Hugh Grant Said It Was "Tense" Working With This Co-Star
"She was very LA, and I was a grumpy old Londoner."
He may have charmed millions of audience members over the years, but Hugh Grant is convinced that some of his co-stars hate him. Back in 2018, the star was interviewed on People's The Jess Cagle Show and asked his opinion of a few of the actors he's worked with over the years. And while he didn't mention having any bones to pick with them, he claimed that some of them probably don't have anything nice to say about him.
In fact, this interview led to Grant and Robert Downey Jr., his co-star in the 1995 movie Restoration, making up on Twitter over 20 years after their movie came out. (Downey actually did have an issue with Grant, calling him a "jerk" around the time the film was shot.)
With as many romances as he's starred in, Grant has worked with many leading ladies over the years. And he recalled to Jess Cagle that the dynamic between him and one rom-com co-star in particular was "tense" on set. Read on to find out who he was talking about and why they rubbed each other the wrong way.
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They starred in a musical rom-com together.
In 2007, Grant starred in the romantic comedy Music and Lyrics with Drew Barrymore. Grant plays an ex-pop star, while Barrymore plays a songwriter he discovers. The two fall for each other while also building a working relationship.
Grant got the impression Barrymore didn't like him.
In the interview with Cagle, Grant said, "Drew, I think, did hate me a bit. But I admired her." He explained, "We just were very different human beings. She was very LA, and I was a grumpy old Londoner."
The actor said that he thinks the tension between them on set, ended up working out well for the movie, though. "But the funny thing is, although it was fractionally tense on the set of that film … I think the chemistry is rather good between us," he explained. "Sometimes tension makes a good crackle."
She's not the only co-star Grant claims "despises" him.
In 2009, Grant was asked to describe some of his women co-stars for a piece in Elle. Regarding Barrymore, he said, "Made her cry. Stunning film-star face. Hates me."
According to the actor, Barrymore wasn't alone in her dislike of him. Of Julianne Moore, he said, "Brilliant actress. Loathes me." Asked to describe Rachel Weisz, he said, "Clever. Beautiful. Despises me."
Grant worked with Moore in the 1995 movie Nine Months and with Weisz in 2002's About a Boy.
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He explained what happened between himself and Barrymore.
Grant looked back on his Elle interview during a 2016 episode of The Graham Norton Show and went into a little more detail about those working relationships.
"Julianne definitely hates me," he said. "Rachel Weisz, I think we got on fine, I don't know why I said that. Maybe I was going for a comedy triple."
He then said of Barrymore, "She made a mistake of giving me notes." Turning to fellow guest and Florence Foster Jenkins co-star Meryl Streep, he added, "How would you take that?" She joked, "I took it very well, didn't I?"
Barrymore and Grant reunited recently.
In May 2021, Grant appeared via video chat on Barrymore's talk show, and they reminisced about Music and Lyrics. Like Grant, Barrymore also thought they had good chemistry and noted how different their personalities were when they first met.
"Hugh, you can be a bit of a curmudgeon from time to time," she said to him. "And I, of course, am like a Labrador in heat. I'm so excited with joy. And so when we both met, we were like, 'Oh we're kind of different people.'" Grant agreed, "That is absolutely true. Maybe that's why it had a bit of crackle."
The former onscreen couple also revealed a moment when their relationship wasn't strictly professional.
It was Barrymore who first brought up a story about how she suddenly kissed Grant after running into him at a restaurant. "I had had a few drinks … Instead of saying hello, I grabbed you by the collar and I fully started kissing you," she said, laughing.
"It was really bizarre," Grant said. "I was very drunk, as well, and I was with some very nice, but not drunk studio executives from LA and they were very surprised. Someone said, 'Oh, there's Drew Barrymore.' I get up to say hi and then we make out for 10 minutes." Barrymore added, "Well, I guess we've grown up a bit."