He bumbled and fumbled his way to stardom as the love-struck Charles in the 1994 hit romantic comedy Four Weddings and a Funeral, but actor Hugh Grant boasts a filmography that dates back to 1982, when he first starred in Privileged. He received an Honorary César in 2006 for Lifetime Achievement and this is only one of the very many awards he’s accumulated throughout his career.
He’s worked with huge names in cinema, including Julie Andrews in Our Sons (1991), Robin Williams in Nine Months (1995), Robert Downey Jr in Restoration (1995) and even the controversial director Roman Polanski in Bitter Moon (1992). In fact, despite what many people think, Grant has numerous non-comedy films to his name.
Image: Hugh Grant and Julianne Moore in the movie “Nine Months” (1995)
However, comedy remains his favourite genre. He is a ‘laugh tart’ as he himself admits, and since the day he could afford to turn down a contract, he’s mostly chosen to sign up to films with scripts that are truly funny.
He’s been described as the King of Rom Com, and despite rumours that he is grouchy, moody and impossible, his co-stars seem to love him. Sandra Bullock, after working with him in Two Weeks’ Notice (2002) said, “he’s the best partner I’ve ever had in something like this”, whilst Drew Barrymore, his romantic interest in Music and Lyrics (2007), says he is “a master of his domain.” Emma Thompson, with whom he’s shared the screen more than once, has even more praise with an enthusiastic “He is that rare thing – a true film star who doesn’t take himself too seriously.”
Image: Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant in the movie “Two Weeks’ Notice” (2002)
He’s been hounded by paparazzi since he first shot to fame, and a press storm surrounding his arrest for lewd conduct on the 27th June twenty years ago can’t have helped his notion of them. Nevertheless, he insists this has nothing to do with his front-line position as a campaigner for HackedOff – an organisation that strives for “a free and accountable press.”
When not on set, Hugh can be found rooting for his favourite football team, Fulham FC, and playing golf. He also finds the time to make the rounds for charity events, such as the Unicef Halloween Ball and The Paddington Trail Gala Auction, both of which he attended last year. A lover of fast cars, the actor even took part in a car race for charity in Sweden last September.
He is due back on cinema screens this August in The Man From U.N.C.L.E., a spy action/comedy film directed by Guy Ritchie and based on the TV series from the sixties. Meanwhile, he is currently filming a biopic about Florence Foster Jenkins, which sees him as the husband/manager of the untalented opera singer, played by Meryl Streep.