Sunday, September 9, 2007

Happy Birthday Hugh Grant!

As one who has a distinct preference for older films, I must admit there aren't many stars working today who I am particularly keen on. However, I do really like this Hugh Grant bloke, as I find him to be one of the most engaging actors on the screen today. Whereas most contemporary actors seem to want to show just how versatile they are, taking on a variety of contrasting roles, Hugh Grant seems content to always be, well...Hugh Grant! In that sense, I think he's a bit of a throwback to the Golden Age of movies, when stars tended to have very distinct personalities and audiences knew what to expect when going to see their films. In fact, Hugh Grant reminds me a lot of that other famous British Grant of yesteryear, one Cary by name. Like Cary Grant, Hugh is always charming and witty, looking rather bemused at that which is going on all around him onscreen. Obviously, many people have made the same comparison and here's an entertaining quote that shows Hugh Grant's response to that observation:

"The truth is, I'd never seen a Cary Grant film. Since then I have watched his stuff and it's astounding, but I don't see any similarity between us. Except for the fact that I'm told he used to wear ladies' underwear, which is something I also do."

The caricature above is one I did of Hugh from the film, "Notting Hill", along with his leading lady, Julia Roberts. This was the second of several collaborations he's had with screenwriter/producer, Richard Curtis (who had achieved much success previously, writing the Brit TV shows, "Blackadder" and "Mr. Bean"). Their first film together was the incredibly funny, yet heartbreakingly poignant, "Four Weddings and a Funeral", which is also probably the film in which audiences first took notice of Hugh Grant. Richard Curtis seems to have a knack for writing the kind of dialogue that seems perfectly natural for Hugh to speak, and I suspect they share a similar sense of humour. I've seen many interviews that Hugh Grant has done on various talk shows over the years, and he seems to be just as naturally witty offscreen as well as on film. Here's a good example from the Letterman show in 2002, at which time he was promoting his latest, "About a Boy", which also happens to be my personal favourite Hugh Grant film. This interview runs about 11 minutes, but it's time well spent I can assure you. Enjoy!




Andrew Manzanares said...

haha the hugh grant and julia roberts caricatures are awesome! its always a treat looking at your stuff.