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  • welcome into this conversation since his award winning breakthrough role in Four Weddings and a Funeral.

  • This is a performer who has continued to charm, entertain and surprise us in a wide range of roles from films as varied as Cloud Atlas, Sense and Sensibility.

  • Love Actually, and My Personal Favorite about a Boy.

  • Uh, and then this month he could be seen in theaters and the very charming, very sweet movie you just saw Florence Foster Jenkins.

  • She's not here.

  • So if you clap that hard for her, please welcome Hugh Grant.

  • Thank you for being here.

  • I have been warned that you don't really like people fawning over you.

  • I don't know.

  • That's a polite British thing are.

  • But you're okay with that?

  • Yes, probably be a lot of it tonight.

  • What do you want to start at the beginning?

  • Obviously you won't be.

  • Not obviously, but you were raised in England with some pretty impressive ancestry, like people from like the military and aristocratic descendants.

  • And how did you know?

  • It says that's what Wikipedia?

  • Yes, the military bits, right?

  • Yes, the aristocratic bits of rubbish.

  • But I I'm delighted it's there.

  • I think Americans think anyone with an accent has.

  • Yeah, prissy in their background.

  • But when did you develop an interest in performing?

  • Um, yeah, Isa.

  • Same old story.

  • I'm sure everyone in the room or assuming pretty much most people here acted.

  • It would've been a single thing.

  • Just showing off was a child doing silly voices making the limelight.

  • And at what point did you realize this could be a career?

  • Well, um, that happened in a strange way because I had some messing around acting, school, acting, university acting That wasn't my subject.

  • And then and then when I left University, because I have decided to go and do another degree at another university of sort of post graduate degree.

  • And during that summer, as I was revving up for that, um, I went to a screening of this strange student film that I had shot while I was at Oxford just for a laugh on Dhe.

  • These agents said you want to be an actor, and I said, Well, I know because I'm going off to do this this m Phil on, But suddenly I thought, actually, maybe just for a year, instead of writing essays, I'll act because I've always liked it, so I I said yes.

  • On DA on Dim.

  • Edie it Lee.

  • It was costing a film, actually, for the mutiny on the bounty with Mel Gibson.

  • You were in there?

  • Well, no, I wish I had that.

  • I was a nice part.

  • Very exciting.

  • You know that age Suddenly it was gonna be 20 weeks in Tahiti what seemed like a Ford shooting in terms of money.

  • And ah, And then in those days in England, if you weren't already a member of the Union Equity, you couldn't do a film.

  • You had to go and earn your equity card doing regional theater, and so they wouldn't let me do the film.

  • In the end, on dso, I thought, Well, okay, I'll go and get a bloody equity card.

  • So I went off to Nottingham Playhouse and played tree in wind shouting present.

  • Wait, weren't you furious?

  • Well, I'm not going to say that in a room full of Union SAG wouldn't have done that.

  • There isn't a thing that changed anyway.

  • The irony is, of course, Sinclair Bayfield guy played in this film.

  • One of things he did was to found de crecy nuts because he always played little bit parts on dhe.

  • He always felt a bit parts in particular were treated badly.

  • And so he founded.

  • And that was the beginning.

  • That's amazing.

  • That's a whole other movie you should talk to, Steven about a sequel, Sinclair.

  • Yeah.

  • Yeah.

  • You mentioned the movie you did in college.

  • Was that privileged?

  • And how did you come to get cast in that?

  • It was It was a guy called Mike Hoffman who's gone on to make weight be Michael.

  • Yes.

  • Yes.

  • You're so well read.

  • What is the word?

  • Well viewed.

  • Yeah, yeah.

  • Yeah.

  • I also made restoration with him later in life.

  • He's made all kinds of thoughts.

  • Yeah, he was there was a Rhodes scholar, and he would put together this film because he was interested in film, borrowed some cameras on dhe.

  • Then he said to me, Do you want to be in it?

  • If I lost my mic?

  • Don't let it.

  • Can you hear me on?

  • Duh.

  • And I said no.

  • And then he said, Victoria studs gonna be the girl.

  • So I said, OK, such a sexy name.

  • Yeah.

  • You didn't even know I did it.

  • And, uh, you know, I'm a great admirer of Mike's films, but I'm not sure we made a brilliant film.

  • I've been trying to find it, actually, or goto or any synopsis like Who did you play?

