Hugh Grant


Hugh Grant

Infobox actor



imagesize=
caption=Grant at the 2007 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in St Andrews, Scotland
birthname=Hugh John Mungo Grant
birthdate=birth date and age|1960|9|9|mf=y
birthplace=Hammersmith, London, England
occupation=Actor, Film Producer
yearsactive=1987–present
domesticpartner=Jemima Khan (2004-2007)
nowrap|Elizabeth Hurley (1987-2000)
baftaawards=Best Actor
1994 "Four Weddings and a Funeral"
cesarawards=Honorary César
2006 Lifetime Achievement
goldenglobeawards = Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical/Comedy
1995 "Four Weddings and a Funeral"
awards=BAFTA/LA Britannia Award
2003 Excellence in Film
CFCA Award for Most Promising Actor
1995 "Four Weddings and a Funeral"
LFCC Award for Best British Actor
2002 "About a Boy"

Hugh John Mungo Grant (born 9 September, 1960) is a British actor and film producer. He has received a Golden Globe Award, a BAFTA, and an Honorary César. His movies have earned more than $2.4 billion from 25 theatrical releases worldwide. [cite news | first=Anthony | last=D'Alessandro | title=Englishman who grossed B.O. | page= | publisher="Variety" | date=2002-12-16 | accessdate=2007-09-11 ]

Grant achieved international stardom after playing the alter ego of writer-director Richard Curtis in the sleeper hit "Four Weddings and a Funeral" (1994).cite news | title=Scribe's alter ego evolves on celluloid |author=Sharon Knolle and Liza Foreman |page=A8 |publisher="Variety" | date=2002-12-16 | accessdate=2007-09-11 ] He used this breakthrough role as a frequent cinematic persona during the 1990s to deliver comic performances in mainstream films like "Mickey Blue Eyes" (1999) and "Notting Hill" (1999). He established himself, by the turn of the 21st century, as a prominent leading man skilled with a satirical comic talent. In recent years, Grant has expanded his oeuvre with critically acclaimed turns as a cad in "Bridget Jones's Diary" (2001), "About A Boy" (2002), and "American Dreamz" (2006).cite web|last= |first= |title=Rotten Tomatoes: Hugh Grant |publisher=IGN Entertainment |url=http://www.rottentomatoes.com/celebrity/hugh_grant/about.php |accessdate=2007-09-25]

He has been criticised by students of cinema for putting emphasis on nuanced mannerisms, for the predictability of his movies, and for his unwillingness to stretch as an actor.cite news | title=Actor's dull life |page=31 |publisher="Herald Sun" | date=2003-10-16 | accessdate=2007-09-11 ] Within the film industry, he is cited as a movie star who approaches his roles like a character actor, with the ability to make acting look effortless. Hallmarks of his comic skills include a nonchalant touch of irony/sarcasm and studied physical mannerisms as well as his precisely-timed dialogue delivery and facial expressions.

Widespread media speculation about Grant's reportedly very strong personality and life off the big screen has often overshadowed his work as a thespian.cite news |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/film/2780369.stm | title=British screen legends: Hugh Grant |publisher=BBC | date=2003-02-21 | accessdate=2007-09-28 ] Over years of fame, he has been identified in popular culture as a figure of charisma, charm,Citation | last = Peter | first = Travers | author-link = | title = Reviews: Love Actually | newspaper = Rolling Stone | date = 2003-11-03 |accessdate=2007-09-29 |url=http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/movie/5947827/review/5947828/love_actually] sharp tongue, and wit, who is very vocal about his disrespect for the profession of acting and his disdain toward the culture of celebrity. He is equally infamous for his grumpiness, political incorrectness, hostilities with the media, and bad temper.cite news | first=Eloise | last=Parker | title=Why Grant's so grumpy |publisher="Daily Post" |page=13 |date=2007-02-03 | accessdate=2007-09-21 ] In a career spanning 20 years, Grant has repeatedly claimed that acting is not a true calling but just a job he fell into.

Ancestry and early life

Grant was born at Hammersmith Hospital in London, England, the son of Fynvola Susan (née MacLean) and Captain James Murray Grant.cite web|last=Rhodes |first=Michael |title=Person Page 18289:Hugh John Mungo Grant |publisher=thePeerage.com |url=http://www.thepeerage.com/p18289.htm#i182889 |accessdate=2007-09-25] Genealogist Antony Adolph described his family history as "a colourful Anglo-Scottish tapestry of warriors, empire-builders and aristocracy."Cite news | last = Gilchrist | first = Jim | title = Stars dig up surprises with their ancestors | publisher = "The Scotsman" | date = 2005-08-17 | url = http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=1325&id=1799472005 |accessdate=2007-09-10 ] Grant is a descendant of the Grants of Glenmoriston from a long line of Scots military men, doctors and explorers, including William Drummond and Dr. James Stewart.cite web| |title=Grants of Glenmoriston |publisher=ElectricScotland.com |url=http://www.electricscotland.com/webclans/dtog/grant2.html |accessdate=2007-09-28] John Murray, 1st Duke of Atholl, Heneage Finch, 1st Earl of Nottingham, Rt Hon. Sir Evan Nepean, and former British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval are a few of his notable maternal antecedents.cite web|last=Hodgson |first= Richard |title=Ancestors of a 21st century British family|publisher=MyFamily.com,Inc. |url=http://worldconnect.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=PED&db=ancestorsearch&id=I371 |accessdate=2007-09-10] Grant's grandfather, Major James Murray Grant, DSO, a native of Inverness in Scotland, was decorated for bravery and leadership at Dunkirk during WWII.Cite news | last = Cobain | first = Ian | title = Survivors of 'sacrificed' division still feel bitter | publisher = "The Sunday Telegraph" | date = 2000-06-04 | url = http://home.clara.net/clinchy/51st.htm ]

Grant's father, Capt. Grant, was trained at Sandhurst and served with the Seaforth Highlanders for eight years in Malaya, Germany and Scotland.Cite news | last = Ritchie | first = John | title = 'Upstage Guy? I should be so lucky | publisher = "The Daily Telegraph" | date = 2001-01-24 | url = http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2001/01/24/tlritc24.xml |accessdate=2007-09-10 ] He ran a carpet firm, pursued hobbies such as golf and watercolouring, and raised his family in Chiswick, West London, where the Grants lived next to Arlington Park Mansions on Sutton Lane.Cite news | last = Nikkhah | first = Roya | title = Hugh Grant's (early) life in pictures | publisher = "The Daily Telegraph" | date = 2006-10-09 | url = http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/09/10/ngrant10.xml |accessdate=2007-09-10 ] cite episode |title=Inside the Actors Studio: Hugh Grant |series=Inside the Actors Studio |url=http://www.bravotv.com/Inside_the_Actors_Studio|serieslink=Inside the Actors Studio |credits= Presenter: James Lipton |network=Bravo |airdate=2002-05-12 |season=8 |number=813 |transcripturl=] In September 2006, a collection of Capt. Grant's paintings was hosted by the John Martin Gallery in a charity exhibition, organised by his famous son, called "James Grant: 30 Years of Watercolours."cite web|last= |first= |url=http://www.jmlondon.com/pages/artistexhibitions/26311.html |publisher=jmlondon.com |title=James Grant - 30 Years of Watercolours |accessdate=2007-10-18] Fynvola Grant was the great-granddaughter of Sir Evan Colville Nepean (CB), whose father, Rev. Canon Evan Nepean, served as the Canon of Westminster and was Chaplain In Ordinary to Queen Victoria.cite web|last=Lundy |first=Darryl |title=Person Page 23883:Rev. Canon Evan Nepean |publisher=thePeerage.com |url=http://www.thepeerage.com/p23883.htm#i238829 |accessdate=2007-09-28] She worked as a schoolteacher and taught Latin, French and music for more than 30 years in the state schools of West London.Cite news | author=Richard Boullemier | title = Chris bids farewell | publisher = "Richmond & Twickenham Times" | date = 2007-07-21 | url = http://www.richmondandtwickenhamtimes.co.uk/display.var.1561135.0.0.php |accessdate=2007-09-11 ] She died in Hounslow, London, at the age of 65, [ [http://www.findmypast.com Deaths England and Wales 1984-2006] ] in July 2001, after an 18-month battle with pancreatic cancer.Cite news | author=WENN | title = Hugh Loses His Mother | publisher = cinema.com | date = 2001-07-13 | url = http://www.cinema.com/news/item/4604/hugh-loses-his-mother.phtml |accessdate=2007-09-11 ]

