The untold truth of Last Christmas

Last Christmas is a welcome addition to the holiday movie genre. Over the years, there have been a handful of Christmas movies that manage to rise above the Hallmark-esque cheesiness of the genre and really become something great. Films such as Love Actually, Elf, and The Last Holiday are beloved for a reason. While there are plenty of cheesy, made-for-TV Christmas movies out there, there aren't a lot of quality films... until 2019's Last Christmas came along, that is.

The movie's cast alone makes it a winner, with Game of Thrones' Emilia Clarke and Crazy Rich Asians' Henry Golding as the leads. But Last Christmas offers more than just pretty and talented people to look at the whole time. The movie has heart, humor, and an amazing backstory. In case the title didn't give it away, there is obviously a scene of Clarke singing the Wham! hit "Last Christmas" in the movie, bringing all the holiday cheer you could ever need this season. This holiday rom-com is interesting for many reasons, and, if you're curious as to what the untold truth of Last Christmas is, you've come to the right place. 

Last Christmas' stars are familiar

There were plenty of big-name stars involved in the production of Last Christmas. First of all, there's Emilia Clarke, who most everyone recognizes as the actress behind Daenerys Targaryen on HBO's Game of Thrones. Clarke plays the lead character, Kate, who is having a rough go at life lately until she meets Tom, who is played by Henry Golding. Golding has definitely been a star since his role as Nick Young, the beau of Constance Wu's character, in Crazy Rich Asians. 

Joining Golding from the Crazy Rich Asians cast is Michelle Yeoh, who played Eleanor Young, Nick's mom, in the hit movie from 2018. Then, there's Emma Thompson, who plays Clarke's mother in the movie. Obviously, Thompson is easily recognizable, as she has starred in countless films, such as Sense and Sensibility, Love Actually, and Nanny McPhee. With such an incredible cast, it's no wonder Last Christmas gained hype before its theatrical release in November 2019.

Even Last Christmas' crew is well-known

While a top-notch cast is definitely important for any movie, so is a skilled crew, and Last Christmas definitely had that going for it as well. Emma Thompson doesn't just star in the movie, but she also actually wrote the story for it alongside her husband, Greg Wise, and then penned the screenplay with Bryony Kimmings. In an interview with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show, Thompson explained that she and her husband had worked on "an interesting, sideways way of telling a different kind of story about the human heart."

As awesome and talented as Thompson is, though, she isn't the only crew member that's well-known. Last Christmas was directed by Paul Feig, who has also directed hits like A Simple Favor, Bridesmaids, and several episodes of popular television series Arrested Development and The Office. Basically, Last Christmas has a lot going for it, and, from its cast to its crew, the movie's talent knows no bounds. With its impressive writing crew and director, Last Christmas is sure to bring on the feels for years to come. 

Music is important in Last Christmas

Considering the fact that the title Last Christmas comes from the name of a song, it would make sense that music would play a big part in the film. In fact, in an interview with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show, Emma Thompson explained that she was approached to write the movie based on the popular Wham! song. Thompson told Fallon that producer David Livingstone asked her, "Do you want to write a screenplay, kind of rom-com sort of thing, because we need a new great Christmas movie based on 'Last Christmas?'" 

Thompson explained that the movie ended up featuring a lot of George Michael songs. "The film's like being hugged, and all of his music — we've got 15 of his songs, including a new one at the end — and it's so cool," she told Fallon. "'Heal the Pain,' which is my favorite of his songs, it's like it was written for the movie. And [George Michael] said that." Clearly, music is crucial to the film and is almost like its own character. 

The Last Christmas trailer sparked fan theories before the movie's release

Basically, as soon as the first trailer for Last Christmas dropped, fans started forming theories about what the movie's twist could be. After all, Last Christmas may seem like a rom-com, but the trailer also had a dramatic theme to it, so people were convinced there had to be some sort of dark, tragic twist. 

Based on some subtle hints in the trailer, many fans started to wonder if Henry Golding's character, Tom, isn't actually a charming stranger who sweeps Emilia Clarke's Kate off her feet. In fact, the theory is that Tom is a ghost, as The Guardian reported. One Twitter user tweeted, "So... Henry Golding was a ghost all along, yes? Or perhaps it is a dream Kate has while still in the hospital?" 

