‘Love Actually’s Thomas Brodie-Sangster on how childhood fame can ‘affect how you develop’

Thomas Brodie-Sangster started out acting when he was just a child.

The now 30-year-old star is known best for his role as Sam in the iconic rom-com “Love Actually” playing Liam Neeson’s love-struck stepson. 

Almost two decades later, Brodie-Sangster admitted he’s happy he started his career on-camera at such a young but being a child star isn’t for everyone. 

Brodie-Sangster was 13 when “Love Actually” was released and liked working amongst adults. 


He told Mr. Porter, “I hated, hated, hated being spoken down to in any way or mollycoddled as a child. So, when I’d go on set, everyone would just treat me as just another person hired to do a job and I loved that sense of responsibility. But, I mean, that must affect how you develop and grow as a person.”

Thomas Brodie-Sangster reflected on growing up as a child star. 

Thomas Brodie-Sangster reflected on growing up as a child star.  (Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

Brodie-Sangster revealed he found it relatively easy to balance work and home life when he was a kid. 


“I could be the professional… then come home and still surround myself with toys and sit for hours in my room and just play,” he said. “That’s how I looked at acting: it is just playing around, it’s not that serious; it’s just putting on voices and pretending to be someone else for the day, which is all I did at home with my sister anyway.”

Thomas Brodie-Sangster at the premiere of "Love Actually" at the Odeon, Leicester Square. 

Thomas Brodie-Sangster at the premiere of “Love Actually” at the Odeon, Leicester Square.  (rune hellestad/Corbis via Getty Images)

Brodie-Sangster previously told the UK’s Evening Standard that sometimes it was hard to relate to other kids his age after coming back from working on a movie set. 

“It can be very strange, especially as a child… It’s a bit odd to go off and get loads of time off school to go and pretend to be other people,” he admitted. “And you’re being paid when your friends are just getting pocket money. Then you go back to school, try and be normal again, but you’re kind of not normal – you’re doing something that’s really weird, but also really exciting. It does alienate you slightly. It’s a little odd. But I quite liked it and managed to survive it. Not everyone does.”

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