Hugh Grant • Actor
Wealth is no guarantee of happiness
- Once again the English actor plays a rich and charming scoundrel in his latest romantic comedy, Two Weeks Notice
There’s no doubt that money can be a most attractive proposition. After playing the rich playboy in About A Boy [+see also:
film profile], Hugh Grant is back as New York real estate millionaire, George Wade, in a new zany US comedy called Two Weeks Notice. Irresponsible, with a monster ego, Grant is, however drop-dead gorgeous and makes his life impossible for his long-suffering lawyer, Lucy Kelson (Sandra Bullock). He bombards her with endless phone calls with ridiculous and inopportune requests. Of course, there’s a happy end and the two stars give a scintillatingly funny performance: the perfect ingredients for a romantic comedy for St. Valentine’s Day.
Once again you’re playing a thoroughly undependable but utterly charming man about town. Are you anything like Will and George in real life?
“I must admit that I made a huge effort to get into George, just as I did for Will, the character I played in About A Boy. They’re so spoilt and superficial (smiles ironically – editor’s note) . I sacrificed myself for three years, lazing my time away and spending enormous sums of money on frivolities.”
You have worked in numerous light comedies. Choice or coincidence?
“A little of both. I feel much more at ease in comedies, but am convinced that it’s much harder to make people laugh than cry. Comedy is like a soufflé: they both require lots of hard work and every ingredient has to be exactly right otherwise it deflates. You can’t just pull a funny face and expect people to laugh; you need to work on your timing and balance your actions and your words perfectly.”
Unfortunately that isn’t always so obvious since it’s the actors who make us cry who win the awards...
“From where I’m standing the award is given to the character rather than the actor playing him. Of course if one particular actor made audiences cry more than another, then he’s got more likelihood of winning.”
Your co-star in Two Weeks Notice is Sandra Bullock, who also produced the film. What was it like to work with an actress with such an important day job?
“It was easy because she gave me lots of presents and fed my disproportionately large ego.”
Many British actors tend to take time out from films to act in the theatre, almost as though it were a vacation. Do you see yourself doing that in the future?
“Personally, I consider holidays to be a time for rest and relaxation and theatre is definitely not the place to be if that’s what you’re looking for. It’s more of a nightmare really.”
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