Out of all the movie's love stories, Sam and Joanna's was the sweetest in Love Actually. It was so charming it even made audiences suspend disbelief long enough to believe that all it takes to slip past airport security to give your first love a goodbye kiss is a little help from Mr. Bean and your big-hearted step-dad. Believe it or not, the off-screen story is almost as romantic as what transpired on screen. In an interview with E! Online, Olivia Olson, the actor who played Joanna, revealed her Love Actually kiss with Thomas Sangster's Sam was her first kiss ever. Hold those "awws" because there's more: Not only was it Olson's first kiss, she also had a little crush on Sangster at the time. Olson told E! News,
"It was my first kiss and on-screen kiss too. I was really nervous because I kind of had a crush on Thomas back in the day and I was also worried because I was taller than him."
Excuse me, I need to go squeal in my pillow now over the sheer adorableness of Sam and Joanna's kiss backstory. Olson's story is so relatable — from her nerves over being taller than her crush to having her first kiss with someone she genuinely liked, her story is one that is sure to bring up memories of your own first kiss. Now every time you rewatch Love Actually — which, let's be real, is basically once a month — you can spazz out over little Olson having her first kiss ever with her crush, who just so happened to also be her co-star.
Olson's story provides a lovely parallel with Sam's quest to win Joanna's heart. Little Sam channels all his agony from being in love into becoming a drummer so Joanna will notice him. His efforts pay off when she points at him during her angelic rendition of "All I Want For Christmas," and then in the airport scene, Joanna reciprocates his feelings by giving him a chaste goodbye kiss. Ah, young love. Meanwhile, off screen, Olson was doing a bit of pining of her own and it culminated in the very same kiss. Maybe Love Actually is magical after all.
This new backstage story is just one more reason to adore this movie. Yes, Love Actually has its flaws, but it nailed the heartaches and triumphs of falling in love for the first time. Knowing some of those feelings translated to real-life first kiss jitters for Olson just adds to the story's charm and reaffirms what savvy fans already knew — Sam and Joanna's love story was by far the greatest love story Love Actually told.
Images: Universal Pictures; Giphy