Hugh Grant Played Brigitta in 'The Sound of Music' When He Was 12

"I was gorgeous, to be honest with you," the actor recalls. Attending an all-boys' school until university, Grant was frequently called upon to play women's roles. Here, he looks back on a few of his most memorable parts — and a memorable run-in with the paparazzi.

Released on 9/21/2016

Credits

Starring: Hugh Grant

Transcript

00:04
At my school it was all boys.
00:05
I played almost exclusively lady parts.
00:10
When I say lady parts,
00:12
I mean parts that were feminine.
00:15
To play lady parts would be weird even by English standards.
00:17
I was a Von Trapp daughter in The Sound of Music
00:20
at the age of 12
00:21
and I was gorgeous to be honest with you.
00:23
And I remember my line was I had to,
00:25
when I was being introduced to,
00:27
I'm Brigitta, I'm 12, and all I want is a good time.
00:30
Well I got a laugh, I remember that.
00:32
A problem I've had since started at that moment
00:35
which is if I get a laugh in the theatre
00:36
I'm so delighted I laugh too.
00:38
That's considered amateurish.
00:40
When I was at Oxford,
00:43
there was a man called Michael Hoffman
00:44
who was making a student film and he said,
00:46
Hugh I need you to act in it
00:48
and I said no thanks very much,
00:50
cause I wasn't really very interested at that point.
00:52
But then he said oh well you get to kiss Victoria Stud,
00:54
who was this hot girl at Oxford.
00:57
So I said okay.
00:57
That may have been my first male part,
00:59
and that's the one that really set me off
01:00
on the road to ruin.
01:01
And then, just when I was getting bored of the whole thing,
01:04
I was sent a script by my agent
01:05
and I immediately rang him up and I said
01:07
I think there's a mistake here
01:08
cause you sent me a good script.
01:10
And it was Four Weddings and a Funeral.
01:11
And I said, you know, they won't want me for this.
01:14
And uh, actually as it happened they didn't.
01:17
I went and auditioned.
01:18
Richard Curtis who wrote it,
01:20
I've never seen a man look more miserable
01:21
in an audition in my life.
01:22
He looked like he was gonna kill himself.
01:24
He was persuaded by the others,
01:26
by the director and so on to let me do it.
01:27
And that, yes that changed everything.
01:30
I've danced thrice on film.
01:32
Once in Love Actually, which I hated doing.
01:35
Once in Music and Lyrics which I did on drugs actually
01:38
cause I was so self-conscious.
01:39
I made my very nice makeup girl bring me Lorazepam
01:44
and whisky disguised in a 7 Up bottle,
01:47
and I'd swig that between takes.
01:49
And then yes in Florence Foster Jenkins
01:50
I do, I dance Lindy Hop.
01:53
They had to train me like a performing seal.
01:55
But for me to learn to be fantastic at Lindy Hop
01:58
took four hard months with ladies in leotards
02:01
and a sweaty dance shop in London.
02:03
Well the joke of my hair
02:05
in the wake of Four Weddings was of course that um,
02:08
one of the reasons Richard Curtis didn't want me
02:09
in the film is because he felt the character
02:11
should not be attractive to women.
02:13
And when he was persuaded to cast me after all,
02:16
they went to great lengths
02:17
to try and make me look bad.
02:20
And so that's why I have bad costumes in that film,
02:22
deliberately bad.
02:23
And they tried to give me the worst haircut they could.
02:26
So there was an irony that then
02:28
that haircut became popular.
02:31
Well the conventional answer here is to say
02:33
you know sex scenes, when you do them they're not sexy,
02:35
because there's so many people around
02:37
and it's so unnatural.
02:38
But I have always found them quite a turn on
02:39
to be honest with you.
02:41
I quite like that experience of being
02:43
in a sexual position when you are not supposed to be,
02:47
it's sort of forbidden.
02:49
I had always droned on about
02:51
the fact that I felt that the country of Britain
02:53
was run by a few media barons
02:56
in particular Rupert Murdoch,
02:58
rather than by the people we elected.
03:00
And people would always feel I'd just gone a bit nuts.
03:03
A weird out of the blue opportunity when my car
03:06
broke down in a remote part of the countryside in England.
03:10
I was late for a golf appointment,
03:12
didn't know what to do.
03:13
And suddenly a car, a van pulled up on
03:15
the other side of the road
03:16
and I thought that's nice,
03:17
a local persons come to help me.
03:18
Guy gets out with a great long lens.
03:20
Turned out he was the ex-news editor
03:23
of the News of the World.
03:24
He started taking pictures of me
03:25
and I was swearing at him and then I said
03:27
I was trying to get a taxi
03:28
and I couldn't find one on the phone
03:30
and blah blah blah.
03:30
And in the end he said do you want a ride?
03:32
And I said not with you, asshole.
03:34
And then I realized I can't get there any other way.
03:37
So I get in the van with this, with this guy.
03:39
He takes me to the golf thing
03:40
and on the way rejoices in boasting about
03:44
how he used to hack all these phones.
03:46
And I thought Christ I wish I had a,
03:49
something to record this with cause it's dynamite.
03:51
A few months later I went to his pub again
03:54
and I got him talking again
03:55
and I got it all recorded and I wrote it up
03:57
as an article in New Statesman magazine in Britain.
04:00
I meant to do it just as a brief flurry of activity
04:04
hoping to get this public enquiry going.
04:06
A few weeks has now turned in to five years
04:09
and we're still at it.