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Olivia Olson claims being cast in Love Actually almost caused her to have ‘a mental breakdown’

Love Actually’s Olivia Olson has revealed rising to fame in the Christmas classic almost caused her to have ‘a mental breakdown’.

The actress, 30, who played American schoolgirl Joanna, said she was forced to deal with cruel comments about her weight was challenging and saw her turn to voice-over acting instead.

She told The Sun: ‘I thank my parents for being such a support system, because it’s kind of a miracle I didn’t have a mental breakdown.’

Tough: Love Actually’s Olivia Olson has revealed being cast in the Christmas classic almost caused her to have ‘a mental breakdown’

Olivia explained: ‘The auditioning process is constant rejection and at that age, having casting directors saying literally to your face, when you are 12 years old, ‘Oh, we would like you if only you dropped 10lbs’, it’s like, ‘What?’

She also revealed that felt like an ‘outcast’ when returning to school after filming Love Actually, saying she was picked on by her classmate because of being ‘famous’.

‘I did have friends, but I didn’t always feel like I belonged there, I felt like an outcast,’ she added.

She went on to reveal this was the reason she went in to voice-over acting, because she felt physical appearance didn’t matter.  

Challenging: The actress, 30, who played American schoolgirl Joanna, said that receiving cruel comments about her weight was challenging and turned her to voice-over acting instead

Challenging: The actress, 30, who played American schoolgirl Joanna, said that receiving cruel comments about her weight was challenging and turned her to voice-over acting instead

Since its release in 2003, Love Actually, which follows the intertwined stories of various characters in the build up to Christmas day, has become a bona fide festive classic.

The star-studded ensemble cast also features Emma Thompson, Keira Knightley, Bill Nighy, Liam Neeson, Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Rowan Atkinson, among others.

20 years after their beloved pre-pubescent romance stole the show in the iconic romantic comedy Love Actually , Thomas and Olivia looked back on their experiences.

Thomas, 32, and Olivia made their feature film debuts in the film as the lovestruck Sam and his American crush Joanna.

They both spoke with Diane Sawyer for the new special The Laughter & Secrets of Love Actually: 20 Years Later — A Diane Sawyer Special, which aired Tuesday evening on ABC, reflecting on their first major roles.

Looking back: 20 years after their beloved pre-pubescent romance stole the show in the iconic romantic comedy Love Actually, Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Olivia Olson look back on their experiences

Looking back: 20 years after their beloved pre-pubescent romance stole the show in the iconic romantic comedy Love Actually, Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Olivia Olson look back on their experiences

Brodie-Sangster told Sawyer that he, ‘couldn’t even believe it had been 20 years’ since the movie came out.

‘I watched it for the first time this past Christmas since the premiere. And I’d forgotten how good it was,’ Brodie-Sangster admitted.

His character Sam sees the aging rock star Billy Mack (Bill Nighy) as a drummer, and believes that if he can become a drummer, he can truly win over Olivia.

Debuts: Brodie-Sangster, 32, and Olson, 30, made their feature film debuts in the 2003 film as the lovestruck Sam and his American crush Joanna

Debuts: Brodie-Sangster, 32, and Olson, 30, made their feature film debuts in the 2003 film as the lovestruck Sam and his American crush Joanna

He’s guided in his quest for love by his stepdad Daniel (Liam Neeson), whose wife Joanna had recently passed away, as Brodie-Sangster reflected on his relationship with Neeson.

‘I mean, Liam was amazing. He treats me like his son. He was absolutely loving to me. Just created this environment where I was very comfortable,’ Brodie-Sangster says.

‘At the time, I thought, you know, I was pretty much a grownup, and I’d been doing this a few years now. I kind of knew what I was doing. So, I was very serious about it. But no, looking back, I’d forgotten how small and new I was,’ he added.

He added that his favorite memory of that scene was getting pizza for lunch at a store nearby, but the interview was cut short in the strangest way: threat of arrest.

During their chat, a crew member approaches and tells them they have to leave because they, ‘don’t have the proper permit and they’re going to arrest us.’

Brodie-Sangster called the interruption, ‘abrupt,’ while Sawyer responded with a joke. 

‘Oh they are? Now we run,’ Sawyer said with a laugh.

Sawyer also caught up with Olson, who replicated her iconic rendition of All I Want For Christmas Is You, as Sawyer revealed she’s still a musician living in California.

‘I mean, when I look back at it, I’m really proud that I was part of something so massive,’ Olson said.

Caught up: Sawyer also caught up with Olivia, who replicated her iconic rendition of All I Want For Christmas Is You, as Sawyer revealed she's still a musician living in California

Caught up: Sawyer also caught up with Olivia, who replicated her iconic rendition of All I Want For Christmas Is You, as Sawyer revealed she’s still a musician living in California

‘Every Christmas, I get the calls and the texts. “Hey, look what I’m watching.” I think it’s grown so much and it’s become such this, like, nostalgic piece of our holidays,’ she added.

She also revealed that she kept the original script of Love Actually autographed by the entire cast.

‘I’m so glad I hung onto this for so long,’ Olivia said, as Sawyer said it reminded her of a high school yearbook.

Script: She also revealed that she kept the original script of Love Actually autographed by the entire cast

Script: She also revealed that she kept the original script of Love Actually autographed by the entire cast

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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