If you’re an actor with a resume as extensive and impressive as Hugh Grant, it’s usually not easy to peg out your best role of all time. Surely, with a CV that is loaded with films like Four Weddings and a Funeral, About A Boy, and Bridget Jones’ Diary, the choice would have to be a hard one.
And yet, Grant easily volunteered an answer that some may not have expected, but cannot be argued with on any front. As it turns out, Hugh Grant thinks the best film he’s ever been in is none other than director Paul King’s blockbuster sequel, Paddington 2. Grant explained as such in the following excerpt from a recent interview:
I was presenting I think at the Golden Globes, and they do that thing when you walk out, and they say, ‘From the forthcoming Paddington 2, Hugh Grant.’ And someone showed me Twitter afterwards, and it was…people were full of derision. ‘Christ, has it come to that. Poor old Hugh. Paddington 2. Sequel to a kids film.’ It’s particularly annoying in the case of Paddington 2, because I genuinely believe it may be the best film I’ve ever been in.
In the sequel to 2015’s Paddington, Grant was hired to play the part of the nefarious/washed up actor Phoenix Buchanan, a role that really let the actor play both a charming and evil presence. Despite the derisive attention that his hiring may have drawn in the beginning, it was a move that proved to be another perfect choice in the reinvention of Hugh Grant’s career.
Interestingly enough, the way Paul King hired Grant to play the equally dashing and dastardly antagonist was as funny as the material he would eventually give his actor in Paddington 2. According to the Vanity Fair interview that this information came from, all it took was an admittedly awkward letter that sold Phoenix Buchanan as a “vain, washed up old ham” that made King and his co-writer think of Hugh Grant directly. The rest, as they say, is marmalade.
While in the past it was seen as a bit of a knock to an actor’s career to start making children’s films, the market has most definitely changed in recent years. It’s partially because of the fact that the Paddington films have been so successful at turning what could have been standard children’s entertainment into films that sell across all age groups.
That point circles back around to the fact that actors like Hugh Grant have been choosing to take part in the sorts of experiences that a film like Paddington 2 can afford an actor. Being allowed to play a fine line between serious and silly, it’s the sort of project that looks like an insane amount of fun, which you can see in a clip from the film below:
So far, the Paddington series has drawn some respectable actors into the roles of the villainous forces that would look to combat the Peruvian bear and his seemingly undying optimism. With Nicole Kidman before him, Hugh Grant is in stellar company when it comes to playing in a "kid’s film."
This fact not only makes Paddington 2 even more of a treat to watch, it also has us hoping that potential sequels will maintain the pedigree of baddies that the series has been able to hire. Though we must admit, Hugh Grant’s Phoenix Buchanan is a pretty hard act to follow.
Paddington 2 is currently available for streaming on all HBO platforms, as well as available for purchase on Digital HD, Blu-ray, and DVD.