Grant's famous RP accent is an inheritance from his mother and, on "Inside the Actors Studio" in 2002, he credited her with "any acting genes that [he] might have." Both his parents were children of military families,cite news | first= | last= | title=Grant's Views | page=A2 | publisher="Variety" | date=2002-12-16 | accessdate=2007-09-11 ] and, despite his parents' posh upbringings and backgrounds, Grant has stated that his family was not always affluent while he was growing up.Cite news | last = Zaslow | first = Jeffrey | title = Charming sex symbol? Handsome bumbler? Male chauvinist? | publisher = "USA Weekend" | date = 1999-05-23 | url = http://www.usaweekend.com/99_issues/990523/990523talk.html |accessdate=2007-09-10 ] Grant's childhood passions included shooting and hunting, especially with his grandfather in Scotland. Grant's elder brother, James "Jamie" Grant, is a successful banker as Managing Director, head of Healthcare, Consumer, & Retail Investment Banking Coverage, at JPMorgan Chase in New York. [cite book |author=Norbert B. Laufenberg |title=Entertainment Celebrities |origyear=2005 |origmonth= |publisher=Trafford Publishing |location= |page=271 |chapter=]

Education

Grant started his education at the pre-preparatory Wetherby School. From 1969 to 1978, he attended Latymer Upper School on scholarship and played 1st XV rugby, cricket and football for the school.Cite news | author= | title = Hugh Grant amongst past pupils bidding farewell to Chris Hammond | publisher = ChiswickW4.com | date = 2007-07-11 | url = http://chiswickw4.com/default.asp?section=info&spage=common/conschools95.htm |accessdate=2007-09-11 ] He also represented Latymer on the popular quiz show, "Top of the Form", an academic competition between two teams of four secondary school students each.cite episode |title=Inside the Actors Studio: Hugh Grant |series=Inside the Actors Studio |url=http://www.bravotv.com/Inside_the_Actors_Studio|serieslink=Inside the Actors Studio |credits= Presenter: James Lipton |network=Bravo |airdate=2002-05-12 |season=8 |number=813 |transcripturl=http://youtube.com/watch?v=5p4KP212qo0] Chris Hammond, his form teacher in 1975 and later the assistant head of Latymer, told "People" magazine that Grant was "a clever boy among clever boys."cite news |title=Hugh Knew? |publisher="People" |url=http://hughgrant.free.fr/Interviews/people0502.html |date=May 2002 |accessdate=2007-10-03] In 1979, he won the Galsworthy scholarship to New College, Oxford where he studied English literature and graduated with .cite news |title=Previous Judges: Hugh Grant |publisher=Costa Book Awards |url=http://www.costabookawards.com/awards/previous_judges.aspx |accessdate=2007-09-10] Grant is remembered as a famous face at Oxford, with actress Anna Chancellor recalling, "I first met Hugh at a party at Oxford. There was something magical about him. He was a star even then, without having done anything."cite news |last=Driscoll |first=Margarette |title=Interview: Margarette Driscoll meets Anna Chancellor |publisher="The Sunday Times" |url=http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/article1170104.ece?token=null&offset=0 |date=2002-10-13 |accessdate=2007-09-10] Viewing acting as nothing more than a creative outlet, he joined the Oxford University Dramatic Society and starred in a successful touring production of "Twelfth Night".cite news |author=Zep |title=Biography for Peter Kosminsky |publisher=IMDb |url=http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0467225/bio |accessdate=2007-09-10]

Young earner

After making his debut as Hughie Grant in the Oxford-financed "Privileged" (1982), Grant dabbled in a variety of jobs: he wrote book reviews,cite news |author=Marchbank |title=Hugh's a rude boy |publisher="Sunday Mail" |page=74 |date=1999-05-30 |accessdate=2007-09-10] worked as assistant groundsman at Fulham Football Club,cite news |author=British Council |title=Hugh Grant Fulham FC (England) |publisher=ClubFootball-Fan Channel |url=http://www.wanguoqunxing.com/cms4/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=50 |date=2005-09-11 |accessdate=2007-09-10] tried his hand at tutoring, wrote comedy sketches for TV shows,cite episode |series= Canada AM |network=CTV Television, Inc. |title=British Filmmaker Divides Time Between Producing and Acting |credits= Presenters: Valerie Pringle and Dan Matheson |airdate=1999-09-06 ] and was hired by Talkback Productions to write and produce radio commercials for products such as Mighty White bread and Red Stripe lager.Cite news | author=WENN | title = Hugh Grant Wistful For Radio Days | publisher = IMBd | date = 2002-05-10 | url = http://www.imdb.com/news/wenn/2002-05-10#celeb8 |accessdate=2007-09-11 ] To obtain his equity card, he joined the repertory theatre Nottingham Playhouse and lived for a year at Park Terrace in The Park Estate, Nottingham.cite news |last=Arnold |first=Gary |title='Charming, witty guy' puts his mark on summer films |publisher="The Washington Times" |page=D3 |date=1995-05-14 |accessdate=2007-09-20] Bored of small acting parts, he created his own comedy revue called The Jockeys of Norfolk with friends Chris Lang and Andy Taylor. The group toured London’s pub comedy circuit with stops at "The George IV" in Chiswick, "Canal Cafe Theatre" in Little Venice and "The King's Head" in Islington.Cite news |first=John | last=Sturgis | title =Pub Theatre that launched host of stars fights final curtain call | publisher = "Evening Standard" |page=17 | date = 1998-03-11 |accessdate=2007-09-11 ] Starting on a low note, The Jockeys of Norfolk eventually proved a hit at the Edinburgh Festival after their sketch on the Nativity, told as an Ealing comedy, garnered them a spot on the BBC2 TV show called "Edinburgh Nights".Cite news |first=Chris | last=Lang | title =Personal Profile: Just the Job | publisher = "Evening Standard" |page=4 | date = 1998-08-24 |accessdate=2007-09-21 ] During this time, Grant also appeared in theatre productions of plays such as "An Inspector Calls", "Lady Windermere's Fan", and "Coriolanus.

Movie career

Grant's first leading role came in Merchant-Ivory's 1987 Edwardian drama, "Maurice", adapted from E.M. Forster's namesake novel. He and co-star James Wilby shared the Volpi Cup for best actor at the Venice Film Festival for their portrayals of Cantabrigian collegians Clive Durham and Maurice Hall, respectively. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Grant balanced small roles on television with rare film work, which included a supporting role in "The Dawning" (1988) and a turn as Lord Byron in a Spanish production called "Remando Al Viento" (1988).

In 1992, he appeared in Roman Polanski's film "Bitter Moon", portraying a fastidious and proper British tourist who is married to Kristin Scott Thomas but finds himself enticed by the sexual hedonism of a seductive French woman and her embittered, paraplegic American husband. The film was called an "anti-romantic opus of sexual obsession and cruelty" by the "Washington Post".Citation | last = Brown | first = Joe | author-link = | title = Bitter Moon | newspaper = Washington Post | date = 1994-04-15 |accessdate=2007-09-29 |url=] His other work in period pieces such as Ken Russell’s "The Lair of the White Worm" (1988), award-winning Merchant-Ivory drama "The Remains of the Day" (1993) and (as Frédéric Chopin in) "Impromptu" (1991) was largely unnoticed. He later called this phase of his career "hilarious," referring to his early movies as "Europuddings, where you would have a French script, a Spanish director, and English actors. The script would usually be written by a foreigner, badly translated into English. And then they'd get English actors in, because they thought that was the way to sell it to America."

At 32, Grant claimed to be on the brink of giving up the acting profession but was surprised by the script of "Four Weddings and a Funeral" ("FWAAF"). "If you read as many bad scripts as I did, you'd know how grateful you are when you come across one where the guy actually is funny," he later recalled. Released in 1994, "FWAAF" became the highest-grossing British film of all time with a worldwide box office in excess of $244 million,cite web |url=http://www.boxofficemojo.com/people/chart/?id=hughgrant.htm |publisher=Box Office Mojo |title= Hugh Grant |accessdate=2007-09-11 ] making Grant an overnight international star. The film was nominated for two Academy Awards, and among numerous awards won by its cast and crew, it earned Grant his first and only Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical Or Comedy and a BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. It also temporarily typecast him as the lead character, Charles, a bohemian and debonair bachelor. Grant and Curtis saw it as an inside joke that the star, due to the parts he played, was assumed to have the personality of the screenwriter, who is known for writing about himself and his own life.cite news | title=Faces of the week: Richard Curtis |author=Chris Jones |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/4606743.stm |publisher=BBC | date=2005-06-03 | accessdate=2007-09-11 ] Grant later expressed:

accessdate=2007-09-11 ]

1995 saw the release of Grant's first studio-financed Hollywood project, Chris Columbus's comedy "Nine Months". Though a hit at the box office, it was almost universally panned by critics. The "Washington Post" called it a "grotesquely pandering caper" and singled out Grant's performance, as a child psychiatrist reacting unfavourably to his girlfriend's unexpected pregnancy, for his "insufferable muggings."Citation | last = Howe | first = Desson | author-link = | title = Movie Reviews:Nine Months | newspaper = Washington Post | date = 1995-07-14 |accessdate=2007-09-29 |url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/movies/videos/ninemonthspg13howe_c02245.htm] The same year, he played supporting parts as Emma Thompson's suitor in Ang Lee’s Academy Award-winning adaptation of Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility" and as a cartographer in 1917 Wales in The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain.