The fan theory gained so much traction because of how Tom seems to always wear the same outfit in the scenes of the Last Christmas trailer and because of some of his lines from the trailer, such as "It was always going to be you," as The Guardian noted.

Last Christmas' director responded to those fan theories

As interesting as the fan theories about Last Christmas are, they managed to get a response from the film's director, Paul Feig. After all, fans were convinced Last Christmas couldn't just be a sweet movie about falling in love at Christmastime, right? 

Well, Feig responded to the fan theories in an interview with Games Radar, although his response might have raised more questions than answers. "All my movies are good-natured and uplifting," he said. "Even when they're dark, like A Simple Favor, even that's uplifting at the end. I never make a movie to upset people, so I think people will be very happy with how it pans out." As anyone who has seen A Simple Favor knows, the movie definitely has plenty of dark moments, but Feig handled them with grace and humor. 

So whether or not Henry Golding's character is actually a ghost can only be determined by seeing the movie, but, according to Feig, Last Christmas will have a happy ending. 

Last Christmas got the Wham! stamp of approval

As Last Christmas is titled after the Wham! song of the same name, it's only natural that the members of the former band would have some thoughts on the movie. In fact, Shirlie Holliman, who was a background singer for the band, spoke to Metro about her thoughts on the movie and what she thinks the late George Michael would have thought about it as well. 

"I know it would all have been done with his permission. So I'm sure he had a talk about the movie," she told the publication. "It's lovely to think I'm going into Christmas and can have nice memories of Christmas and his music all around it. I just kind of go by my gut instincts and I do feel really good about this idea of this movie with all his songs in it." 

Not only does Last Christmas have a heartwarming theme and a stellar cast, but the music behind the movie is almost just as magical. Though George Michael might not be alive to see Last Christmas, his former bandmates seem to think he would have loved it, and that's pretty spectacular. 

The one key difference between Emilia Clarke and her Last Christmas character

Fans of Emilia Clarke know her as Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones. And her role in Last Christmas — who's very different from Daenerys — marks one of her first big acting projects since the HBO series came to an end in 2019. As the Last Christmas trailer has made clear, Clarke's character, Kate, is a bit of a mess when the movie starts. She doesn't seem to enjoy her job, her family, or her life all that much. 

However, one of Kate's biggest issues is her health, something she doesn't seem to take care of as she is constantly drinking. And that's where Clarke sees a big difference between herself and her character. In an interview with Glamour, Clarke revealed that there was one key difference between herself and Kate. "Kate and I are both quick to dive into wherever the fun can be found," she said. "But sadly my liver and hers are two very different beasts — she'd drink me under the table in no time at all." 

Honestly, it's probably a good thing that Clarke and her character don't have that in common. 

Henry Golding got the part in Last Christmas because of his role in Crazy Rich Asians

Henry Golding is a well-known, talented actor, but, when casting began for Last Christmas, Golding was still relatively unknown in Hollywood. Because director Paul Feig had worked with Golding before on A Simple Favor, he was sure he was perfect for the part, but, since Crazy Rich Asians hadn't come out yet — the movie that truly thrust Golding into the spotlight — Feig had to wait before casting him in Last Christmas. 

"I knew how good he was for my movie, but the studio kind of didn't know who he was," Feig told Glamour in an interview about the movie. "So I sort of had to bide my time until Crazy Rich came out because I just knew it was going to be a hit." Feig explained to Entertainment Tonight that "the studio didn't know if he was going to be a star or not" because they hadn't seen him act. After Crazy Rich Asians came out, though, they were sold. 

Feig definitely made the right choice in casting Golding, as no one else could play Tom with as much charm as he does. 

The setting of Last Christmas is crucial to the story

In case you couldn't tell from the trailer for Last Christmas and the characters' accents, the movie takes place in London, England. Much like the great Christmas rom-coms before it — think Love Actually and The Holiday — there's just something magical about England, especially London, at Christmastime. There is truly something so iconic about London during the holiday season. It's also important for the story of Last Christmas and was part of what made director Paul Feig fall in love with it. 

