It’s one of the internet’s favorite debates — whether Love Actually is a beloved romantic classic or a problematic mess.
Chiwetel Ejiofor, who starred opposite Keira Knightley in the 2003 film, comes down somewhere in the middle. While sitting down with PeopleTV’s Couch Surfing to talk his directorial debut, Netflix film The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (in which he also stars), Love Actually entered into the conversation.
“It’s Christmas to Valentine’s Day, everybody’s talking about Love Actually every year, which is really, really great,” he remarked, before adding, “Course Andy’s a bit of a weirdo in that film.” Ejiofor was, of course, referring to co-star Andrew Lincoln, whose character Mark is hopelessly in love with Ejiofor’s character’s wife Juliet (Knightley). Many have called Mark’s behavior creepy at best and stalker-ish at worst in their complaints about the film.
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“There’s something of that in the storyline, which is certainly worrying,” Ejiofor acknowledged and then joked, “I never saw him the same way after that, but I did set the zombies after him, so he got his comeuppance in the end.”
Ultimately, though Ejiofor agrees the film is a classic because it gives people a burst of happiness they’re looking for. “It’s so fully romantic and optimistic,” he said. “I think people do look for that. They looked for it then when the film came out. They look for it now, maybe even more so now. People want to engage with things that are optimistic and light and have a lot of positivity.”