Grant then reunited with the director of "FWAAF", Mike Newell, for the tragicomedy "An Awfully Big Adventure" that was labeled a "determinedly offbeat film" by the "New York Times". Grant portrayed a bitchy, supercilious director of a repertory company in post-World War II Liverpool. Critic Roger Ebert wrote, "It shows that he has range as an actor,"Citation | last = Ebert | first = Robert | author-link = Roger Ebert | title = Movie Reviews:An Awfully Big Adventure | newspaper = Chicago Sun-Times | date = 1995-09-25 |accessdate=2007-09-29 |url=http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19950922/REVIEWS/509220301/1023] but the "San Francisco Chronicle" disapproved on grounds that the film "plays like a vanity production for Grant."Citation | last = Guthmann | first = Edwards | author-link = | title = This Grant `Adventure' An Awfully Chilly One | newspaper = San Francisco Chronicle | date = 1995-07-21 |accessdate=2007-09-29 |url=http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/1995/07/21/DD64380.DTL] Janet Maslin, praising Grant as "superb" and "a dashing cad under any circumstances," commented, "For him this film represents the road not taken. Made before "Four Weddings and a Funeral" was released, it captures Mr. Grant as the clever, versatile character actor he was then becoming, rather than the international dreamboat he is today."Citation | last = Maslin | first = Janet | author-link = Janet Maslin | title = Film Review:A Look at Hugh Grant Before His Big Success | newspaper = The New York Times | date = 1995-07-21 |accessdate=2007-09-29 |url=http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=990CE3DD1530F932A15754C0A963958260]

Grant made his debut as a film producer with the 1996 thriller "Extreme Measures", a commercial and critical failure. After a three year hiatus, in 1999, he paired with Julia Roberts in "Notting Hill", which was brought to theatres by much of the same team that was responsible for "FWAAF". This new Working Title production displaced "FWAAF" as the biggest British hit in the history of cinema, with earnings equalling $363 million worldwide. As it became exemplary of modern romantic comedies in mainstream culture, the film was also received well by critics. CNN reviewer Paul Clinton said, "Notting Hill" stands alone as another funny and heartwarming story about love against all odds." [cite web|url=http://www.cnn.com/SHOWBIZ/Movies/9905/27/review.notting.hill/|title=Review: Julia, Hugh a perfect match for 'Notting Hill'|accessdate=2007-05-21|date=1999-05-27|author=Paul Clinton|publisher=CNN] Reactions to Grant's Golden Globe-nominated performance were varied, with Salon's Stephanie Zacharek criticizing that, "Grant's performance stands as an emblem of what's wrong with "Notting Hill". What's maddening about Grant is that he just never cuts the crap. He's become one of those actors who's all shambling self-caricature, from his twinkly crow's feet to the time-lapsed half century it takes him to actually get one of his lines out."Citation | last = Zacharek | first = Stephanie | author-link = | title = Film Review:Notting Hill | newspaper = Salon.com | date = 1999-05-28 |accessdate=2007-09-29 |url=http://www.salon.com/ent/movies/review/1999/05/28/notting/index.html] The movie provided both its stars a chance to satirize the woes of international notoriety, most noted of which was Grant's turn as a faux-journalist who sits through a dull press junket with, what the "New York Times" called, "a delightfully funny deadpan."Citation | last = Maslin | first = Janet | author-link = Janet Maslin | title = Film Review:Looking for a Book And Finding a Man | newspaper = The New York Times | date = 1999-05-28 |accessdate=2007-09-29 |url=http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9D00E3DB1F31F93BA15756C0A96F958260] Grant also released his second production output, a fish-out-of-water mob comedy "Mickey Blue Eyes", that year. It was dismissed by critics, performed modestly at the box office, and garnered its actor-producer mixed reviews for his starring role. Roger Ebert thought, "Hugh Grant is wrong for the role [and] strikes one wrong note and then another,"Citation | last = Ebert | first = Robert | author-link = Roger Ebert | title = Movie Reviews:Mickey Blue Eyes | newspaper = Chicago Sun-Times | date = 1999-08-20 |accessdate=2007-09-29 |url=http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19990820/REVIEWS/908200303/1023] whereas Kenneth Turan, writing in the "Los Angeles Times", said, "If he'd been on the Titanic, fewer lives would have been lost. If he'd accompanied Robert Scott to the South Pole, the explorer would have lived to be 100. That's how good Hugh Grant is at rescuing doomed ventures."Citation | last = Turan | first = Kenneth | author-link = Kenneth Turan | title = Movie Review: Mickey Blue Eyes | newspaper = Los Angeles Times | date = 1999-08-20 |accessdate=2007-09-29 |url=http://www.calendarlive.com/movies/reviews/cl-movie990819-5,0,299920.story]

While promoting Woody Allen’s "Small Time Crooks" on NBC’s "The Today Show" in 2000, Grant told host Matt Lauer, “It's my millennium of bastards.”cite episode |series= "Small Time Crooks" starred Grant, in the words of film critic Andrew Sarris, as "a petty, petulant, faux-Pygmalion art dealer, David, [who] is one of the sleaziest and most unsympathetic characters Mr. Allen has ever created."Citation | last = Sarris | first = Andrew | author-link = Andrew Sarris | title =With Woody's Cookie Caper, Some Careers Could Cool Off | newspaper = The New York Observer | date = 2000-05-28 |accessdate=2007-09-29 |url=http://www.observer.com/node/42991] In a role devoid of his comic attributes, the "New York Times" wrote: "Mr. Grant deftly imbues his character with exactly a perfect blend of charm and nasty calculation."Citation | last = Holden | first = Stephen | author-link = Stephen Holden | title = Film Review: Just Take the Money and Run? Nah, She Wants Class and Culcha
newspaper = The New York Times | date = 2000-05-20 |accessdate=2007-09-29 |url=http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9C00E0DD143AF93AA25756C0A9669C8B63
] A year later, his turn as a charming but womanising book publisher Daniel Cleaver in "Bridget Jones's Diary" (2001) was proclaimed by "Variety" to be "as sly an overthrow of a star's polished posh - and nice - poster image as any comic turn in memory."cite news | title=Auds Prefer Grant Unattached |last=Robey |first=Tim |pages=A2-A4 |publisher="Variety" | date=2002-12-16 | accessdate=2007-09-21 ] The movie, adapted from Helen Fielding's novel of the same name, was an international hit, earning $281 million worldwide. Grant was, according to the "Washington Post", fitting as "a cruel, manipulative cad, hiding behind the male god's countenance that he knows all too well."Citation | last = Hunter | first = Stephen | author-link = Stephen Hunter | title = Chaos and Cads
newspaper = Washington Post | date = 2001-04-13 |accessdate=2007-09-29 |url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/entertainment/movies/reviews/bridgetjonessdiaryhunter.htm
]

2002 saw Grant paired with Sandra Bullock in Warner Bros.'s "Two Weeks Notice", which made $199 million internationally but was judged poorly by professional reviewers. "The Village Voice" concluded that Grant's creation of a spoiled billionaire fronting a real estate business was "little more than a Britishism machine."Citation | last = Park | first = Ed | author-link = | title = Working Weak | newspaper = The Village Voice | date = 2002-12-25 |accessdate=2007-09-29 |url=http://www.villagevoice.com/film/0252,park,40780,20.html] His "immaculate comic performance" (BBC) as the trust-funded womaniser, Will Freeman, in the film adaptation of Nick Hornby's best-selling novel "About a Boy" received raves from critics.Citation | last = Dawson | first = Tom | author-link = | title = Film Review: About a Boy (2002) | newspaper = BBC | date = 2002-04-22 |accessdate=2007-09-29 |url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/films/2002/03/22/about_a_boy_2002_review.shtml] Almost universally praised, with an Academy Award-nominated screenplay, "About a Boy" (2002) was determined by the "Washington Post" to be "that rare romantic comedy that dares to choose messiness over closure, prickly independence over fetishized coupledom, and honesty over typical Hollywood endings." "Rolling Stone" wrote, "The acid comedy of Grant's performance carries the film [and he] gives this pleasing heartbreaker the touch of gravity it needs,"Citation | last = Peter | first = Travers | author-link = | title = Reviews: About A Boy
newspaper = Rolling Stone | date = 2002-06-06 |accessdate=2007-09-29 |url=http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/movie/5947699/review/5947700/about_a_boy
] while Roger Ebert observed that "the Cary Grant department is understaffed, and Hugh Grant shows here that he is more than a star, he is a resource."Citation | last = Ebert | first = Roger | author-link = Roger Ebert | title = Movie Reviews: About A Boy
newspaper = Chicago Sun-Times | date = 2002-05-17 |accessdate=2007-09-29 |url=http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20020517/REVIEWS/205170301/1023
] Released a day after the blockbuster "", "About a Boy" was a more modest box office grosser than other successful Grant films, making all of $129 million globally. The film earned Grant his third Golden-Globe nomination, while the London Film Critics Circle named Grant its Best British Actor and "GQ" honoured him as one of the magazine's men of the year 2002.cite news |title= "Hugh Grant" Film Actor, Comedy |publisher= "GQ" |page=325 |date=November 2002 |accessdate=2007-09-11 ] "His performance can only be described as revelatory," wrote critic Ann Hornaday, adding that "Grant lends the shoals layer upon layer of desire, terror, ambivalence and self-awareness."Citation | last = Hornaday | first = Ann | author-link = | title = 'About a Boy': A Rake's Amusingly Slow Progress | newspaper = Washington Post | date = 2002-05-17 |page=C01 |accessdate=2007-09-29 |url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2002/05/17/AR2005033116336.html] "The New York Observer" concluded: " [The film] gets most of its laughs from the evolved expertise of Hugh Grant in playing characters that audiences enjoy seeing taken down a peg or two as a punishment for philandering and womanizing and simply being too handsome for words-and with an English accent besides. In the end, the film comes over as a messy delight, thanks to the skill, generosity and good-sport, punching-bag panache of Mr. Grant's performance."Citation | last = Sarris | first = Andrew | author-link = Andrew Sarris | title = Old Dog Loves New Trick, A Ploy for Seducing Singletons | newspaper = The New York Observer | date = 2002-05-26 |accessdate=2007-09-29 |url=http://www.observer.com/node/46050]

