Love Actually child star Lulu Popplewell has dubbed the Richard Curtis classic a “s*** film” and said it has “aged badly”, depicting women as “passive objects”.
Popplewell portrayed Daisy in the movie — the daughter of Emma Thompson’s character — who memorably played the role of First Lobster in the film’s nativity play.
The 29-year-old, who is now a stand-up comedian, criticised the film during her appearance on the podcast Almost Famous.
Popplewell said she had no regrets about making the movie at the age of 12, but said her opinion on the festive romcom is not a positive one.
“Look, softly be it spoken, I think it's a s*** film,” she said.
The comic added: “I think it's aged badly. All the women in it are sort of passive objects. I think that there was an article describing them as passive objects to be acquired.
“On rewatching, it's not great. You also have to remember that he [Richard Curtis] was writing in the context of the time.
“I mean I don't know how he excuses more recent work. But it was in 2003 or whenever it was out.”
Popplewell has since clarified her comments on social media, saying her words were “taken out of context” in reports and that working on Love Actually was “a nice experience”.
She added that she doesn’t have particularly strong opinions on the film and that she was responding to a “light-hearted” podcast question.
Words I jokingly said on a podcast being taken out of context in the @MetroUK today. Love actually was a nice experience. I don’t actually have strong opinions on the film. The pod was lighthearted. Hugh Grant was kind. Ignore this weird not-news journalism, I didn’t ask for it.— Lulu ‘spooky pun’ Popplewell (boo)🎃 (@lulu_popplewell) October 16, 2020
Love Actually has received criticism over the years for its outdated attitudes towards women, including in the infamous scene involving Andrew Lincoln and his placards.
The volume of jokes about Martine McCutcheon’s weight has also aroused controversy, as well as the depiction of Alan Rickman’s character’s affair with secretary Mia (Heike Makatsch).
Despite its rather controversial reputation, Love Actually is consistently ranked as one of Britain’s favourite Christmas movies, topping a Radio Times poll in 2016.
Curtis penned and directed a sequel to the movie in 2017 as part of Red Nose Day, revisiting many of the central characters almost 15 years on.
Read more: Love Actually trivia you might not know
Last year, Hugh Grant revealed that the iconic dance scene in which he grooves through Downing Street to Pointer Sisters hit Jump was one he hated filming.
He said: “There was this dance written and I thought ‘that’s going to be excruciating and it has the power to be the most excruciating scene ever committed to celluloid’. I certainly dreaded filming it.”
Watch: Paul Feig discusses snobbery towards Christmas films