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Love Actually is considered by some to be one of the most romantic films of all time. With that said, it’s unfortunate that Andrew Lincoln‘s character Mark experienced love in the worst kind of way… unrequited.

Lincoln recently talked to EW about having doubts going into that iconic scene with the oversized cue cards that revealed his love to his best friend’s new wife, played by Keira Knightley. “My big scene in the doorway felt so easy,” he recalls. “I just had to hold cards and be in love with Keira Knightley.”

He even hand wrote the love notes himself, giving them that personal touch.

But, something was on his mind, and he expressed it to writer and director Richard Curtis, saying, “Are you sure I’m not going to come off as a creepy stalker?”

Creepy stalker or not, the scene stayed, stuck in people’s minds and is still talked about more than ten years later. It even featured in the preview for the U.K.’s Love Actually follow-up, put out for Red Nose Day.

Lincoln makes light of the situation, telling EW, “In one of the most romantic movies of all time, I got to play the only guy who doesn’t get the girl… I got to be this weird stalker guy”

Curtis chimed in on the role in the same interview, saying, “Retroactively, I’m aware that Andrew’s role was on the edge. But I think because Andrew was so openhearted and guileless, we knew we’d get away with it.”

And then all of a sudden, we learn from Lincoln in the recent interview, Mark was actually… wait for it, wait for it… Richard Curtis himself. Curtis’ wife, Emma Freud, confided in Lincoln at the time, saying, “You realize who you’re playing? You’re Richard.”

Woah, woah, our mind has just been blown. EW followed up with Curtis, and he laughed it off, saying, “Me? You mean, obsessively in love and unable to express it so well? I don’t know about that.”

He didn’t say “no” and he didn’t say “yes.” We’ll take that for what it is.

Lincoln may have had some qualms about how his character would come off, but it hasn’t held him back career-wise, with him starring in the AMC Network mega hit The Walking Dead as the zombie smashing Rick Grimes.

He talks about how a role can shape audience perception, saying, “There’s a whole generation in England who think I’m American, thanks to The Walking Dead. It’s an interesting phenomenon of being an actor longer than 25 years because you can tell what people know you from.”

Some, however, may remember Lincoln from his breakout role as Edgar in 2009’s Wuthering Heights, opposite Tom Hardy, which you can check out below (he doesn’t get the girl then, either):

How did you first come across Andrew Lincoln?

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By Brigid Brown