In the Public Eye

London Premiere of Love Actually
at the Odeon Leicester Square Theatre
November 16, 2003

Thousands of fans packed Leicester Square to catch a glimpse of the cream of British acting talent arriving for the UK premiere of Love Actually. Stars from the feel-good romantic comedy strode down the red carpet in style, with Bill Nighy’s entrance (babes in risqué Santa outfits on his arms) emphasizing the movie’s buildup to Christmas.

“Heart-throbs Grant and Firth had the crowds screaming as they drew up to the premiere. ‘I think this is very much Richard Curtis's gig actually,’ said Firth. ‘We all just took a free ride. I just went to the south of France and was horribly overpaid.’

Colin told Empire that “the cast was just fantastic but I didn’t work with them. They were there at the read-through but then I was in my little cottage in France for the rest for the film. But it was immensely reassuring that about 20 brilliant actors were keeping the film up, so if I was crap, the law of averages meant at least one of us would be good enough to make it work.”


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Survival International Charity Screening of Love Actually
London, November 18, 2003

Shepperton Studios to the West End on a motorbike—20 miles in 5 minutes. Can it be done? Apparently so, says Colin Firth (who must be secretly auditioning to be the next Batman), on arriving at the Warner Village West End cinema for a screening of Love Actually to benefit Survival International, an organization the actor has actively supported for many years.

Colin spoke about the Bushmen of the Kalahari and how their lifestyle and existence are being threatened by commercial interests. He condemned the Botswana government's eviction of the Gana and Gwi Bushmen from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, saying that, 'there is now what can only be described as an intimidation campaign to get the Bushmen off their land—land which they have lived on for millennia. Their water supply has been destroyed, and they've been shifted off to relocation camps where the lives they've known are basically over.'

Of the Bushmen, he said, 'These people are not the remnants of a past era who need to be brought up to date. Those who are able to continue to live on the land that is rightfully theirs are facing the 21st century with a confidence that many of us in the so-called developed world can only envy.'

The audience heard his thoughts and feelings about the issues and how he became involved in Survival International’s work. Colin expressed his hope that, after watching Love Actually, everyone felt “fluffy and Christmassy” and that they would be in a mood to contribute generously to the organization.


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