How ‘Rye Lane’ Filmmaker Raine Allen-Miller Snagged That Rom-Com King for a ‘Spicy’ Cameo

[Editor’s note: Spoilers ahead for “Rye Lane.”]

Tucked into Raine Allen-Miller’s delightful romantic comedy “Rye Lane” are many tasty treats, including an unexpected cameo from a bonafide rom-com king.

While Allen-Miller doesn’t necessarily consider herself a rom-com aficionado, the first-time feature filmmaker brought a ton of affection for the genre to her film, which follows a pair of South London residents (David Jonsson and Vivian Oparah) as they walk and talk their way through a blossoming romance.

During one early stop, the duo hit up a food stand to purchase a pair of spicy pork burritos. Our first look at the joint immediately sets out its genre bonafides: It’s called Love Guac’tually.

And who could possibly be manning that food stand? It’s “Love, Actually” star Colin Firth himself.

“I can’t remember why I wanted it or how it happened, but I remember just saying to my partner, I was like, ‘Oh, I want to do this thing where we have a store called like, About a Burrito, which jokes about other rom-coms,” the director told IndieWire during a recent interview. “And my boyfriend was like, ‘What about Love Guac’tually?’”

The filmmaker quipped that her partner’s joke was so good, it immediately elevated their own relationship (ah, romance). “I thought About a Burrito was really good, but when he said Love Guac’tually, I was like…well, now we’re engaged,” she said. “That says a lot, right? But I was so impressed.”

Snagging Firth proved easier than expected for Allen-Miller, who took the idea to her producers at BBC Film, the British Film Institute, and Searchlight Pictures. The team encouraged her to reach out to Firth directly. “Somebody had obviously worked with him before [and had his contact information], and so I wrote him a letter,” she said. “And we thought, ‘Oh, he is not going to do it,’ but he did it, and it was great.”

The actor was game for the gig — though he did request a burrito of his own — and delighted in helping Allen-Miller deliver a cheeky callback to the kind of films that inspired her debut. The experience was nothing but fun for the rising director.

“He’s so nice!” Allen-Miller said. “He’s a really nice person. And it’s weird as well, isn’t it? You can tell in the stuff he’s in that he’s a really nice guy. He’s lovely. It was great!”

“Rye Lane” is now streaming on Hulu.

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