This was followed by the 2003 ensemble comedy, "Love Actually", headlined by Grant as the British Prime Minister. A Christmas release by Working Title Films, the movie was promoted as "the ultimate romantic comedy" and accumulated $246 million at the international box office. It marked the directorial debut of Richard Curtis, who told the "New York Times" that Grant adamantly tempered the characterization of the role to make his character more authoritative and less haplessly charming than earlier Curtis incarnations.cite news | first=Sara | last=Lyall | title=Four Comedies and a Collaboration |url=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C06EFD71F31F931A35752C1A9659C8B63 |publisher="The New York Times" | date=2003-11-03 | accessdate=2008-03-30 ] Roger Ebert claimed that "Grant has flowered into an absolutely splendid romantic comedian" and has "so much self-confidence that he plays the British prime minister as if he took the role to be a good sport."Citation | last = Ebert | first = Roger | author-link = Roger Ebert | title = Movie Reviews: Love Actually | newspaper = Chicago Sun-Times | date = 2003-11-07 |accessdate=2007-09-29 |url=http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20031107/REVIEWS/311070304/1023] Film critic Rex Reed, on the contrary, called Grant's performance "an oversexed bachelor spin on Tony Blair" as the star "flirted with himself in the paroxysm of self-love that has become his acting style."Citation | last = Reed | first = Rex | author-link = Rex Reed | title = Lovesick Brits Ooze Treacle | newspaper = The New York Observer | date = 2003-11-09 |accessdate=2007-09-29 |url=http://www.observer.com/node/48296]

A speech delivered by Grant in "Love Actually" - where he extols the virtues of Great Britain and refuses to cave to the pressure of its longstanding ally, the United States - was etched in the transatlantic memory as a satirical, wishful statement on the concurrent Bush-Blair relationship. [cite video |people=Hugh Grant (actor) and

In 2004, Grant reprised his role as Daniel Cleaver for a small part in "", which, like its predecessor, made more than $262 million commercially. Gone from the screen for two years, Grant next reteamed with Paul Weitz ("About a Boy") for the black comedy "American Dreamz" (2006). Grant starred as the acerbic host of an "American Idol"-like reality show where, according to Caryn James of the "New York Times", "nothing is real ... except the black hole at the centre of the host's heart, as Mr. Grant takes Mr. Cowell's villainous act to its limit."Citation | last = James | first = Caryn | author-link = | title = Pop Beats Politics In the Race For Laughs | newspaper = The New York Times | date = 2006-04-26 |accessdate=2007-09-29 |url=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F01E2D8123FF935A15757C0A9609C8B63] "American Dreamz" failed financially but Grant was generously praised. He played his self-aggrandizing character, an amalgam of Simon Cowell and Ryan Seacrest, with smarmy self-loathing. "The Boston Globe" proposed that this "just may be the great comic role that has always eluded Hugh Grant,"Citation | last = Burr | first = Ty | author-link = | title = American Dreamz Movie Review | newspaper = Boston Globe | date = 2006-04-21 |accessdate=2007-09-29 |url=http://www.boston.com/movies/display?display=movie&id=8601] and critic Carina Chocano said, "He is twice as enjoyable as the preening bad guy as he was as the bumbling good guy."Citation | last = Chocano | first = Carina | author-link = | title = Movie Review: 'American Dreamz' | newspaper = Los Angeles Times | date = 2006-04-21 |accessdate=2007-09-29 |url=http://www.calendarlive.com/movies/chocano/cl-et-americandreamz21apr21,0,5775553.story]

In 2007, Grant starred opposite Drew Barrymore in a parody of pop culture and the music industry called "Music and Lyrics". The Associated Press described it as "a weird little hybrid of a romantic comedy that's simultaneously too fluffy and not whimsical enough."Citation | last = Lemire | first = Christy | author-link = | title = Review: 'Music and Lyrics' an Odd Combo | newspaper = Associated Press | date = 2007-02-13 |accessdate=2007-09-29 |url=http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2007/02/12/entertainment/e143605S25.DTL] Though he neither listens to music nor owns any CDs, Grant learned to sing, play the piano, dance (a few mannered steps) and studied the mannerisms of prominent musicians to prepare for his role as a has-been pop singer, based loosely on Andrew Ridgeley. "The Star-Ledger" dismissed the performance, writing that "paper dolls have more depth."Citation | last = Whitty | first = Stephen | author-link = | title = Film Review: Music and Lyrics | newspaper = The Star-Ledger | date = |accessdate=2007-10-21 |url=] The movie, with its revenues totalling $145 million, allowed Grant to mock disposable pop stardom and fleeting celebrity through its washed-up lead character. According to the "San Francisco Chronicle", "Grant strikes precisely the right note with regard to Alex's career: He's too intelligent not to be a little embarrassed, but he's far too brazen to feel anything like shame."Citation | last = LaSalle | first = Mike | author-link = | title = When cute couple write pop songs, they may find love | newspaper = San Francisco Chronicle | date = 2007-02-14 |accessdate=2007-09-29 |url=http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/02/14/DDG8SO3FGI1.DTL&type=movies]

Filmmaker

In July 1994, Grant signed a two-year production deal with Castle Rock Entertainment and by October, he became founder and director of the UK-based Simian Films Limited.cite news |title=Grant inks two-year deal at Castle Rock |last=Marx |first=Andy |publisher="Variety" |date=1994-07-08 |accessdate=2007-09-10] He appointed his then-girlfriend, Elizabeth Hurley, as the head of development to look for prospective projects. Simian Films produced two Grant vehicles in the 1990s and lost a bid to produce "About a Boy" to Robert De Niro's TriBeCa Productions.cite episode | title = Hugh Grant discusses his new film 'About a Boy' | series = The Early Show |network=CBS |credits= Presenter: Jane Clayson | airdate =2002-05-16 ] The company closed its U.S. office in 2002 and Grant resigned as director in December 2005.cite news |title=Hugh Grant and ex- may close movie company |url=http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-7194114_ITM |publisher=UPI |date=2004-11-19 |accessdate=2007-09-30] He has since said that his primary interest remains in filmmaking because: "Acting is at best an interpretative thing. It's like being a musician and playing someone else's music. I've always wanted to write the music." In 2000, Grant joined the Supervisory Board of IM Internationalmedia AG, the powerful Munich-based film and media company.cite news |title=Hugh Grant joins board of IM Internationalmedia AG |url=http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/cgi/news/release?id=50370 |publisher=PR Newswire Europe Limited |date=2000-05-08 |accessdate=2007-09-20] He has also served on the advisory board of Mark Milln and Kami Naghdi's U.K. Production company, Hogarth Pictures.cite news |title=Fonteyn dances with Hogarth |url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117919808.html?categoryid=1246&cs=1 |last=Dawtrey |first=Adam |publisher="Variety" |date=2005-03-20 |accessdate=2007-09-27]

