Earlier in the 2000s, Russell T. Davies (Queer as Folk, Doctor Who) approached Hugh Grant about taking a part in his latest TV series — and the actor was, in his own words, a bit “sniffy” about it. As he tells EW’s The Awardist podcast, “I never really read [the script] because I just thought, ‘Darling, I don’t do television. I’m in the cinema.’”
Flash forward a few years, and Grant is celebrating his very first Emmy nomination for another Davies production: Amazon’s A Very English Scandal. The 58-year-old actor taps his immense reserves of charisma, gravitas, and veddy British charm to play real-life British politician Jeremy Thorpe, whose relationship with a young man caused an outrageous and sometimes comedic scandal in the 1960s. As a teenager growing up in England when the headlines broke about Thorpe and his lover, Norman Scott (played in the series by Emmy nominee Ben Whishaw), Grant recalls being as fascinated as the rest of the country. “It was marvelous to see all these stuffy establishment figures tumbling over and being exposed,” he says.
Grant recently wrapped his second TV project, The Undoing, an HBO thriller costarring Big Little Lies’ Nicole Kidman. Though the actor is hesitant to describe the project — “it quivers with spoilers,” he says — his synopsis is tantalizing. “Basically me and Nicole Kidman are a married couple on the Upper East Side of New York. She’s a shrink and I’m a child cancer doctor, and we have a son and he goes to a posh school. Then at the end of episode 1, one of the mothers of the school — one of the prettiest mothers — is horribly murdered, and I disappear.” He pauses. “Do you want to see episode 2 now?” Yes, yes we do.
For more with Grant — including which part of Paddington 2 always makes him cry — listen to the full interview below. (The conversation starts at 23:30.) You can also listen and subscribe to The Awardist podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio.com, or wherever you get your podcasts.