We never imagined at the beginning of this year that Hugh Grant would end up being one of our favourite celebrities of 2018. But it was Duana who picked up on it at the Golden Globes and he has continued to be a source of so much joy. Which is part of what makes him so delightful. That he brings so much joy when he himself …isn’t all that joyful?
Joy isn’t Hugh Grant’s default position. Hugh Grant defaults to embarrassment, like whenever he shows up somewhere he apologises for having to show up, almost as though he thinks that you should think that having to talk to him is the worst.
Hugh is currently promoting the British miniseries A Very English Scandal based on Jeremy Thorpe. Vulture has a good backgrounder on the real story of Jeremy Thorpe, which is apparently faithfully adapted for the show. As part of the press tour, Hugh sat down with GQ to review his most iconic performances, a brief oral history of his career. What becomes quickly obvious is that Hugh isn’t sure how he came to have a career, at least that’s what it sounds like. He starts off by saying he never wanted to act in the first place, that it was his brother who pushed him to audition. And his attitude towards almost every other role from there is barely disguised ambivalence. Which may or may not be how he really feels, but it certainly comes off that way. Especially when he confesses that his approach to several roles was just to “play it the same”, even though he claims to have, initially, wanted to take it in a different direction. And that kind of explains everything about Hugh Grant. The characters he’s best remembered for were created out of apathy. How would you wrestle with that? Like when you half-ass your work and everyone ends up loving it, would you feel like a fraud, an imposter? Has he come to peace with it? I want to believe that he has – and this may be why he’s been such a highlight this year. It’s not that he’s suddenly Mary Sunshine (as if) but more like he’s somehow released himself from the burden of having to pretend to be. And in doing so he’s never been more entertaining. It’s impossible to watch him without smiling.
Yours in gossip,