Attitude towards acting

Grant has called being a successful actor a mistake and has repeatedly talked of his hope that film stardom would just be "a phase" in his life, lasting no more than ten years.cite news |first=Kamp |last=David |title= Runaway bachelor |id=ISSN|07338899 |publisher= "Vanity Fair" |page=170 |date=2003-05-01 |accessdate=2007-09-11] A self-confessed "committed and passionate" perfectionist on a film set,cite web|title=Bridget Jones's Diary: Interview With Hugh Grant |publisher=cinema.com |url=http://www.cinema.com/articles/332/bridget-joness-diary-interview-with-hugh-grant.phtml |accessdate=2007-10-10] Grant has constantly opted to describe himself as a reluctant actor, who chooses to be neutral about his career and works mostly with friends from previous collaborations.cite news |last=Thompson |first=Bob |title=Shrug, actually: "Hugh Said, Drew Said," |publisher= [National Post] |page=TO30 |date=2007-01-27 |accessdate=2007-09-10] Telling the "New York Times" that he must truly love something before he can do it, he revealed that he chooses projects based on how well they are written and whether the character he is being asked to play constitutes a comic angle to his personality.cite news |first=Rick |last=Lyman |title= Sweating Out The Numbers |url=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A06E2DC1438F933A1575BC0A96F958260 |publisher= "The New York Times" |page= 23 |date=1999-08-20 |accessdate=2007-09-11]

A majority of Grant's popular movies follow a similar plot that captures an optimistic, cocky bachelor experiencing a series of embarrassing incidences to find true love, often with an American woman. In earlier films, Grant was adept at plugging into the stereotype of a repressed Englishman for humorous effects, allowing him to gently satirize his characters as he summed them up and played against the type simultaneously. His screen persona of later films gradually developed into a cynical, self-loathing cad.Citation | last = Dargis | first = Manohla | author-link = Manohla Dargis | title = Paul Weitz's 'American Dreamz': An 'Idol' Clone With a Presidential Aura | newspaper = The New York Times | date = 2006-04-21 |accessdate=2007-09-29 |url=http://movies.nytimes.com/2006/04/21/movies/21drea.html] Using his facial contortions and an affected stammer for varied comic purposes,Cite news | last = Hodgman | first = John | author-link = | title = How to Be Funny | newspaper = The New York Times | date = 2006-11-12 |accessdate=2007-09-29 |url=http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/12/magazine/12hodgman.html?_r=1&oref=slogin] Grant once admitted his inability to cry on cue, even with the help of menthol.cite episode | title =Oprah Tries Something New! |url=http://www.oprah.com/tows/pastshows/200311/tows_past_20031103.jhtml
series =The Oprah Winfrey Show |network=BNO |credits= Presenter: Oprah Winfrey | airdate =2003-11-03
] His preference for levity over dramatic range has been a controversial topic in establishment circles, prompting him to say:

In interviews, Grant has pinned his extensively published disinterest in acting on two different thoughts: first, that he drifted into the job as a temporary joke at age 23 and finds it an immature way for a grown man to spend his time;cite episode |series= Canada AM |credits= Presenter: Seamus O'Regan |title=Romantic Comedy Film Stars Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock |network=CTV Television, Inc. |airdate=2003-01-10 ] and secondly, because he believes to have already given the one remarkable comic performance he had hoped to create on screen.cite web|title=American Dreamz: Hugh Grant Question and Answer |publisher=cinema.com |url=http://www.cinema.com/articles/4029/american-dreamz-hugh-grant-question-and-answer.phtml |accessdate=2007-09-10] Calling most scripts lame, Grant has stated that, unlike him, most actors really love acting and that blinds them to the fact that the rest of it is pretentious nonsense, which, he says, it very often is. He told "Vanity Fair" in 2003 that being an actor at a certain age is akin to being a "char-monkey," making it unworthy of an adult’s time.

Critical and peer review

Grant is recognized as a divisive movie star in both, critical reviews and popular media profiles. He has stuck to the genre of comedy, especially the romantic comedy, for the entirety of his mainstream movie career and never ventures to play characters who are not British. While some film critics, such as the respected Roger Ebert, have defended the limited variety of his performances, others have dismissed him as a one-trick pony. Eric Fellner, co-owner of Working Title Films and a long-time collaborator of Grant said, "His range hasn't been fully tested, but each performance is unique." A majority, though, tend to change their opinion of Grant from film to film, especially differentiating between his roles as Richard Curtis' alter ego and the cynical, smart and sometimes sleazy rogue of several films released in the new millennium.

In the 1990s, Grant's performances were deemed overbearing, in the words of "Washington Post"'s Rita Kempley, due to his "comic overreactions—the mugging, the stuttering, the fluttering eyelids." She added: "He's got more tics than Benny Hill."Citation | last = Kempley | first = Rita | title ='Nine Months' | newspaper = Washington Post | date = 1995-07-12 |accessdate=2007-09-29 |url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/movies/videos/ninemonthspg13kempley_c021e6.htm] Grant's penchant for conveying his characters' feelings with mannerisms, rather than direct emotions, has been one of the foremost objections raised against his acting style. Stephen Hunter of the "Washington Post" once stated that, to be effective as a comic performer, he must get "his jiving and shucking under control."Citation | last = Hunter | first = Stephen | title ='Music and Lyrics': Work Is What Makes Life Hum | newspaper = Washington Post | date = 2007-02-14 |accessdate=2007-09-29 |url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/13/AR2007021301081.html] Film historian David Thompson wrote in "The New Biographical Dictionary of Film" about how it is merely itchy mannerisms that Grant equates with screen acting. In the new millennium, Claudia Puig of "USA Today" celebrated the observation that finally "gone [were] the self-conscious 'Aren't I adorable' mannerisms that seemed endearing at the start of [Grant's] film career but have grown cloying in more recent movies."Citation | last = Puig | first = Claudia | title ='About a Boy' has singular charm | newspaper = USA Today | date = 1995-05-16 |accessdate=2007-09-29 |url=http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/2002/2002-05-17-boy-review.htm]

Repeated accusations, which have only subsided in recent years, have targeted what the critics contend is Grant's inclination to make his characters likable rather than complex. In 1999, Stephanie Zacharek stated that "by the time of "Four Weddings and a Funeral", he'd switched to a more straightforward, dull, crumpled-corduroy acting style," perhaps because, she chided, "Why bother to play a character when you can just ape a stereotype?" According to Carina Chocano, amongst film critics, the two tropes most commonly associated with Grant are that he reinvented his screen persona in "Bridget Jones's Diary" and "About a Boy" and dreads the possibility of becoming a parody of himself.cite news | first=Carina | last=Chocano | title=A reluctant leading man |url=http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/movies/cl-et-hugh14feb14,1,7879541.story?coll=la-promo-entnews&ctrack=1&cset=true |publisher="Los Angeles Times" | date=2007-02-14 | accessdate=2007-09-11 ] Echoing a widely-accepted assessment that Grant plays the same part over and again since he came to international fame in 1994, "The Observer"'s Philip French has said: "His range is as narrow as a cigarette paper."cite news | first=Oliver | last=Marre | title=I want to be alone. Oh really? |url= |publisher="The Observer" | date=2007-04-29 | accessdate=2007-09-11 ]

Grant's colleagues, though, have often defended his skills. Emma Thompson, working with him in "Sense and Sensibility", wrote in "The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries" that Grant "is as great an actor as I've always thought. So light and yet very much "felt"."cite book |last=Thompson |first=Emma |authorlink=Emma Thompson |title=The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries |origyear=1995 |origmonth=November |edition=1st Edition |publisher=Newmarket Press |location=New York |isbn=1-55704-260-8 |page=220 |chapter=The Diaries] Colin Firth, who worked with him on more than one occasion, has suggested that very few can create Grant's relaxed sense of irony on screen. Scottish actress Sharon Small, a co-star of Grant in "About a Boy", discovered that "he is ... a really versatile actor. People tend to put him in a box and say, 'That's all he does', but when we were filming I watched him closely and he was very subtle and very different in every single take."cite news |first=Jeremy |last=Hodges |title=About a very private girl |publisher= "Daily Mail" |date=2002-04-22 |accessdate=2007-09-12]

Work ethic

A 2007 "Vogue" profile of Grant referred to him as a man with a "professionally misanthropic mystique." The observation followed published facts such as that Grant picks his own movies, conducts his interviews alone (without any publicists),cite news |first=Joshua |last=Klein |title= Interview: Hugh Grant |url=http://www.avclub.com/content/node/22971 |publisher= "The Onion (AV Club)" |date=1999-08-18 |accessdate=2007-09-12] is known for politically incorrect and outrageous riffs in public, and derides focus groups, market research and overriding emphasis on the opening weekend. Grant decided to let go of his agent in 2006, ending a 10-year relationship with CAA.cite news |first=Michael |last=Fleming |title= Grant has alone time |publisher= "Variety" |page= 4 |date=2006-11-30 |accessdate=2007-09-11] Besides proudly proclaiming in interviews to have never listened to external views on his career, he stated that he does not require the hand-holding an agent provides. A few months before firing his agent, he said, "They've known for years that I have total control. I've never taken any advice on anything."

