On the set: Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker get wild
After just a few minutes with Sarah Jessica Parker and Hugh Grant, it becomes apparent that they have their own secret language, peppered with inside jokes. Between takes at our cover shoot, Parker shared photos from her digital camera with Grant while he asked just how early her call time was the next morning on the set of the Sex and the City sequel. (He was hoping to drop by for a quick visit before catching a flight back to London.) In light of this if-it-weren’t-so-adorable-we’d-puke display of costar unity, it’s hard to believe that Did You Hear About the Morgans? (out Dec. 18) is the first movie that the sardonic actor and the sunny actress have made together since 1996’s dreary thriller Extreme Measures. Was the romantic comedy — starring Parker and Grant as a wealthy New York couple who end up in the Witness Protection Program in Wyoming — worth the wait? Judging by the time they had on set, absolutely. Even if it meant facing off against bears and being shot at by bloodthirsty crew members along the way.
EW: Sarah Jessica, this is the third film director Marc Lawrence and Hugh have worked on together. Was there any hazing involved when you entered the picture?
Sarah Jessica Parker They were very hospitable. If there was a hazing process, it was very subtle.
Hugh Grant She was allowed to eat lunch at the same table, but not [right next to us].
Parker And certainly not the same quality of food. That’s true. I also had to call him Mr. Grant for a long time. But I liked that.
Grant Yes! Or ”sir.”
EW: Everyone has on-set quirks. What are yours?
Grant She likes to be doing her BlackBerry all the time. During takes. I’ve never seen BlackBerrying like it.
Parker Yours was smaller, so it was less obvious.
Grant I need to be cheered up, but she’s very good at that. I’m Mr. Grumpy Pants. She’s never grumpy. Except that one day she got grumpy.
Parker Hugh sets the table like, ”I’m grumpy. I’m difficult. I’m gloomy. I’m bitter.” Maybe bitter is not a word you use…
Grant Actually not. Thank you.
Parker I don’t think any of it is true. You’re the guy who says, ”I’m bad at Trivial Pursuit” and then wins. ”I don’t know anyone’s names,” and then he goes and tests me to see how many crew members’ names I know — and he knows just as many. He lived up to and far exceeded my hopes and dreams.
Grant It’s very nice to hear it from her. I’m very proud of liking her because I don’t like anyone. I’m also very proud of respecting her because there are very few people I respect. In New Mexico [where they were filming Morgans] I would watch Sex and the City every night and call her and say, ”I love this episode!”
EW: Sarah Jessica, does it feel strange to be thinking about this movie when you’re so immersed in being Carrie Bradshaw again?
Parker This is so much more relaxing. I feel in some way I know this situation better than whatever madness we’ve been experiencing on the streets for the last 10 days. There’s just so much peripheral stuff with that movie.