  • Well, I did something rather interesting for me, and I played a sort of upper class Englishmen who, uh, I think Victoria's studs was my girlfriend.

  • And then she went off with someone more interesting and kind of blue collar, and I challenge him to a duel, even though this is set in 1982 on, Uh, that's right March up to say I demand satisfaction.

  • It was a bit of yeah, it was a bit of a wait.

  • I'm sorry to belabor, but I'm fascinated by movies I can't find.

  • So did you win the duel?

  • I think we could have a spoiler alert it at like 40 years.

  • Do you think I get shot?

  • But I can't if he shoots me when I shoot myself, Who's there?

  • Two very different movies.

  • I remember lying in a pool of blood somewhere, but I think I'm probably set myself eso.

  • When you decided to go out and get your equity card, you did a lot of stage work like I believe you were in 12 nights.

  • Uh, well, that was back at Oxford, actually.

  • Oh, really?

  • Yes.

  • Playing the worst part.

  • Not only in 12th night, but in Shakespeare.

  • He's called Fabian.

  • Oh, baby in court often gets cut completely because he's such a dud.

  • You got terrible comedy lines like so?

  • So will cry out upon it, though, because rankers of folks dead Silence.

  • Nobody has understood that since 69 3 And is it true?

  • Did Coriolanus?

  • Yeah, that was it.

  • Not in him then.

  • I was third.

  • Shouting present, I think.

  • One of one of the mob union on various other small parts.

  • Uh, yeah, yeah, I did.

  • And I was frankly, slightly bored doing the small parts.

  • It was another young active, just come out of Roger.

  • We were bored together and also not professional love.

  • We were late for rehearsals, and the head of the theater in those days was a man called Richard.

  • Dig.

  • Today was very terrifying.

  • Hey, said, you're very good looking, but very badly behaved.

  • I've taken your parcel and given it to Carl.

  • Carl was his very special favor.

  • I just saw a little bit of an awfully big adventure.

  • Their eyes Exactly.

  • Why?

  • Based, really Oh, my God should have the monocle and everything.

  • You know, he was a different shape, but it was the same.

  • So what sort of career were you envisioning for yourself?

  • Did you think you just keep doing theater?

  • Did you want to do always do film and TV?

  • Um, I didn't know I was wandering everywhere, really?

  • But when I was doing that, that those plays at Nottingham, this other actor and I was slightly bored and we wrote a comedy show on Dhe.

  • Started performing it sort of in the lobby in the small studio theater there, and it was did quite well.

  • And then well, after that season, we went to London, started doing it in pubs and small theaters.

  • There, the king's head, et cetera.

  • On duh.

  • That was a very happy time.

  • Yeah, it was very good for a couple of years, and it was quite a popular show on Dhe weren't only doing that, but we're also writing stuff for other TV shows that writing radio commercials and I thought that might be in my life.

  • And then yeah, and then, um, Morris happened out of the blue this much and ivory film that sort of put me on into a film world.

  • And how did that come along?

  • Well, literally.

  • I my agent sent me of, you know, said they want to meet you for this, And that time is that says we're interested doing other things.

  • And I remember saying to my brother, who's a banker but was home that day sick, Like I can't face anyone these auditions.

  • I'm so bored.

  • I'm happier doing this.

  • My show.

  • And he said, No, you must go.

  • You must go.

  • And I went and they very kindly game in the part and, yeah, it was nice.

  • It was nice.

  • I squandered the opportunity off to it by doing a lot of rubbish.

  • I know about that.

  • I mean, there's some good movies in their lair of the white worm.

  • Concord, It good.

  • Come with you.

  • No, wait.

  • It's been a while since I've seen it, but I love it growing up.

  • Yeah, if you're very high on drugs.

  • Might have just now.

  • Yeah, I'm curious.

  • What was that one was last time you were on stage 1990 in a play about skiing that was supposed Thio tour and then come into the West End.

  • But it got stuck in Bromley after about two weeks died.

  • I thought I was pretty good, but, uh um, play died.

  • It might be my mustache.

  • I grew a moustache for it.

  • I don't know why I came out a kind of green yellow way.

  • I don't know that we've ever seen you on film with facial hair.

  • No cloud cover, welcher, everything.

  • Yeah, but you may be right.

  • So I'm curious.