It has been reported that Grant has a reputation for not always bonding with his fellow cast and crew members. Being a "stern, edgy and intense" presence on film sets, the method behind his performances has been described as the exact reverse of the ease and simplicity he brings to his characters.cite web |first= Kate |last= Perchuk |title= Hugh Grant: Giving notice |url=http://www.ivillage.co.uk/newspol/celeb/cint/articles/0,,528729_530991,00.html |publisher= iVillage |accessdate=2007-09-11] According to the "New York Times", Grant is known in the film industry as a meticulous performer who takes his time to prepare for a role.cite news |first= Dave |last= Kehr |authorlink= Dave Kehr |title= For Hugh Grant, Natural Does It |url=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9507EED91139F934A25756C0A9649C8B63 |publisher= "The New York Times" |page= 13|date=2002-05-17 |accessdate=2007-09-11] Having said that the only thing he "fears is fear itself," his working style is apparently predicated on a tendency to take control.cite news |first= Sharon |last= Waxman |title= Bye-Bye, Mr. American Pie |url= http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/02/movies/02waxm.html |publisher= "The New York Times" |page= 10|date= 2005-10-02 |accessdate=2007-09-11 ] Richard Curtis, a frequent collaborator, revealed that Grant is not fluid about the filmmaking process and tends to be unrelaxed while filming because he doesn't feel as though he's in the director's hands and prefers instead to take responsibility of giving a definitive performance.cite news |first= Eve |last= MacSweeney |title= Reluctant Romeo |publisher= "Vogue" |pages=232-37 |id=ISSN|00428000 |date=2007-02-01 |accessdate=2007-09-11 ]

Grant is noted by co-workers for demanding endless takes until he achieves the desired shot according to his own standard.cite news |first=Liza |last= Foreman |title=Curtis, Grant team for boffo B.O. |publisher= "Variety" |pages=A8 |date=2002-12-16 |accessdate=2007-09-20 ] [cite episode |transcripturl=http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1497577 |title=Richard Curtis discusses his new film, 'Love Actually' |series=Weekend Edition Saturday |network=NPR | credits = Presenter: Scott Simon |airdate=2003-11-08 ] Though known for being inventive on film sets ("The biggest laughs that my characters get in films tend to be improvised lines," he has said), he has talked of finding the work of an actor restrictive because "saying other peoples' lines all the time is it's always been - diminishing." Media accounts of Grant on film sets present him as an actor who does not abdicate responsibility to his production team but is, instead, usually involved with various aspects of his projects, including script development, choosing the director of photography, the acting, and then the editing and the marketing.cite news |title=A not so rosy Hugh reveals his flaws |last=Johnston |first=Damon |publisher="Sunday Telegraph" |date=2002-06-09 |page=99 |accessdate=2007-09-10] Journalist David Chater, reviewing a Channel 4 production entitled "Brits go to Hollywood", remarked that the Hugh Grant "of popular image is wholly inaccurate. He won a scholarship to Oxford, he is highly articulate, he works non-stop and beats himself up with relentless self-criticism."cite news | first=David | last=Chater | title=Brits Go To Hollywood | url=http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/tv_and_radio/article1008059.ece | publisher="The Times" | date=2003-11-08 | accessdate=2007-09-11 ]

Celebrity and media relations

According to the "Boston Globe", Grant has repeatedly spoken about his boredom with playing the celebrity in the press.cite news | first=Michelle | last=Kung | title=Fashioning Hugh into a proper pop star |page=13 |url=http://www.boston.com/ae/movies/articles/2007/02/11/fashioning_hugh_into_a_proper_pop_star/ |publisher="The Boston Globe" | date=2007-02-11 | accessdate=2007-09-11 ] About the culture of celebrity, he told "Vogue", "My theory is that it's like bodybuilders who inject testosterone, which means that their own powers to generate testosterone shut down forever. The fake esteem you get from being in the public eye feels like self-worth, but actually your own powers to produce it shut down. The stuff that really counts is your own. And that's, I think, why people go bonkers."

Having labelled himself "neither a keen actor, nor a keen celebrity,"cite news |last=Slotek |first=Jim |page=F4 |title=Hugh Grant interview |publisher="Toronto Sun" | date=1999-06-04 | accessdate=2007-09-18 ] Grant's prickliness and disdain toward the fourth estate is widely observed and documented.cite news |last=Duff |first=Oliver |page=14 |title=Invisible man Hugh promises to turn up |publisher="The Independent" | date=2007-01-17 | accessdate=2007-09-18 ] While promoting "Mickey Blue Eyes" in 1999, Grant exclaimed, "I'm even talking to the British press, which is astounding." Said to be "unwilling to play the game" with the media, he is often described as appearing uninterested and brusque at press junkets to promote his movies.

Journalists interviewing him have expressed exasperation at Grant's habit of stonewalling personal questions. Grant's nonchalance and sarcasm are blamed for interviewers' inability to discriminate between whether he is being serious or playful at any given time. On probing, he has remained incredibly steadfast in "offering a dead bat to any question he feels is not general enough." Jessica Callan, a former gossip columnist for the "Daily Mirror", explained to "The Times" that if you are nice to gossip columnists, they'll generally be nice back, but she said, "Hugh Grant is such a grumpy bugger: you think, God, let’s wind him up."cite news | first=Hilary | last=Rose | title=Exposed: secrets of a gossip columnist |url=http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/celebrity/article1954484.ece?token=null&offset=0 |publisher="The Times" | date=2007-06-23 | accessdate=2007-09-11 ]

Another entertainment media figure, Kiki King, who claimed to have met Grant, described him as "the least friendly and most unappealing celebrity I've ever met." Showbiz media personalities in his homeland use him as a referential model for the epitome of a reluctant, unobliging celebrity. Former editor of British tabloid newspapers the "News of the World" and the "Daily Mirror", Piers Morgan, has written about his advice for Grant to stop making movies if he does not appreciate the spotlight.cite news | first=Piers | last=Morgan | title=Piers Morgan offers a word of advice to Keira Knightley |url=http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/live/live.html?in_article_id=480534&in_page_id=1889 |publisher="Daily Mail" | date=2007-09-07 | accessdate=2007-09-11]

Grant's attitude at the London premiere of "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason" (2004), with him reportedly "refusing to chat to journalists or pose with his girlfriend Jemima Khan, and choosing instead to stand around scowling," [cite news |url=http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/article390824.ece |title=Nanny, junk the junk food |last=Knight |first=India |publisher="The Sunday Times" |date=2004-11-05 |accessdate=2007-10-12] was subject to much criticism by the press who had waited long to talk to him.cite news | title=Hugh Grant's Huge Rant |publisher="Daily Star" | date=2004-11-11 |page=12 | accessdate=2007-09-25 ] He decided to ban all British press from the New York launch of his film "American Dreamz" in 2006.cite news | authors=kiki king, eva simpson, caroline hedley | title=The Grouch Club |publisher="Daily Mirror" | date=2006-03-26 |page=13 | accessdate=2007-09-11 ] The movie was also denied a London premierecite news |last=Marre |first=Oliver |page=34 |title=Hugh poops party |publisher="The Observer" | date=2006-04-16 | accessdate=2007-09-18 ] and Grant gave only "a handful of newspaper interviews in connection with Dreamz," a move that was held responsible by exhibitors for the movie's poor box office showing.cite news |last=Adams |first=Guy |page=8 |title=Hugh's publicity shyness jinxes pic |publisher="The Independent" | date=2006-05-15 | accessdate=2007-09-18 ] In February 2007, Grant had a controversial interview on "BBC Breakfast" where he was irked by the interviewer's inquiry about the status of his relationship with his girlfriend. [cite episode |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/breakfast/6330571.stm |title=Breakfast with Hugh Grant |series=BBC Breakfast |network=BBC | credits = Presenter: Kate Silverton |airdate=2007-02-05 ] His response to the host, "I thought this was a classy show. I am ashamed of you," resulted in increased editorial disapproval of his gruff behaviour in England.cite news | first=Nadine | last=Linge | title=Hugh Rant |url=http://www.dailystar.co.uk/posts/view/12439/Hugh-Rant/ |page=3 |publisher="Daily Star" | date=2007-02-06 | accessdate=2007-09-25]

Libel lawsuits

In 1996, Grant won substantial damages from News (UK) Ltd over what his lawyers called a "highly defamatory" article published in January of 1995. The company's now-defunct newspaper, "Today (UK newspaper)", had falsely claimed that Grant verbally abused a young extra with a "foul-mouthed tongue lashing" on the set of "The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain". [cite news |url= |title=Actor Hugh wins substantial libel award |last=Howard |first=Stephen |publisher=Press Association |date=1996-06-04 |accessdate=2007-02-17]

