising their roles from the romantic comedy: Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, Andrew Lincoln, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Bill Nighy and Rowan Atkinson. (Oh, and the cue cards. Lots and lots of cue cards.)
The reunion sketch, which has been teased since February, is the most hotly anticipated segment of this year’s Red Nose Day Special (NBC, 10 ET/PT), ignited by a March teaser in which Hugh Grant’s dancing prime minister traded his Pointer Sisters for something a little more current: Drake’s Hotline Bling.
But Grant’s greatest moment actually comes later in the special, where he delivers an updated version of the speech he gave to Parliament members in the original movie, one that’s very timely today.
“When you became Prime Minister the first time, you were very optimistic,” an onlooker asks him. “You said that the power of good would finally win, that love actually was all around. Fourteen years later, do you still feel as upbeat?”
“Obviously, times for many people have grown harder and people are nervous and fearful. And it’s not just in politics that things are tough. Usain Bolt has run his last Olympics, the Harry Potter films are finished, Piers Morgan is still alive,” he jokes.
In addition to featuring a stable of well-established actors, Love Actually served as America’s introduction to several future stars, including Lincoln, who would go on to headline AMC’s The Walking Dead; Chiwetel Ejiofor, who would earn an Oscar nomination for 12 Years a Slave; and Thomas Brodie-Sangster, who would later play Jojen Reed on HBO’s Game of Thrones.
This year’s Red Nose Day Special is hosted by Chris Hardwick and will feature the cast of This Is Us in addition to celebrities like Mark Hamill, Bryan Cranston, Patrick Dempsey, DJ Khaled, Seth Meyers, Mindy Kaling, Ben Stiller and Rachel McAdams.
The special will follow a celebrity edition of American Ninja Warrior (8 ET/PT), which will see World of Dance judge Derek Hough, Access Hollywood host Natalie Morales and Arrow’s Stephen Amell tackle the obstacle course, as well as a special episode of Running Wild With Bear Grylls (9 ET/PT) in which the adventurer and Julia Roberts travel to Kenya to deliver vaccines to a remote village.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is matching all Red Nose donations made via Facebook fundraising campaigns up to $1 million through June 15, 2017. Contributions can also be made at rednosedayusa.org.