In an interview with Glamour, Feig explained that when he was given the script for Last Christmas from Emma Thompson he was immediately swept off his feet. "The biggest thing for me was that I wanted it to look beautiful," Feig said. "That London could be such a giant part of it, almost a character in it." 

We can't imagine Last Christmas taking place anywhere else.

The love story in Last Christmas will make you feel all the feels

Obviously, Last Christmas is a love story. And it's clear that this movie will bring on all the feels when you watch it — and for good reason: Golding and Emilia Clarke have great chemistry. Golding even said so himself in an interview with Glamour. "We really didn't have to build any chemistry at all," he explained of working with Clarke. "I think it was there from the get-go."

On top of that, the relationship with Tom and Clarke's character, Kate, is just magical — and relatable. "There's something about people falling in love being perfectly portrayed onscreen — you get so invested in it, because we can all relate to it," director Paul Feig told Glamour. In Last Christmas, the love story between Tom and Kate is deep, meaningful, and romantic, and their connection in the movie will definitely pull at your heartstrings. 

Emilia Clarke and her Last Christmas character shared a similar experience

Fans of Emilia Clarke know her best as the very determined and strong-willed Mother of Dragons on Game of Thrones. But in real life, Clarke is sweet and charming, and she actually has something very significant in common with her character in Last Christmas. In March 2019, Clarke wrote a personal essay for The New Yorker in which she opened up about having a stroke and aneurysm in 2011. "The diagnosis was quick and ominous: a subarachnoid hemorrhage," Clarke wrote.

Clarke has since recovered, but she felt a certain kinship with her character in Last Christmas, who shares in the trailer, "I was really sick, and I nearly died." That experience is a big part of Kate, and, in an interview with Extra, Clarke revealed it helped her identify with her character. "It definitely added to the kind of truth that I could bring to it because she had her health crisis at the same... pretty much the same age that I did," she said, noting, "That time in your life is really confusing... and it made me empathize with her a lot more." Clearly, Clarke understood her character.

Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding were fans of each other before Last Christmas

As both Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding are hugely talented actors, it's not really too shocking that they would be fans of each other's work. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, they both revealed that they loved each other even before they met. "I was a huge fan of Game of Thrones," Golding said. "I got two episodes in, and I was like, 'I need more!'" 

He's definitely not alone in that sentiment, and Clarke even admitted that she was smitten with Golding in Crazy Rich Asians. "I've not said this to you because it's sort of embarrassing, but you came on the screen and I was like, 'Good lord, that's the single most attractive man I've ever seen in my life,'" she told Entertainment Tonight. 

With such admiration for each other and their acting skills, it makes sense that Golding and Clarke would get along so well on set and have such great chemistry. Truly, their work on Last Christmas is amazing, and they both bring so much to their roles. 

Emma Thompson didn't want to write Last Christmas at first

Shocking as it may be, Emma Thompson, who wrote the movie's story and screenplay and also stars in it, didn't want to work on Last Christmas at first. Though she eventually warmed up to the idea, she revealed to Jimmy Fallon that, when she was first approached to work on the script, she wasn't really feeling it. 

On The Tonight ShowThompson told host Jimmy Fallon that producer David Livingstone asked her if she'd like to write the screenplay for a new Christmas movie based on the song "Last Christmas," and she initially told Livingstone, "Not really, because it's not my favorite song."  Obviously, Thompson eventually warmed up to the idea, though it wasn't really until after she met George Michael that she got excited. "I got really enthused and we started to write," she explained, noting that she started the script before Michael passed away in 2016. 

Emilia Clarke was afraid to sing in Last Christmas

In the trailer for Last Christmas, you can hear Emilia Clarke's voice playing over the scenes, as she sings the titular Wham! song. As an actor, it's not uncommon for Clarke to be asked to sing for a part, but she still was a little nervous going into it. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Clarke revealed that she had to talk herself down a little bit while she was singing for the cameras. 

"I was aware that that would be too much pressure for me to be like, 'It's George Michael! I'm singing to George Michael!'" she said. "[But then] I kind of realized that the words that I were saying were so poignant for the character and that I was telling her story, and it's just that George Michael was giving me the vehicle with which to do it." Clearly, Clarke nailed it, and the song sounds great, as does she.