Four Weddings and a Funeral
In 2022, Time Out magazine listed Grant as one of Britain’s 50 greatest actors of all time.
In 1979, he won the Galsworthy scholarship to New College, Oxford. He studied English literature and graduated with a 2.1 grade. Viewing acting as nothing more than a creative outlet, he joined the Oxford University Dramatic Society .
Hugh Grant exelled as a charming and vulnerable romantic leading man.
At 32, Hugh Grant claimed to be on the brink of giving up the acting profession but was surprised by the script of Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994). “If you read as many bad scripts as I did, you’d know how grateful you are when you come across one where the guy actually is funny,” he later recalled. Released in 1994 with Grant as the protagonist, Four Weddings and a Funeral became the highest-grossing British film to date with a worldwide box office in excess of $244 million, making him an overnight international star. His entry in The Trouble with Men: Masculinities in European and Hollywood Cinema states:
Four Weddings made him a truly international star whose image was endlessly promoted in tabloid newspaper articles, television chat shows and magazine profiles, especially in mass circulation women’s magazines. Grant was careful to play up to the affable and self-deprecating English gent. His interviewers commented frequently on his romantic attractiveness, a modern matinée idol, blue eyed, very good looking in a classically English way, with his floppy hair and charming smile, his impeccable manners leavened by the occasional expletive.
The film was nominated for two Academy Awards and, among numerous awards won by its cast and crew, it earned Grant a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy and a BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. It also temporarily typecast him as the lead character, Charles, a bohemian and debonair bachelor. Grant saw it as an inside joke that the star, due to the parts he played, was assumed to have the personality of the screenwriter (Richard Curtis), who is known for writing about himself and his own life. Grant later expressed:
Although I owe whatever success I’ve had to Four Weddings and a Funeral, it did become frustrating after a bit that people made two assumptions: One was that I was that character – when in fact nothing could be further from the truth, as I’m sure Richard would tell you – and the other frustrating thing was that they thought that’s all I could do. I suppose, because those films happened to be successful, no one, perhaps understandably, … bothered to rent all the other films I’d done.