Actor Chiwetel Ejiofor has made waves in Hollywood in recent years with a number of box-office hits.
As a leading actor, he received his first Oscar nomination in 2013 for playing Solomon Northrup in the Oscar-winning film 12 Years a Slave. As an ensemble actor, he has delivered critically-acclaimed performances in numerous films — from Serenity, Inside Man, and, American Gangster to Salt, The Martian, and Secret in Their Eyes.
However, longtime fans of the British actor will remember one of Chiwetel’s first big-screen acting roles was when he played Peter in Love Actually.
Chiwetel’s character Peter was romantically involved with and married to Juliet (played by Kiera Knightley). Mark (played by Andrew Lincoln) was Peter’s best friend and best man in the wedding ceremony.
The worst part of Christmas is the LOVE ACTUALLY think-pieces. You know who’s a ROMANTIC ICON in that movie? Chiwetel pic.twitter.com/gWOEbBWnme
— A24 (@A24) December 6, 2013
At first, it seems as if Mark does not like Juliet and only puts up with her because she’s involved with his best friend. However, Love Actually fans will more than likely remember that is not exactly how Mark felt about her at all.
In a now-iconic scene in the final act of the film, Mark comes to Juliet and Peter’s home on Christmas Eve. Juliet opens the door and finds Mark holding a boombox playing Christmas carols along with large cue cards.
As noted in the first sign, the boombox was brought as a diversion to keep Chiwetel Ejiofor’s character distracted — assuming that it is just Christmas carolers singing at his door. On the contrary, as read by the cue cards, Mark finally confesses his love for her.
— Alyssa (@alyssalibunao) May 11, 2013
In the wonderful world of romantic comedies, this particular scene from Love Actually may seem romantic and emotionally-stirring. However, there is an apparent dark side to the events that took place within this iconic scene that cannot be ignored.
Mark betrayed Peter.
Even though Juliet did not run off into the sunset with Mark at the end of the movie, she was essentially left with a secret that she could not tell her husband: “Your best friend is in love with me and just made me lie to you while he confessed his feelings in front of our house on Christmas Eve.”
In an interview with Cosmo UK to promote his new film Triple 9, Chiwetel Ejiofor had a chance to open up about the awkwardness of that scene over 12 years after it was filmed.
When asked if his character would ever forgive Mark for his betrayal, Chiwetel Ejiofor did not hesitate with his response.
“NEVER! It’s an impossibility. I mean, how could he do it? They’re sweet those cards… lovely. [Sense the sarcasm] If that had happened in real life, I would not feel good about it. I mean, imagine if I had opened the door… it would have been really awkward!”
Imagine, for a moment, if Chiwetel did come to the front door. His loving wife did tell him that there were Christmas carolers outside of their home. Perhaps he may have wanted to see them too and stand with his wife as they were being beautifully serenaded by a group of strangers.
He would have come down to see that there were no carolers singing after all — just his best friend holding up cue cards about love for his wife to read silently. It’s really not surprising, then, why Chiwetel Ejiofor feels so strongly about how his character would have reacted.
[Image Credit: John Phillips/Getty Images]