Hugh Grant: The 'Charlatan' of Romantic Comedies 'Cashes In'
By Nicki Gostin Posted Dec 17th 2009 04:03AM
Hugh Grant? 'Four Weddings and a Funeral' begat 'Notting Hill' which led to 'Love Actually' among others. But bumbling bad boy Hugh makes it sound like his whole career has been a series of unplanned breaks, an Englishman who went up the Hollywood hills and came down a star. Currently acting opposite 'Sex and the City' star Sarah Jessica Parker (or SJP for those in the know) in 'Did You Hear About the Morgans?', the Oxford grad and former Mr. Liz Hurley tells PopEater about giving champagne to Nazis, acting with a bear (in 'Morgans?'), heavy petting and how it feels to get worn around the edges.
How was the bear in your new movie?
He had actor's instincts. He wanted to hit his mark and he wanted praise, a lot of praise.
Are you amazed at your career?
I've always been a charlatan in this business really. In 1983 when I first started acting I thought I'll do it for a year and make some money and I was so bad in my first movie I thought I've got to do another to prove to my friends that I'm not that bad. That went on for a very long time. It was never planned. I always kept meaning to stop. The only time I never thought about stopping was after 'Four Weddings' because I thought "Oh I'm going to cash in!"
Hugh Grant Snapshots
Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker attend the 'Did You Hear About the Morgans?' New York premiere at the Ziegfeld Theatre on Dec. 14. Check out more pics of Grant >>
Do your friends think you're alright now?
Well, no my closest friends still think I'm shocking.
What were you going to do instead?
I was going to do another degree. I was going to do a doctorate in art history.
Do you collect art?
Yes, contemporary art about which I feel very conflicted. It's a nonsense world. I really believe it may be complete nonsense and it will be rumbled as communism has now been rumbled. In 30 years time everyone will look back and say "I can't believe these people believed in contemporary art."
If you were told you had to enter the witness protection program and pack only one suitcase. What would be in it?
I can't sleep without my pillow. It's non-allergic. I've had it for a long time. It's got a name but we won't go there and I have to have Marmite (a salty British food spread). That gets sent around the world with me. Can't get the day going without Marmite and if I'm feeling very sad I eat it straight from the pot (container).
When you look in the mirror do you see how handsome you are?
Not even remotely. I see a sad, angry, hungover middle-aged man dreading the day. There is a mirror in the hotel where I'm staying to the side of the basin and this morning I was shaving and I looked over at the mirror but my face stayed pointing down. I thought "That's a new one. That's bad."
Do you worry about getting "squidgy" around the edges?
Don't want to get too squidgy. Someone showed me a tape of my 'Letterman' appearance from last night and I just saw a fat, frightened man.
Do you have a favorite novel that you'd like to make into a movie?
I have that sort of power but I don't have the energy or drive. And also I have to say when I love a book, literally the last thing in the world I want is for it to be made into a film.
Why so many romantic comedies?
I'm a very limited actor. I can only do a certain tone really and not many people write in that tone and when they do it tends to be romantic comedies. It's not the romance side I'm all that interested in but I do get some satisfaction in entertaining people and making them laugh. Before 'Four Weddings' I played a lot of baddies. I was always the champagne baron who stole the family's champagne and gave it to the Nazis. Played it about six times.
So when are you going to be made a Sir?
You would assume it's around the corner. No, I'm pretty hated in my own country, sadly. I love it, it hates me.
Would you do theater?
I like theater but I know what misery it is for the audience. I personally find it enjoyable going to the theater one time in twenty. The other nineteen you're just going, "Oh come on, let's get to the interval (intermission) and have a drink." I think there's a lot of piety about the theater.
What projects have you got coming up?
I have a couple of things I'm flirting with, more than flirting, heavily petting.
'Did You Hear About the Morgans?' will be in theaters this Friday.
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