When we think about Richard E Grant, we all associate the words handsome, tall and award-winning, well at least I do, he’s that type of guy, but its not just his looks that makes him one Hollywood blockbuster.
His career breakthrough shot to fame in the cult British Comedy Withnail & I (1987) with an actors dream role, playing one of a pair of struggling thespians in Bruce Robins perennial cult favorites. His career has been no surprise from Oscar winning performances, independent dramas and upstaging action stars. It can certainly be said, that Grant has brought a touch of class and flamboyance to an industry that did once lack in diversity.
Grants work has span across many recognised television programs and appeared in Absolutely Fabulous, Downton Abby, Game Of Thrones, Doctor Who and he certainly has shown his fans the culture and reflects how he can accomplish one character to another – who says Bram Stokers Dracula or Sherlock I will leave that for you to decide as fans of Richard E Grants.
Grant is not just an actor, known for his feature series Wah Wah, which he directed, an impressive masterpiece, touring the world’s most illustrious hotels and industriousness. In 2005 the series followed with a publication of The Wah Wah Diaries, which was his third book.
He’s certainly a man of distinction and for one night only the star reflected on his 30-year acting career at the Bafta: A Life In Pictures, which explored the work of towering figures in the world of cinema.
Talking us through how it started, who he’s worked with, lets say there where a few that stood out Mellissa McCarthy, Maggie Smith, Meryl Streep and oh Tom Hanks WOW is the word I can only express – mesmerised by his soulfulness he goes on to talk about where it all began…
Working in film has been an accomplishment he states, he’s had many no’s, but says, and fuck it I’m going to keep trying, until somebody says yes. He had one teacher called Bonnie Barnes, who was Scottish and taught Grant the piano, French and good English, he stayed friends with her for 40 – 50 years until she died at 89. Grant states, having one person that believes in you right from the beginning that’s invaluable to me. I want to thank her for having faith in me.
Moving to how he’s going to Schwarzengger himself into a career and took weight gain powder and went to Notting Hill Gate to meet Linda leplance ex-husband Richard Leplance a muscle Mary to get Grant pumped up ready for a role, which took 9 months of hard work and he states, I did get up to 12 stone, but to say I looked like a fat bugger.
When auditioning for Witnail & I, he talks about the journey - he came out of Notting Hill tube station wearing a 1940s rain coat, that he bought from Oxfam, even the stars like a second had bargain.
He had a leather bound copy of the script, which he was reading on the tube journey he states, a monsoon opened up, as I got off at the tube. I had to walk up to peel cottage, which was 10 blocks away, drenched and looked like a drowned rat by the time I came in to the audition.
Grant said I’m so sorry Mary (the audition person at the time) she said this is perfect for the part. Grant said he did see someone famous scope out the door and thought, fuck they’ve got the part. He met Reese Robinson and was holding the script and Robinson asks Grant, what did you think of it? Grant replied, I think its ball acing funny - Robinson says read the first scene, which was folk it so, Grant misallied two fingers and SHOUTED FOLK IT! He got the part!
Melissa McCarthy is one actor Grant really liked working with he states, that when rehearsing with Mellissa, which they actually never did on one of the movies, Grant says, I couldn’t sleep for at least 72 hours and wouldn’t remember a line, if I didn’t meet her before the day of shooting, but Melissa had the same impulse and they met and talked about what level she was pitching. Grant states, she lowered her voice she insisted on having a wig with grey hair, really downy clothes and within the first 5 seconds they just got on at a profound level. Grant states and that’s how they formed to make a great movie.
Grants next adventure is one that we all know, if I said LET THE FORCE BE WITH YOU! That’s a clue and yes, it’s the last Star Wars movie – one that I’m very excited about. Grant who has played some distinctive characters is thrilled by this part too, which is being filmed at Shepperton Studios – this is yet another credit to add to his outstanding career and one that we all cant wait to see!