O p r a h W i n f r e y s h o w n o v e m b e r 2003 (Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant)
Oprah: My next guest has been called one of the most charming men in the world and we've never met. He's a box office giant who says he never intended to be a star. 40 movies later, he's become the leading man that makes a lot of people swoon. Please welcome for the first time on our show, Hugh Grant!
[Cheers and applause]
Oprah: Good to see you. Nice to meet you.
Hugh: Very nice to meet you.
Oprah: Hugh, have a seat. Have a seat, Hugh... Come over here.
[Cheers and applause]
No, it's so interesting. I've never seen you in person. You look like yourself.
Hugh: Weirdly, so do you.
Oprah: Weirdly, so do I. Okay.
She's a two-time Academy Award winner and one of my favorite actresses. Please welcome the brilliant Emma Thompson.
[Cheers and applause]
Hi, Emma. That's so nice of you to come. So nice of you to come. Emma and Hugh.
Emma: Shouldn't you be in the middle?
Oprah: No. Sit right here.
Emma: Shouldn't he be in the middle?
Oprah: Well, no, this is okay.
Emma: I know you want him in the middle, Oprah. [Laughter]
Well, it's true. You know that.
Oprah: Okay. So Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant's new movie Love Actually is just fantastic. Let me tell you. It's fantastic. It's so fun. It is ... it warms your heart. You just want to be in love with somebody or tell somebody you love them. Here's a little preview. It's just fantastic.
Oprah: Do you like it? Do you like the finished product? Do you like it yourself?
Hugh: I do actually. It's quite girlie for me, but oddly enough ...
Oprah: Is it a little too girlie for you?
Hugh: I thought it might be too girlie for a lot of blokes. When I was watching preview in England, I thought the guys are going to throw up. But oddly enough, at the end, they liked it even more than the girls, yeah.
Hugh: Maybe we had a very strange audience.
Oprah: See, I think you had enough guy action stuff going on in there.
Hugh: There's quite a lot of nudity. There's Keira Knightly. There's plenty for guys to look forward to.
Oprah: So you've seen the finished product.
Emma: No. I have to confess, I haven't seen it.
Hugh: What is wrong with you? Why didn't you do your job?
Emma: Because I want to wait. I always wait and I don't go and see a film I've made until I go to the first night with an audience.
Hugh: You're insane. If you go early, you can get nasty and, you know, have it re-cut and...
Emma: I know...
Oprah: You don't see the movie until it's in the theaters with regular people? You'll go this friday it opens and you'll see it in the theater.
Emma: I'll see it for the first time. I've always done it like that. I don't like seeing things beforehand. You're sitting there watching it because you're watching your work, and I like seeing the whole thing and thinking how does it really work.
Oprah: I'm sure for many of these scenes, you weren't there for everybody else.
Emma: No. You got so excited, I thought, oh, it's Hugh. Well, you know, Hugh, we've worked four or five times.
Oprah: How many times?
Emma: Five, six times.
Hugh: It's not as bad as that. It's about four.
Emma: It's five. It's five.
Oprah: It's five. What's it like working with him?
[Emma lipspeaking: Fine, fine. ]
Hugh: I don't like this position.
Emma: It's absolutely great. It's absolutely great. When we first worked together before we were at all well-known, in a tiny film in france called Impromptu, if you recall. You were Chopin.
Hugh: I was the composer, the pianist Frederic Chopin. It was so low budget, we had to share the same wig.
Oprah: You're the perfect leading man. You have a sort of self-deprecating humor that's charming.
Is this the way you are in life?
Hugh: Well, no. It's a complete front. Increasingly so. That's why Emma was unable to give you a sincere answer about what I'm like to work with.
Because I am now a nightmare.
I'm very grumpy, neurotic and half bonkers, really.
Oprah: Are you? Do you love the acting process?
Hugh: No, I loathe it with every fiber in my body. I mean, I love ... I do love the first preview, if you've sweated away, half killed yourself on a film, you have a preview and with Love Actually people go ha, ha and boo-hoo and fill out their cards and say we love this film.
Oprah: So you like that part.
Hugh: I love that. Otherwise, I think it's unmitigated torture. It's so ... it's scary. It's just scary.
For me, it's exactly like if you ... you know, as a kid, do a funny voice or imitation or something like that and then everyone's friends arrive, your parents' friends and your mother says do that imitation and you can't quite do it, that for me is the acting process.
Oprah: Take after take, is that what you don't like?
Hugh: Well, take one is hard for me.
Oprah: Hugh Grant and Emma Thompson have starred together before Love Actually which opens this friday. They've starred together four times before. It's one of my favorite movies actually and you wrote it. There's one scene that makes me go into the ugly cry every time. Take a look at this. This is from Sense and Sensibility. The ugly cry.
I must see that.
Oprah: Emma just said ... what did you just say?
Emma: I have to tell you that when we did the rehearsal for that, we got to the end of the rehearsal, and Hugh said, "Are you going to do that crying all the way through my speech?" I said, "Well, yes, that's the whole point. She has held everything in entire film. And this is the moment when she lets it out." And he wasn't pleased at the time.
Hugh: [Because] that's upstaging, but brilliantly done.
I think it's actually they teach it in drama schools.
Oprah: I understand you can cry on cue, is that true? You find crying very easy to do? Is that true?
Emma: Well, they generally wheel me on when they need someone to weep. I've always thought that it was was ... it was, in fact, quite an easy thing. And if you can do it, it is easy. The really difficult acting is when you have to say to somebody, "Look, could you pass the bread, dear" and make it sound as if you've been married for 15 years. That's much more difficult, I think. I think the big emotions are easier to do myself.
