“Paddington 2” may not seem like a high point for an actor whose starring roles have included such classic rom-coms as “Four Weddings and a Funeral” and “Notting Hill” and the critically acclaimed Amazon Prime Video miniseries “A Very English Scandal”, but don’t suggest that to Hugh Grant.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, the 58-year-old actor recalls being mocked for playing the villain in the “Paddington” sequel, continuing the adventures of the beloved raincoat-wearing teddy bear.
“I was presenting I think at the Golden Globes, and they do that thing when you walk out, and they say, ‘From the forthcoming “Paddington 2”, Hugh Grant.’ And someone showed me Twitter afterwards, and it was… people were full of derision,” Grant said.
Grant summed up the general reaction as, “has it come to that? Poor old Hugh. ‘Paddington 2’. Sequel to a kids film.”
However, he added: “It’s particularly annoying in the case of ‘Paddington 2’, because I genuinely believe it may be the best film I’ve ever been in.”
In the Vanity Fair profile, “Paddington” writer/director Simon Farnaby reveals that he sent Grant a somewhat cheeky pitch for the role of the sequel’s villain.
“He seemed to have sort of retired at the time,” King told VF. “We wrote this very awkward letter – ‘We’ve come up with this role, of a kind of vain, washed-up old ham, whose best days are sort of behind him, his lips are sort of heading south along with his jawline, and we thought of you.’ Luckily he saw the funny side.”