Hugh Grant Says This Beloved Movie Moment Is the "Most Excruciating Scene" He's Ever Filmed
The actor is not a fan of this famous sequence in a 2003 holiday classic.
From the poster board love confession to the lovestruck little boy running through the airport to "I feel it in my fingers/I feel it in my toes," 2003's Love Actually is full of memorable moments. And one of the funniest and most beloved has to be Hugh Grant's prime minister joyfully dancing through 10 Downing Street to the Pointer Sisters' "Jump (For My Love)" before being caught by a stone-faced aide.
But, while the scene makes fans of the Christmas movie smile to this day—and recreate it for social media—Grant absolutely did not want to film it. At all. As part of the ABC News special The Laughter & Secrets of Love Actually: 20 Years Later, which airs Nov. 29, Grant called filming the scene "excruciating." But, he also admitted that one aspect of it was his own idea. Read on to find out more.
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Grant was dreading the scene.
In the ABC News special, Grant told Diane Sawyer of the dance scene, "I saw it in the script and I thought, 'Well, I'll hate doing that.' I didn't fancy doing the dance at all, let alone rehearsing it."
Writer and director Richard Curtis added, "He kept saying, 'No.' I think he was hoping I'd get ill or something and we'd say, 'Oh, well, what a shame, we'll have to lose that dancing sequence.'"
Shooting the scene, Grant was "grumpy," Curtis said. He added that the actor only did it because, "It was a contractual obligation. A bit of contractual obligation acting." Watching Grant film the scene, the filmmaker said, "I'm thinking, [one], oh good, he's doing it. Two, that's agonizingly embarrassing. He's just perfect."
He's still shocked that people like it so much.
Though Grant ended up going through with the sequence, he doesn't enjoy watching it.
"To this day, there's many people—and I agree with them—who think it's the most excruciating scene ever committed to celluloid," the actor said. "But then some people like it."
Grant also complained that he was "out of rhythm" doing the choreography. "Especially at the beginning when I wiggle my [expletive]," he explained.
One funny part was actually his suggestion.
Grant may have loathed the scene, but he did contribute the joke that ends it.
"I will give myself this credit: It was my idea to have that secretary lady catch me," he said, adding with a laugh, "Genius."
He's compared the scene to "hell."
In 2019, Grant shared similar feelings about the dance sequence during BBC's Hugh Grant: A Live on Screen, describing it as "absolute hell," according to Variety.
"Imagine, you know, you're a grumpy 40-year-old Englishman, it's 7 o'clock in the morning, you're stone-cold sober and it's, 'Okay, Hugh, if you'd just like to freak out now,'" he said.