Joe Alwyn Actually Auditioned For This Love Actually Role

Although English actor and songwriter Joe Alwyn has made headlines in recent years for dating American musician Taylor Swift, the young artist has actually been dabbling in the entertainment industry for much longer than many Americans might know. In 2016, around the time he started dating Swift, Alwyn starred as the titular lead in Ang Lee's "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk." In subsequent years, he soon became a big name in Hollywood as he appeared in such critically acclaimed films as "The Favourite," "Mary Queen of Scots," and "Harriet." 

Although he may never become as big a name as his girlfriend, Alwyn has carved out quite a place for himself in the music field, as well. In 2020, he dipped his toe into the music industry by co-producing and co-writing multiple songs on Swift's albums "Folklore" and "Evermore." Both albums (and as a result, Alwyn) were nominated for Album of the Year at the Grammys, with "Folklore" even winning the prestigious award.

However, what many fans may not know about the talented young actor is that he actually auditioned for a role in the 2003 Christmas classic, "Love Actually," a film which surely would have launched him into the fame he knows now much earlier.

Joe Alwyn almost starred as Sam in Love Actually

In a 2018 interview with GQ, Joe Alwyn revealed that the only acting experience he had ever had before his 2016 appearance in "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" was when he auditioned for the part of Sam in Richard Curtis's modern-day Christmas staple, "Love Actually." 

Of course, fans of Alwyn, who was born in 1992, will note that he was around 24 when he caught his big break in Ang Lee's war drama. This is a notable difference from the age of 10, which he would have been at the time of auditioning for, and portraying, Sam (although it was released in 2003, "Love Actually" was cast and shot around 2002, according to Fiction Machine). As Alwyn told the outlet, he "remember[s] reading some scenes with Hugh Grant and Richard Curtis."

Fans of the iconic film know that the role of Sam eventually went to a 12-year-old Thomas Brodie-Sangster. In the film, Sam, the stepson of Daniel, portrayed by Liam Neeson, "fell in love" with an American classmate of his named Joanna (Olivia Olson), and sought his stepfather's help in wooing her. After learning the drums to impress her, he eventually confesses his feelings to her after a dramatic chase through the airport, resulting in a kiss. For his performance, Sangster was nominated for a number of awards, including a Satellite and Young Artists Award. 

Joe Alwyn recently starred in a Hulu miniseries

Although Joe Alwyn never ended up starring in "Love Actually" and catching his big break as a young boy, fame and success seem to have caught up with him in the end. With a Grammy Award and numerous roles in acclaimed Hollywood films under his belt, Alwyn's career is only expanding. 

In 2018, he won the Trophée Chopard (the Chopard Trophy), a trophy awarded by the Cannes Film Festival, which honors young actors who are "poised for a successful career on the silver screen," according to Swiss watchmaker Chopard, which founded and sponsors the award. In addition, he recently appeared in a lead role in the Irish miniseries "Conversations With Friends," which was released on Hulu in May 2022. 

However, when it comes to his relationship with Swift itself, Alwyn has been famously secretive. "It's not really [because I] want to be guarded and private, it's more a response to something else," the artist told Elle in April 2022. "We live in a culture that is so increasingly intrusive ... The more you give — and frankly, even if you don't give it — something will be taken." In the end, Alwyn may actually be grateful that his role in "Love Actually" was never more than an audition.