I’ve been saving this all week, because this is Friday content. What I typically need on Fridays in this space is a story or a celebrity who can deliver joy. Would Hugh Grant ever have imagined that it would be him? But that’s the point. He is exactly the kind of joy I save for Fridays because his brand of joy comes specifically from his signature self-loathing. Hugh Grant is never out here trying to delight you – and this is why he’s so f-cking delightful.
Hugh’s new interview with Vanity Fair was posted earlier this week. It’s because he’s campaigning for an Emmy for his performance in A Very English Scandal, and that’s funny in and of itself, that Hugh’s thirsting for an award for his work on television which, when he was previously campaigning for the nomination (begrudgingly it seems), he couldn’t stop complaining about. Remember what he said during the THR Drama Actors Roundtable? While acknowledging that “everyone does TV now”, and having been invited to participate for being great on TV, he’s still “hankering for the old days of glamour and cinema”. And this Vanity Fair article actually opens with him bitching about feeling “very overworked” because the television production schedule is “way too long – way, too long”!
This is why it’s all so amusing. Before this “Grantaissance”, as some are calling it, Hugh was known as the rom-com guy, the guy in movies that made you smile… even though, in real life, he seems quite the opposite. Hugh Grant is a grumbling crusty f-ck – and he’s never been the actor who loves the work or keeps wanting to work because, as he tells Emily Yoshida in VF, “[I was] trying to find reasons not to do the job which is…I specialize in that”.
It’s not that he’s lazy (but part of it is a little bit of that old English nobility thing of looking down on work – that was the joke on Downton Abbey, remember? One of the most famous lines from the series? “Wha…what… is a weekend?") but that, like most actors, he’s terribly insecure. Which is why he’s never happy, because he doesn’t think an actor can ever really be happy; they’re too busy trying to be someone else, literally. Which is why his children are “banned” from the profession and he’s relieved that acting doesn’t seem like it’s an option for them:
“The older ones, I’ve seen in a few school plays. And luckily, they display no talent.”
That’s not to say he’s never proud of his work, though. There is… one project he’s actually fond of. And, of course, for us here at LaineyGossip, it’s the project that made us fall in love with him. Specifically it was why Duana fell in love with him. For the first half of 2018, Hugh Grant was Duana’s favourite after he presented at the Golden Globes.
He was there to present… Dunkirk. You know, that super serious movie about war? Hugh was presenting Dunkirk after being introduced as the star of Paddington 2. And Duana lost her mind. It’s not that she was mocking the movie, because it’s a great movie, she loves the movie. It was his face. It was that now iconic curmudgeon face, practically wincing, as he hears his introduction and looks like he has to force himself to walk across the stage. The way he talked about Dunkirk sounded like he was apologising to Dunkirk for being the person from Paddington 2 to present Dunkirk.
A year and a half later, though, and he’s no longer embarrassed about being in Paddington 2. And it turns out that moment was as memorable for him as it was for us:
“I was presenting I think at the Golden Globes, and they do that thing when you walk out, and they say, ‘From the forthcoming Paddington 2, Hugh Grant.’ And someone showed me Twitter afterwards, and it was…people were full of derision. ‘Christ, has it come to that. Poor old Hugh. Paddington 2. Sequel to a kids film.’ ” Grant smiles a bit ruefully. “It’s particularly annoying in the case of Paddington 2, because I genuinely believe it may be the best film I’ve ever been in.”
Justice, finally, for Paddington 2!
Click here for the full Vanity Fair article on Hugh Grant.
Have a great weekend!
Yours in gossip,