Why The Gentlemen's Hugh Grant Loves Being Asked To Play Villains

Hugh Grant in The Gentlemen

Hugh Grant has had a long and celebrated career in film. At one point he was the king of romantic comedies, starring in projects Bridget Jones' Diary, Notting Hill and Sense and Sensibility. He's also a part of the Christmas Holidays for his work in Love, Actually-- once again playing a charming and handsome leading man. But Grant has gotten the chance to play a villain or two throughout the years, a task that he truly enjoys. And that includes his morally grey scene stealer Fletcher in Guy Ritchie's The Gentlemen.

Director Guy Ritchie has returned to the crime drama with The Gentlemen, a move that should make cinephiles happy. This marks Hugh Grant's second movie with the filmmaker, after previously appearing in The Man from U.N.C.L.E.. I had the chance to speak with the cast of The Gentlemen ahead its release, where Grant explained why he loves playing bad guys so much. Check out our conversation below.

Well, there you have it. It looks like playing bad guys is simply more fun for most actors. And according to Hugh Grant, it's even an easier job for him. Considering how adept Grant is at transforming into characters, this says quite a lot.

Hugh Grant is an actor known for mostly playing charming, befuddled, leading men. But he's also gotten to play a few bad boys. The 59 year-old actor finds that particular experience cathartic, probably because he's nothing like the bad boys he's played like The Gentlemen's Fletcher. This new character is a scheming scene-stealer, who drinks like a fish and has a mouth like a sailor. It's a great role for Grant, and the trailers alone highlight how much he enjoyed playing Fletcher on set from

The Gentlemen is filled with morally grey characters, so Hugh Grant's particular character fits right in. Guy Ritchie's crime dramedy isn't one that is filled with good guys. Instead, they're mostly criminals who are competing to acquire the U.K. drug empire owned by Matthew MccCounaghey's Mickey. Each member of the cast is manipulative and violent, dropping countless C-bombs along the way. And Hugh Grant's Fletcher is definitely no exception in this regard.

Guy Ritchie is a director with a very specific vision, and it's clear that he and Hugh Grant have a good working relationship. But while Grant's character Waverly was quick witted and capable in The Man from U.N.C.L.E., he wasn't really a bad guy. But he's just as foul-mouthed and conniving as everyone else in The Gentlemen.

Of course, Hugh Grant isn't the only "nice guy" actor who is able to flex some more villainous muscles in The Gentlemen. Actor Henry Golding was also thrilled to be playing this type of character. Golding first became famous for his prince charming role in Crazy Rich Asians, and he's gone on to star in two Paul Feig movies: A Simple Favor and Last Christmas (which he filmed at the same time as The Gentlemen). But the latter projects marks his first time playing a more volatile character.

The Gentlemen is in theaters now. Be sure to check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.