On 27 April 2007, Grant accepted undisclosed damages from the Associated Newspapers over claims made about his relationships with his former girlfriends in three separate tabloid articles, which were published in the "Daily Mail" and "The Mail on Sunday" on 18, 21 and 24 February. His lawyer stated that all of the articles' "allegations and factual assertions are false." [cite news |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/6598937.stm |title=Hugh Grant accepts libel damages |publisher=BBC |date=2007-04-27 |accessdate=2007-02-24] Grant said, in a written statement, that he took the action because: "I was tired of the "Daily Mail" and "Mail on Sunday" papers publishing almost entirely fictional articles about my private life for their own financial gain." He went on to take the opportunity to stress, "I'm also hoping that this statement in court might remind people that the so-called 'close friends' or 'close sources' on which these stories claim to be based almost never exist." [cite news |url=http://media.guardian.co.uk/presspublishing/story/0,,2066970,00.html |title=Associated pays Grant damages |last=Tryhorn |first=Chris |publisher="Guardian Unlimited" |date=2007-04-27 |accessdate=2007-02-17]

Deriding British newspaper for having become a "little tittle-tattle industry," Grant has, on various occasions, claimed that the tabloids are keen to fabricate scandal on the slightest pretext and his own words are filtered through various media outlets before being misquoted numerous times.cite news | first=Lawrie | last=Masterson | title=Taken for granted |page=A06 |publisher="Sunday Tasmanian" | date=2006-04-23 | accessdate=2007-09-11 ]

Personality

Grant, once called the "unofficial mayor of London,"cite news | first=Tim | last=Robey | title=Auds prefer Grant unattached |page=A2 |publisher="Variety" | date=2002-12-16 | accessdate=2007-09-19] is frequently referred in the press with phrases that describe him as a "human straight line"cite news | first=David | last=Bauder | title=Where Will Britney Tell All? |url=http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory?id=2893639 |publisher=The Associated Press | date=2007-02-21 | accessdate=2007-09-26] who is "bursting with charisma."cite news | first=Matt | last=Wolf | title=Who Will Be The New Ralph Fiennes, The Next Hugh Grant? |page=9 |publisher="The New York Times" | date=1999-01-01 | accessdate=2007-09-19] He has been portrayed by acquaintances as a complicated man with an anarchic and sharp constitution. Grant is noted for his tendency of teasingly insulting everyone, which has earned him the public reputation of someone who can "put you down, put you on and put you off in the same sentence."cite news | first=Nicki | last=Gostin | title=Q&A: Colin Firth |publisher="Newsweek" |url=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6478885/site/newsweek/ |date=2004-11-22 | accessdate=2007-09-18 ] cite news | first=Bob | last=Thompson | title=Grant fulfills acid dreams |page=TO26 |publisher="National Post" | date=2006-04-15 | accessdate=2007-09-11 ] There is "much of Hugh that is charismatic, intellectual, and whose tongue," according to Mike Newell, "is maybe too clever for its own good."cite news | first=Benjamin | last=Svetkey | title=Cover Story: 7 HUGH GRANT |url=http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,305086,00.html |publisher="Entertainment Weekly" | date=1994-12-30 | accessdate=2007-09-21]

Grant's interview with Oprah Winfrey on 22 October 2004, was highly discussed in the media for his outspoken wit, which produced extemporaneous quips that included his description of Julia Roberts as "very big-mouthed." He said: "Literally, physically, she has a very big mouth. ... when I was kissing her, I was aware of a faint echo." When Winfrey defended Roberts as "one of the nicest people I ever met," Grant deadpanned, "No, well, I wouldn't go that far."cite episode | title =The Stars of "Bridget Jones" |url=http://www.oprah.com/tows/pastshows/200410/tows_past_20041022.jhtml | series =The Oprah Winfrey Show |network=BNO |credits= Presenter: Oprah Winfrey | airdate =2004-10-22 ] Such incidents have been accompanied by stories of Grant's purported insensitivity. Filmmaker Paul Weitz, calling Grant truly funny, observed that "he perceives flaws in himself and other people, and then he cares about their humanity nonetheless."cite news |first= Merle |last= Ginsberg |authorlink= |title= True Hugh |url=http://www.style.com/w/feat_story/032102/full_page.html |publisher= "W" |page= |date= April 2002 |accessdate=2007-10-21]

It is frequently written that Grant employs an impulsive habit of “cocky self-deprecation” in public relations. Grant has also been presented in the press as occasionally being "very disengaged" at social events,cite news |first= Warren |last= St. John |authorlink= |title= Eluding Family Ties As He Hunts For Stars |url=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9900E0D9133FF930A15755C0A9649C8B63 |publisher= "The New York Times" |page= |date=2003-06-23 |accessdate=2007-10-11] with British newspapers regularly referring to him as bad-tempered, arrogant, rude, and grumpy.cite news | first=Janice | last=Turner | title=In this girls' world, boys are deviants |publisher="Times Online" |url=http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/janice_turner/article507846.ece | date=2005-01-29 | accessdate=2007-09-19] cite news | first=Sue | last=Carroll | title=Who do you think you are, Mr. Grunt? |url=http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/columnists/carroll/2007/02/07/who-do-you-think-you-are-mr-grunt-89520-18586631/ |page=13 |publisher="Daily Mirror" | date=2007-02-07 | accessdate=2007-09-21] cite news | first=Carole | last=Malone | title=Hugh big soft nellie |page=31 |publisher="Sunday Mirror" |url=http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4161/is_20041114/ai_n12909433 | date=2004-11-14 | accessdate=2007-09-19] cite news | first=Alexa | last=Baracaia | title=Hugh loses his cool |page=9 |publisher="Evening Standard" | date=2004-11-10 | accessdate=2007-09-19] cite news | title=Hugh's that grump? |page=19 |publisher="Daily Record" | date=2007-02-06 | accessdate=2007-09-19] According to his colleagues and public appearances, Grant is not worried about how his grumpiness is publically perceived, with his moodiness unabashedly at display in televised and published interviews.cite news | title=Hugh Misery |page=4 |publisher="Birmingham Evening Mail" | date=2004-10-27 | accessdate=2007-09-19]

Personal life

Grant is known in popular media for his guarded privacy,cite web |url=http://www.hellomagazine.com/celebrities/2008/06/08/hugh-gala-mum-speech/ |title=Hugh Grant pays a moving tribute to his mother at charity dinner1 |publisher=Hello! |date=2008-06-08 |accessdate=2008-06-12] as he rarely discusses his life in public and chooses instead to fend off personal questions with humour. Grant is a supporter of Marie Curie Cancer Care, whose Great Daffodil Appeal he promoted in March 2008. [cite web |first= |last= |title= The Great Daffodil Appeal |url=http://www.mariecurie.org.uk/supportus/thegreatdaffodilappeal/about_the_great_daffodil_appeal/ |publisher= Marie Curie Cancer Care |accessdate=2008-03-07]

In 1987, while playing Lord Byron in a Spanish production called "Remando Al Viento" (1988), Grant met little-known actress Elizabeth Hurley, who was cast in a supporting role as Byron's former lover Claire Clairmont. Grant started dating the aspiring model while shooting, and due to his rising fame, the latter half of their relationship was spent in the global media spotlight. After 13 years together, the two made "a mutual and amicable decision" to split in May 2000.cite news |url=http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=APAB&p_theme=apab&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&s_dispstring=Hugh%20Grant%20and%20Elizabeth%20Hurley%20announce%20split&p_field_advanced-0=&p_text_advanced-0=(%22Hugh%20Grant%22%20and%20%22Elizabeth%20Hurley%20announce%20split%22)&xcal_numdocs=20&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&xcal_useweights=no |title=Hugh Grant and Elizabeth Hurley announce split |publisher=The Associated Press |date=2000-05-23 |accessdate=2007-02-17] With Grant a single man, according to "Vogue", "by all accounts the women of London were practically stabbing one another with forks at social events to get close to him." In 2004, he began dating socialite Jemima Khan under the intense scrutiny of British tabloids. Three years later, in February 2007, Grant's publicist announced that the couple had "decided to split amicably."cite news |url=http://uk.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUKN1629135520070216 |title=Hugh Grant splits with girlfriend Jemima Khan |publisher=Reuters |date=2007-02-16 |accessdate=2007-02-24] The spokesman added, "Hugh has nothing but positive things to say about Jemima."

