'Love Actually' hugging scene recreated at Heathrow Airport 18 years on

Video captures passengers embracing loved ones after months of separation

Heathrow Airport recreated the famous scenes from Love Actually showing loved ones hugging when they are reunited at Christmas.

The west London airport has released a video showing heart-warming encounters at Terminal 3, the same location where the popular festive move was filmed 18 years ago.

The clip features footage of passengers emerging in the arrivals area to be greeted by family and friends in time for Christmas, after Covid-19 travel restrictions forced people to spend months apart.

A passenger holds a baby at Heathrow

The airport also called today for the UK's travel restrictions to be eased in time for Christmas.

British actress Martine McCutcheon, who played Natalie in the film, provides a voiceover, pointing out the obvious displays of “love and connection” in the UK’s busiest airport.

“Where possible, we are coming back together to give the warm hugs that we’ve all been missing,” she says. “Parents, children, old friends and new additions, to build memories and share adventures once again.

“When the world went into lockdown, all I heard were stories of people desperate to stay connected in any way they knew how, people surviving through the worst by supporting one another.

“If you look for it, whatever life throws at us, you’ll find that love really is all around.”

It is a recreation of the opening scene of the box office-hit movie in which British actor Hugh Grant comments how “love actually is all around”.

McCutcheon said she felt “very proud to have been part of a film that has stood the test of time, and is synonymous with Christmas for many around the world”.

Liam Neeson and Claudia Schiffer during the airport scene in 'Love Actually'. Alamy

“The opening scene nearly two decades ago reminded us that no matter what, love is everywhere,” she said.

“Watching families and friends reunite after so long is incredibly touching, and I hope that people take comfort from the film and get to see the people they love most very soon.”

Research commissioned by Heathrow earlier this year found that 62 per cent of people have not seen a loved one in more than a year and 40 per cent of Britons say they have loved ones living abroad.

Lisa Vick, who worked as a script supervisor on Love Actually, said the opening scenes of the movie set the themes of love and relationships “in a visual and emotive way”.

“Words have great power and working with Heathrow to reimagine that monologue is a way of celebrating the world’s resilience in the face of the great challenges experienced over the last two years, and the love that people have for families and friends around the world,” she said.

Nigel Milton, Heathrow’s chief of staff, said in light of the significant effects travel restrictions have had on people’s lives, the airport is determined to see people reunited with their loved ones.

“Eighteen years on, the words in our recreation of that iconic scene at Heathrow may be different and the faces may have changed, but the love people have for the ones who are special to them is still the same. And what was true then is still true now, love actually is all around,” he said.

Updated: December 10th 2021, 6:40 PM