No Extra Mr. Good Man: Hugh Grant Embraces The ‘Blessed Aid’ Of Darker Roles

Love … Really? Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant play a married couple whose relationship just isn’t what appears in The Undoing. /HBO

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Love … Really? Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant play a married couple whose relationship just isn’t what appears in The Undoing. /HBO

After spending a lot of his profession enjoying the male lead in romantic comedies, actor Hugh Grant is shifting into darker roles.

“It is alarming what number of fairly disagreeable narcissists I’ve performed or been provided within the final six or seven years,” Grant says. “It is definitely been a blessed reduction after having to be Mr. Good Man for therefore a few years — which is a thankless activity for any actor.”

On the HBO sequence The Undoing, Grant stars reverse Nicole Kidman as a pediatric oncologist named Jonathan who appears, upon first look, to be the proper husband. However the couple’s marriage begins to unravel when Jonathan is accused of homicide — and Kidman’s character learns issues about him that lead her to consider he is not fairly the particular person she thought he was.

Grant says he used a few of his “rom-com allure” within the first episode of the sequence with a purpose to win the viewers over. However, he says, “I additionally tried at all times to only hold one thing vaguely unsettling about him, even in episode one. Is that this man too good to be true?”

Interview Highlights

On the analysis he did for his function as a captivating, narcissistic pediatric oncologist in The Undoing

I am fairly good on narcissists, as a result of there’s a lot in my enterprise. I’ve additionally spent a great deal of the final decade surprisingly near politicians, and so they rival anybody I do know in present enterprise for narcissism. I am a terrific believer in whoever mentioned, “Politics is present enterprise for the ugly.” That’s completely true, [there is] extraordinary egomania happening there. So I’ve seen lots of that stuff up shut. …

The bit I did not know rather a lot about was medical doctors and at what level their marvelous talents to remedy can curdle them into one thing somewhat creepier — the place the ego begins to take over. It is extra about, “I am such an exquisite physician and I am unsure I actually care if this particular person lives or dies so long as I can take a look at my new concept after which win one other prize or get one other chair of some instructing hospital” or no matter. And so I researched {that a} bit. I speak to lots of medical doctors within the U.Okay. after which in New York, and so they have been all a lot too good. They have been pretty individuals who I be in contact with to at the present time. After which lastly, I discovered one who wasn’t an oncologist in any respect, he labored in one other area. My brother, who lives in Manhattan and his spouse had mentioned, “You have to meet this man as a result of he is the one that every one the women need to go to for his or her knee operation, even when there’s nothing improper with their knee.” So I went to see him and he was very charming and well-dressed and likeable and I assumed he was very helpful to me. … I do not doubt he is a completely great physician, however you may see some narcissism there as nicely.

On methods the British tabloids invaded his privateness

They might put somewhat GPS tracker on the underside of [my] automotive. There [were] guys disguised as British Telecom engineers placing a faucet on a landline in your telephone. And clearly they have been hacking the messages on my cell phone like loopy. They received maintain of my medical data on many events. They usually burgled my flat, let’s not overlook that. I got here dwelling sooner or later and located the entrance door had been fully faraway from its hinges and so they’d been by my flat in some element. By the best way, the individuals who have been doing this have been below orders. These have been the foot troopers, not the chiefs. And what annoys me is that on this form of fallout from all this scandal, it was lots of the foot troopers who received arrested, who went to jail or received suspended sentences. And the chiefs are nonetheless there in energy.

On the roles he took early in his profession and the way he landed his breakout function in 4 Weddings and a Funeral

I managed to promote out and simply do extremely paid, horrible miniseries and really odd European, what I referred to as “Euro puddings,” the place they’d be written by a Spaniard directed by [a] German, [with] English actors. They have been terrible and so they by no means received actually launched correctly. But it surely appeared like enjoyable. There have been fairly actresses in it that I needed to spend time with and did issues for all of the improper motives. And it very almost totally killed my profession earlier than out of the blue 4 Weddings got here alongside a couple of years later. …

Issues have been in fairly dangerous state when it comes to correct appearing for me, after which the script got here by and I bear in mind calling my agent and saying, “I believe there’s been a mistake, since you despatched me an excellent script.” They usually did have a observe report of doing that. They’d performed it as soon as earlier than. And I might referred to as and mentioned, “Hold on, that is good. And also you positive it was meant for me?” They usually’d mentioned, “No, sorry. That is meant for Tom Cruise.” That was Jerry Maguire. … Then the 4 Weddings script got here by and it was actually humorous and I went for the audition and Richard Curtis, who’d written it, hated me, and Duncan Kenworthy, who was producing it, hated me, however Mike Newell, who was directing it, thought I used to be promising, and I received the half and began an entire new factor in my profession.

On enjoying a washed-up ’80s heartthrob in Music and Lyrics, and feeling mortified concerning the dancing scene

They gave me a superb choreographer who [had worked with] Kylie Minogue and all these individuals, Britney Spears. And I believe that was one of many low moments of my profession, if not my life, was the primary rehearsal with him. It was simply him and an enormous boombox with some music in it in an enormous rehearsal room someplace in Manhattan. And he mentioned, “OK, nicely, earlier than we try to work out any strikes in any respect,” he mentioned, “let me simply see how you progress naturally. So I’ll placed on some music and I simply need you to freak out.” He placed on some music and I simply stood nonetheless for 20 minutes. He was not getting that out of a 40-year-old Englishman at 11 o’clock within the morning. So it was very troublesome. Ultimately, I did these scenes on a sneaky mixture of whiskey and lorazepam tranquilizers dropped at me by my loyal make-up woman in a 7UP bottle.

On feeling caught at 34, the age he was when he turned well-known

I really like the idea I’ve heard that individuals who out of the blue get well-known stick emotionally when it comes to their character in the meanwhile at which they get well-known. They can not transfer on from it. I’ve heard tales that George Clooney, in his huge mansion, nonetheless sleeps within the closet, as a result of he was sleeping in a really small house when he received well-known. I’ve discovered that my tastes or the issues I am most comfy with are issues I used to be doing and the meals I used to be consuming after I was 34. It is fairly odd. I am speaking to you now from the flat I had at the moment and which I’ve by no means bought, as a result of I prefer to run away right here to work. I really feel secure right here. Across the nook, I’ve received 5 screaming kids and an entire different life.

Heidi Saman and Thea Chaloner produced and edited this interview for broadcast. Bridget Bentz, Molly Seavy-Nesper and Beth Novey tailored it for the Net.

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