Bill Nighy – Billy Mack – Love Actually – as cool as it gets
Awards and nominations
Bill Nighy won a BAFTA for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for his role as Billy Mack in Love Actually (2003). He also won the Peter Sellers Award for Comedy for this role. And won a ALFS award (London Critics Circle Film Awards), and a LAFCA Award (Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards). Apart from that he was nominated for a Golden Satellite Award.
Bill Nighy about Billy Mack
“There’s a frustrated rock’n'roller inside me,” says Bill, 53. “I used to practise in front of the wardrobe mirror with a tennis racquet when was I was 14, trying to throw a few moves that might suggest I could be good in bed.
“But I don’t know what I’d do it if really becomes Number One at Christmas. It would be incredibly marvellous.”
Journalist: Bill, you played your part excellent as the rock star. Do you have any dreams of being a rock star, being in a band or something?
Bill Nighy: Thank you very much! Yes I dreamed that dream when I was a young boy, like I was a rock star… and I did throw a few shapes in front of the bathroom mirror. I hoped that I might get “selected”, you know… This rock´n´roll life didn’t happen.
And I used to be a keen air guitar player and was hoping that at some point visit Finland, where the world championships are found each year. I thought I’d be the first air guitar player that actually takes time to tune the air guitar! They never tune it right…
“I was actually in a band once, in the garage with five guys, but we were all so self-conscious and damaged by it all that we never really saw the light of day – we never got out of the garage.”
The connecting thread in the film provides some of the funniest moments, thanks in part to a wonderful comic performance from Bill Nighy as ageing pop idol Billy Mack. A former drug addict and reformed hellraiser, he’s on the comeback trail with a sickly seasonal version of ‘Love Is All Around’ that gradually starts to work its way up the charts.
As Billy makes the round of television and radio shows (a handy opportunity for cameos from Parky and Ant and Dec), he displays a glorious ability to speak the truth and embarrass with his frankness. It would not be at all surprising if Nighy were to wind up with the genuine Christmas number one.
Aside from all the hearts and flowers, though, it’s Bill Nighy’s uproarious turn as an over-the-hill rocker promoting a novelty record that really delivers the laughs.
Bill Nighy gives one of the two memorable performances in Love Actually (the other one is Emma Thompson’s) and the film would collapse without their support.
The best, hands down, involves a former rock star, Billy (Bill Nighy), who wants to have a Christmas hit so badly he’s willing to be honest with his fans and the media. He’s a kick.
Now for the good stuff. Bill Nighy as an aging rock star is a comedic delight, with his cheesy Christmas hit video paying brilliant homage to pop star Robert Palmer’s 80s music video for Addicted To Love. It’s also a fabulous send up of any rock star who hasn’t realised he’s well past his sell-by-date. Nighy clearly thoroughly enjoys hamming it up to within an inch of his acting life.
However the must-see is Billy Mack’s (Nighy) send up of and tribute to Robert Palmer’s video for Addicted To Love, shown in all it’s full hysterical glory. It panders to every aging rocker’s fantasy.
moviehole.net – DVD review
Love Actually Star dreams of Xmas Hit (Interview with Bill Nighy)
Trailer Love Actually