Public scandals

On 27 June 1995, Grant was arrested by L.A. Vice officers in a residential area not far from Sunset Boulevard for misdemeanour lewd conduct in a public place with Hollywood prostitute Divine Brown. [cite news |url= |title=Suave, Charm and Good Looks: Why Would Hugh Grant Pay for Sex? |last=Wilson |first=Jeff |publisher=The Associated Press |date=1995-06-27 |accessdate=2007-02-17] He pleaded no contest to the charges. He was fined $1,180 (£800), placed on two years' summary probation, and was ordered to complete an AIDS education program. [cite news |url= |title=Grant pays for his 'lewd conduct' |last=Moyes |page=1 |first=Jojo |publisher="The Independent" |date=1995-07-12 |accessdate=2007-02-17] [cite news |url= |title=British actor pleads no contest to lewd conduct |publisher="Deutsche Presse-Agentur" |date=1995-07-12 |accessdate=2007-02-17]

The arrest occurred about two weeks before the release of Grant's first major studio film, "Nine Months", which he was scheduled to promote on several American television shows. "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno had him booked for the same week and, as recalled in former employee Don Sweeney's memoirs, "despite his arrest, Hugh Grant kept his appointment to appear on Jay's show."cite book |last=Sweeney |first=Don |title=Backstage at the Tonight Show: From Johnny Carson to Jay Leno |origyear=2006 |origmonth=June |publisher=Taylor Trade Publishing |location=Maryland, USA |page=210 |chapter=Tonight Show Hits the Road] The interview was a career-making hit for Leno [cite news |url= |title=Hugh-man interest lifts 'Leno' rating |last=Lowry |page=5 |first=Brian |publisher="Variety" |date=1995-07-12 |accessdate=2007-02-17] and Grant was singled out for not making excuses for the incident. [cite news |url= |title=Grant confesses: No excuse for escapade |author=Kitty Bean Yancey, Jeannie Williams |page=1D |publisher="USA Today" |date=1995-07-11 |accessdate=2007-02-17] He famously said:

On "Larry King Live", Grant declined the host Larry King's repeated invitations to probe his psyche, saying that psychoanalysis was "more of an American syndrome" and he himself was "a bit old fashioned." [cite news |url= |title=Hugh Grant Declines Interviewer's Invitation to Probe His Psyche |last= |first= |publisher=The Associated Press |date=1995-07-12 |accessdate=2007-02-17] He told the host: "I don't have excuses."cite episode |title=Hugh Grant Talks About His Arrest |series=Larry King Live |url= |serieslink=Larry King Live |credits= Interviewer: Larry King |network=CNN |airdate=1995-07-12 ] Grant's management of the scandal was deemed unusual for a celebrity. He was appreciated for "his refreshing honesty" as he "faced the music and handled it with tongue and cheek." [cite news |url=http://www.cnn.com/SHOWBIZ/HughGrant/ |title=Hugh Grant finds "honesty" best policy |publisher=CNN |date=1995-07-17 |accessdate=2007-02-24] The incident registered strongly in the global cultural conscience and tarnished Grant's wholesome image. In the 2006 CBS TV series "Love Monkey", the character called Shooter (Larenz Tate) explained the phenomenon of male discontent as "Grant's Law." Referring to Hugh Grant, he said that the star "had the hottest, sexiest and most beautiful woman waiting for him at home. And what does Hugh do? He picks up a cut-rate whore on Hollywood Boulevard." This, he believed, showed that, "We, as men, can never be satisfied." [cite news |url=http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/17/arts/television/17stan.html |title=Sensitive, Single Urban Man, Recently Fired, Seeks Love |publisher="The New York Times" |last=Stanley |first=Alessandra |date=2006-01-17 |accessdate=2007-04-26]

In April 2007, Grant was arrested on allegations of assault made by paparazzo Ian Whittaker. [cite news |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/6595297.stm |title=Hugh Grant arrested over 'attack' |publisher=BBC |accessdate=2007-10-01 |date=2007-04-26] Grant made no official statement and did not comment on the incident. [cite news |url=http://www.reuters.com/article/entertainmentNews/idUSL2652442420070426 |title=Hugh Grant arrested over "baked beans attack" |publisher=Reuters |accessdate=2007-04-26] Charges were dropped on 1 June by the Crown Prosecution Service due to "insufficient evidence."

[cite news |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/6714025.stm |title=No assault charges for Hugh Grant |publisher=BBC |date=2007-06-01 |accessdate=2007-10-03]

Sports

Grant's athletic passions have often been profiled by newspapers and television media. A famous "golfing addict",cite web|year=2001 |title=British Pair to star in a Hollywood classic |publisher=St Andrews Links |url=http://worldconnect.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=PED&db=ancestorsearch&id=I371 |accessdate=2007-09-10] Grant is a scratch golfer and is a regular at pro-am tournaments with membership at the Sunningdale Golf Club. He is also frequently pictured by the paparazzi at the famed Scottish golf courses in St Andrews, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie.cite news |first=Sally |last=Mclean |title=Par-fect day suits Hugh |page=15 |publisher="Daily Record" | date=2002-08-27 | accessdate=2007-09-14] Competitive and occasionally unpleasant,cite news | first=Don | last=Riddell | url = http://www.cnn.com/2006/SHOWBIZ/Movies/11/02/golf.grant/index.html | title= Why golf is no joke for Hugh Grant |publisher=CNN | date=2006-12-08 | accessdate=2007-09-17] he reportedly plays with a lot of money at stake.cite news | title=Hugh Beauty: I love playing Golf for cash |page=15 |publisher="The Sunday Mail" | date=2003-01-05 | accessdate=2007-09-14] As a young boy, Grant was known as "a real killer, very fast, very competitive" on the sports field; he played rugby union on his school's first XV team at centre and played football as an avid fan of Fulham F.C.. He continued to play in a Sunday-morning football league in south-west London after college and remained an "impassioned Fulham supporter."cite news | first=Robert | last=Philip | title= Fulham and golf top bill in Grant's off-screen life |url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml;$sessionid$HD0TUSW4EWEXLQFIQMFCFF4AVCBQYIV0?xml=/sport/2003/03/31/sgrp31.xml&_requestid=292794 |publisher="The Daily Telegraph" | date=2003-03-30 | accessdate=2007-09-14] On the set of "About a Boy", Nicholas Hoult recalled being taught cricket and snooker by Grant. Hoult said, "when we weren't acting we'd all play cricket. ... We had a big match at the end of filming and Hugh was pretty good."cite news | first=Jenny | last=Forsyth | title= About a Boy star's lessons on set |page=38 |publisher="The Sunday Mirror" | date=2002-04-14 | accessdate=2007-09-14] Actress Alicia Witt ("Two Weeks Notice") has also described Grant as "a really good tennis player, shockingly good."cite news | title=Up Close and Personal |pages=A10-12 |publisher="Variety" | date=2002-12-16 | accessdate=2007-09-14]

Filmography

Awards and honours

###@@@KEY@@@###s-achsuccession box
title=Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
years=1995
for "Four Weddings and a Funeral"
before=Robin Williams
for "Mrs. Doubtfire"
after=John Travolta
for "Get Shorty"
succession box
title=BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
years=1994
for "Four Weddings and a Funeral"
before=Anthony Hopkins
for "Shadowlands"
after=Nigel Hawthorne
for "The Madness of King George"

References

Further reading

*cite news |first= |last= |title= Hugh Grant backs Marie Curie Cancer Care|url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/main.jhtml?xml=/health/2008/02/25/hgrant125.xml |publisher= "The Daily Telegraph" |date=2008-02-25 |accessdate=2008-03-07
*cite news | first=Carina | last=Chocano | title=A reluctant leading man |url=http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/movies/cl-et-hugh14feb14,1,7879541.story?coll=la-promo-entnews&ctrack=1&cset=true |publisher="Los Angeles Times" | date=2007-02-14 | accessdate=2007-09-11
*cite news | first=Alec | last=Cawthorne |url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/films/2002/04/17/hugh_grant_about_a_boy_interview.shtml |title=About a Boy interview |publisher=BBC |date=2002-04-17 |accessdate=2007-10-14
*cite news |first= Kate |last= Perchuk |title= Hugh Grant: Giving notice |url=http://www.ivillage.co.uk/newspol/celeb/cint/articles/0,,528729_530991,00.html |publisher= iVillage |accessdate=2007-09-11

External links

*imdb name|id=0000424|name=Hugh Grant
*ymovies name|1800019156
*

Multimedia

*cite episode | title =An interview with Hugh Grant |url=http://www.charlierose.com/shows/1999/08/20/1/an-interview-with-hugh-grant | series =The Charlie Rose Show |network=PBS |transcripturl=http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1919940921445498554 |credits= Presenter: Charlie Rose | airdate =1999-08-20
*cite episode | title =A discussion about the film "Love Actually" |url=http://www.charlierose.com/shows/2003/11/07/1/a-discussion-about-the-film-love-actually | series =The Charlie Rose Show |network=PBS |transcripturl=http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=881682444629774324 |credits= Presenter: Charlie Rose | airdate =2003-11-07

Persondata
NAME = Grant, Hugh John Mungo
ALTERNATIVE NAMES =
SHORT DESCRIPTION = British actor and film producer
DATE OF BIRTH = 9 September 1960
PLACE OF BIRTH = Hammersmith, London, England
DATE OF DEATH =
PLACE OF DEATH =


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