Oral History: Hugh Grant's European Passions

March 4, 2020
Hugh Grant, Golden Globe winner

hfpa archives

For over 40 years the HFPA has recorded famous and celebrated actors, actresses and filmmakers. The world's largest collection of its kind - over 10,000  items- is now in the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Margaret Herrick Library.

In this excerpt from our archives from 1994, Golden Globe winner Hugh Grant, promoting the film that would give him his first Golden Globe - Four Weddings and a Funeral - recalled his experiences with European filmmakers and the joys of big dinners and wine.

“I’d seen  Rosemary's Baby, Tess, and Chinatown so I knew Polanski was a great director and I’ve got a thing about Polish directors as well. I mean, it seems to me that whole training that they have, especially at Lodz Film School, is just the kind of thing we all ought to be doing really.  You know,  it’s such a  strict discipline.  It’s like a ballet school. People being thrown out every year unless they’re really up to scratch and the fact that they’re never allowed to practice using video or 16 mm. They have to do everything in 35. They make complete filmmakers there. Polanski is an example. Kieslowski is another. Directors who are sort of miles ahead of the competition and so it was very attractive for me to work with  Polanski. Of course, Polanski is a bit mad. Let’s not forget that.

Polanski loves a European lifestyle. So do I. I really like to go out and have big dinners and drink an awful lot. I find here in Hollywood for a  start, if you order wine when you’re with anyone from the business, they think you’re an alcoholic because everyone else is having iced tea and all that nonsense and then if you do drink, strangely enough in the morning you feel ghastly.  Maybe it’s because  it’s a desert or something but I can’t wait to get back to England and have a pint of lager really.”