See Sam From "Love Actually" Now at 32
Thomas Brodie-Sangster has taken on several major roles after playing the pint-sized romantic.
When he was just 13 years old, Thomas Brodie-Sangster warmed the hearts of audiences everywhere by playing Sam in Love Actually. One of the love stories in the holiday-themed rom-com, which has become a seasonal classic since its release in 2003, centers school-aged Sam, who experiences his first major crush when he falls for his classmate Joanna (Olivia Olson) and embarks on a plan to win her heart with the help of his dad, recent widower Daniel (Liam Neeson). And while fans of the ensemble romance will likely always remember him most for being the adorable budding musician, Brodie-Sangster is now 32 years old and has a ton of other things going for him. Here's what he's been up to since making that flip past airport security.
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He's gone on to some starring roles.
Prior to Love Actually, Brodie-Sangster had already appeared in several TV movies, but the rom-com was his breakout role. Since then, he's appeared in dozens of movies and TV shows. On the big screen, the actor has had roles in Nanny McPhee, Tristan & Isolde, Bright Star, and The Maze Runner series. On TV, Brodie-Sangster made guest appearances in episodes of Doctor Who, Lewis, and Accused. He had a recurring role in Seasons 3 and 4 of Game of Thrones as Jojen Reed and starred in the miniseries Wolf Hall, Godless, and 2022's Pistol. His most well-known role in recent years is likely playing Benny Watts in The Queen's Gambit, though he also reprised the part of Sam for the 2017 Red Nose Day special, Red Nose Day Actually.
Brodie-Sangster is also a voice actor, known best for voicing characters in Phineas and Ferb and Thunderbirds Are Go.
He took a break from acting for a while.
Brodie-Sangster told The Guardian last year that he took a two-year break from acting prior to The Queen's Gambit, mostly because he had been working steadily since he was a small child. "There was nothing else I wanted to do day in, day out. I just fancied slowing down for a bit, figuring out how to move forward," he said. "I didn't want acting to become a habit." The British actor added that he wasn't concerned about the offers drying up when he decided to come back. "If that happens, that happens. I'll find something else to do," he explained. "But it could definitely happen. People get forgotten and things move on; cultures change in the film industry."
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He's proud that people still love the movie.
Brodie-Sangster also told The Guardian that, while he's done plenty of other things, he doesn't mind being known as "the Love Actually kid" to many fans.
"If I got annoyed about it every time, I'd spend a lot of my life that way," he said. "It's something I'm really proud of. It's cool to be in a film that's somehow still gaining momentum. It did quite well but it wasn't a huge blockbuster. But over the years it's gained that cult following."
Still, fame can show up in strange ways. The actor added later in the interview that he's seen bedsheets with his face on them, which was a bit of a trip.
He's dating a fellow actor with a famous ex.
In March of this year, Brodie-Sangster and girlfriend Talulah Riley made their red carpet debut as a couple at the British Academy Film Awards Gala Dinner. Riley is an actor as well; she's appeared in Pride & Prejudice and Westworld, and co-starred with Brodie-Sangster in Pistol, playing designer Vivienne Westwood. Her other claim to fame is that she was married—twice—to Tesla CEO Elon Musk. The pair split for good in 2016.
Riley and Brodie-Sangster reportedly met filming Pistol and began dating a few months before going public. Riley often shares shots of the two of them on Instagram and documents the events they attend together.