The Undoing

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Why We Love Hugh Grant

17 November 2020
Celebrating an amazing actor.
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Hugh Grant: the oh-so-charming, oh-so-English bona fide movie star. And now, with The Undoing, he’s turned to television. It’s not his first recent TV outing, having impressed audiences in A Very English Scandal and landing nominations for the role at last year’s Golden Globes, Emmys, and BAFTAs. With The Undoing, he looks set to impress yet again, which means our thoughts naturally meandered to all the other roles and reasons we love this actor so much.

He’s a rom-com king ….
Name check a classic rom-com from the ‘90s and early noughties and you can bet Hugh Grant was attached. With his bumbling charm and dry British wit, he stole hearts with films such as Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Nine Months, and Love Actually. He even rom-commed Jane Austen-style with his role as Edward C. Ferrars in Sense and Sensibility

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Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994) Alamy

But he’s villainous too …
With Bridget Jones’s Diary the actor still turned on the charm, but bent it to a less endearing note as the arrogant arse Daniel. Grant found another self-absorbed character in About a Boy’s Will Freeman; but whereas Daniel’s meant as a foil to both Bridget and her ultimate bae Mark Darcy, there was warmth and heart to be found in Freeman, through his relationship with Toni Collette and Nicholas Hoult’s characters. He was also the villain in the second Paddington film, following in the footsteps of the first film’s villain, played by none other than his Undoing co-star, Nicole Kidman.

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Bridget Jones Diary (2001) Alamy

He’s charming …
IRL, Grant can be as charming as many of his characters, but a lot more self-assured. He’s got a great sense of humour and is refreshingly frank and forthright.

But also self-deprecating …
And he’s never afraid to turn that frankness upon himself, even joking that he delivered the same performance for all his ‘90s rom-com characters. Well, we were happy watching Bruce Willis save the world over and over, and just as happy watching Hugh fall in love over and over.

His hair …
We wrote about how we love his Undoing co-star’s hair, but Grant’s got a fabulous mop on him too. Fans were all about it in the ‘90s. His About a Boy co-star was not so lucky: in order to make Nicholas Hoult’s character more awkward and nerdy, they gave him a bad haircut. Meanwhile, Grant’s character spends four units of time (see: two hours) having his hair carefully dishevelled. These days, Grant's spending quarantine learning to cut his kids’ hair by practicing on their Barbie dolls.

The dance …
When we say his rom-com characters were bumbling we mean it literally too. Grant’s rom-com characters trip over their words, but they’re usually just as busy tripping over other things, thanks to Grant’s wonderful sense of timing and adeptness at physical comedy. The absolute highlight of this is somewhat more suave but just as entertaining: we’re speaking, of course, about his Jump dance in Love Actually.

Watch Hugh Grant in The Undoing, starting on Monday 30 November at 21:30 on M-Net channel 101.