In a 2018 interview with GQ, Joe Alwyn revealed that the only acting experience he had ever had before his 2016 appearance in “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” was when he auditioned for the part of Sam in Richard Curtis’s modern-day Christmas staple, “Love Actually.”
Of course, fans of Alwyn, who was born in 1992, will note that he was around 24 when he caught his big break in Ang Lee’s war drama. This is a notable difference from the age of 10, which he would have been at the time of auditioning for, and portraying, Sam (although it was released in 2003, “Love Actually” was cast and shot around 2002, according to Fiction Machine). As Alwyn told the outlet, he “remember[s] reading some scenes with Hugh Grant and Richard Curtis.”
Fans of the iconic film know that the role of Sam eventually went to a 12-year-old Thomas Brodie-Sangster. In the film, Sam, the stepson of Daniel, portrayed by Liam Neeson, “fell in love” with an American classmate of his named Joanna (Olivia Olson), and sought his stepfather’s help in wooing her. After learning the drums to impress her, he eventually confesses his feelings to her after a dramatic chase through the airport, resulting in a kiss. For his performance, Sangster was nominated for a number of awards, including a Satellite and Young Artists Award.