I couldn't disagree more.
Emma: You don't like it, do you?
Hugh: I can't do crying or any emotion really, but especially crying even when they put that menthol in your eyes.
Oprah: I've heard that.
Hugh: My eyes don't water. I just have a lot of snot coming out of my nose.
Oprah: In the Vanity Fair article where you were so candid, you said you didn't know how long you wanted to continue making movies. It that true?
Hugh: I might have been a bit of a grump that day.
Oprah: It sounds like one of those things you wake up and read it later, what did I say that for?
Hugh: Everybody's told me that. Big mistake. I have been saying literally since I started acting "I'm giving up. I'm giving up." So you shouldn't take me seriously. I'm here for the duration.
Oprah: Good, good.
[Cheers and applause]
Oprah: That's the opening scene from the charming ... it's really charming. Love Actually which is in theaters November 7.
Emma recently married her long-time love, Greg Wise, in scotland who played John Willoughby in Sense and Sensibility. You met in the movie.
Oprah: And carried on afterwards.
Emma: Yes. There were a couple of mornings where the preparation was on very thick under the eyes. It was very ... it was a very romantic thing. It's nice getting married when you've been together for quite a long time.
Hugh: Did I not know what was going on with you two or was I just being blind?
Emma: You were there for three weeks...
Hugh: Tell us about the first night it actually happened with Greg.
Emma: It's very tempting, isn't it, but I better not...
Oprah: Is it true that this is one of the first times you've come out because you took a hiatus to have the baby?
Emma: I took four years off just to stop for a bit. It's good to do that.
Emma: Some are nervous about it and think that everyone will forget you, but I think that's very good that everyone should forget you from time to time and then occasionally you come back and say I've got another piece of work if you'd like it, here it is.
Hugh: You're in the annoying position of having won dozens of Oscars. No one was going to forget.
Oprah: Is that important to you, the whole idea of winning awards?
Hugh: No, it's not important to me because I'm not in that kind of arena.
Emma: That's not true.
Hugh: But I ... you know, if you're going to take time off, I think you can do it if you've got some kudos behind you.
Oprah: That's right. And you're brilliant. [Emma: Thank you!] I loved the script from Sense and Sensibility. Did you know Emma wrote that? She wrote it!
[Cheers and applause]
Emma: Oh, stop, stop, stop it.
Oprah: Now, I read where you said that your work has interfered with you finding the true love of your life. Is that true?
Hugh: Have I said that?!
Oprah: Yeah, you said that. [Emma: Yes!]
Hugh: No! I don't think that's true. That's bollocks.
It's been a great benefit, you know...
Oprah: I would think it would be.
Hugh: On the whole, girls like it on the whole.
At least I find that the kind of girls who are susceptible to fame and money are nice trashy girls, which has always been my favorite.
So, yes, it's perfect.
Oprah: It's perfect for you.
Are you still friends with Elizabeth Hurley? We knew you for so long as a couple. Are you all still friends?
Hugh: Absolutely, yes, yes, yes. We still talk and I, you know, one of 16,000 godfathers to young Damien, who is really sweet. So, yes, we're friends.
Oprah: Are you with anybody now in particular you want to tell us about?
Hugh: Yeah, I really want to reveal on your show ...
Oprah: I thought maybe you would.
Hugh: And thanks so much for asking.
Oprah: We'll be right back with Hugh and Emma.
[Cheers and applause]
Oprah: From the box office hit Bridget Jones's Diary which I hear you're working on a sequel.
Hugh: We're doing part two at the moment. And Renee is looking great.
She didn't look quite fat enough, I didn't think, until about a week before. Then she went absolutely nuts.
Oprah: She gained weight for it.
Hugh: She has to gain weight for it, which I think is tough for Renee. She's normally by nature a stick. It's tough for her, and incredibly fit.
Poor Colin Firth a little too old for the role, but they wheeled him on again, and me and the usual suspects.
Emma: Hello, Colin...
Oprah: Are you friends outside of doing movies together, you guys, since you've done so many?
Hugh: We don't get on, no.
Emma: It's very hard for us to sit this close proximity.
Oprah: And what do you do for fun? You seem like a really fun guy.
Hugh: No, you'd be wrong.
Oprah: You seem like you're so much fun.
Hugh: No, it's nice of you to say that, but, no. I'm just having this conversation with you during the advertisements. I play golf which is the opposite of fun, as you found out.
Oprah: He was saying how seriously bad it was. It was pathetic, wasn't it?
Hugh: You were pathetic, yes.
Oprah: I was. I was.
Hugh: I've seen some bad golfers. I've never seen anything that bad.
Oprah: It was bad.
Hugh: But it was a good piece of television.
But I know. I'm ashamed when people bring up the subject of golf. Because it's not a sexy sport. If mye sport were surfing or something...
Oprah: Is that what you do for fun, golfing?
Hugh: It's one of the things I do for fun. The others I don't know that I can share with you on a...
Oprah: Do you have a lot of great friends? You seem like a great guy's guy, like hanging out with your friends.
Hugh: Yeah, except a lot of my guys have abandoned me now. The last one had a kid about three weeks ago. Much to my annoyance. I can't be nice about it. And has left me, you know, quite ... who are you supposed to go out and party with now? So it's tough.
Oprah: And you have a baby, so ...
Emma: I don't get out at all, ever.
Oprah: But you will go see the movie.
Emma: I will go see the movie.
Oprah: Go to see Love Actually. It will make you feel so good. You will just ... it's one of those movies, you come out and you really will feel great...