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> Hugh Grant
By Brad Balfour
Copyright ©2006 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.
April 22, 2006.
Having been AWOL for a
while, British comic great Hugh Grant finally resurfaces in the biting
satire, American Dreamz. Playing the smarmy host Martin Tweed, he
outdoes Simon Cowell in being the heartless destroyer of dreams.
Grant has played this part before and virtually defines the character, as
he did in director Paul Weitz's earlier film, About A Boy. But the
40-something actor has proven to be not only a crowd pleaser he's been
named one of Britain's sexiest men but an actor with range spanning many
serious roles among a long list of hit comedies.
You've had a low profile lately. What do you think about your career at
I haven't had much work for the past 18 months. That's true. I did
slightly lose interest. But I got bored of being
so I'm back. In fact, I start another film tomorrow, which I know you'll
like because I play an '80s pop star, and you'll get to see me sing and
dance. It's called Music & Lyrics. That's the working title. I
don't know what will happen (to the title).
Do you know Simon?
Simon Cowell I've met at a couple of parties. I don't know him at all.
Are you imitating him?
This part isn't based on him aside from the fact that [in the movie] I'm a
judge on a talent show that's massively popular and I'm very cool
[laughter]. It's there where the resemblance stops. The part is really
a creation of [director] Paul Weitz and his warped vision of
there a difference working with Paul alone versus working with Paul and
his brother Chris (who worked together on American Pie and
About a Boy)?
They work more sinisterly seamless as a pair (laughs). My personal
theory is that they were Siamese twins joined at the head, and very
Do you watch American Idol?
I'd never seen a show before this film but I watched a bunch of tapes, and
I enjoy cruelty. I like people being humiliated. I like watching freaks.
The freakier the better, as far as I'm concerned. I don't think the show
goes far enough. I'd quite like to see the losers tortured.
And the winners?
Yes. Especially the winners [tortured]. It's very fascinating. In a way,
[it's] a return to ancient Rome, like Christians being fed to the lions.
It's also [demonstrating the existence of] that gene within some people,
probably all of us here with the possible exception of Paul
much you play it down and try to deny it), (that makes them ) want to be
in the limelight. That's what all these tragic characters on American
Idol obviously have. It's enjoyable to see that in someone that
doesn't have the talent to match it. I totally understand the appeal.
Is there a reality show you'd like to host?
I have a secret desire to be on TV. As for the reality show I'd like to
host, it would be I Am Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here. I feel like
that right now [laughs]. If it was not beneath my dignity I'd be
doing lots of them. I tried to persuade Colin Firth to do a celebrity
wrestle match, but he was afraid of it. Not of being hurt, but of becoming
Having played a chief executive (the British Prime Minister in Love
Actually), what advice did you have for Dennis Quaid (playing the
President) or Willem Dafoe (as his Vice President)?
Willem had been coming to me for acting advice for years ever since I
did Lair of the White Worm, but no more than usual.