Exclusive Interview: Hugh Grant on The Pirates! Band of Misfits and Bridget Jones’s Baby

Hugh Grant

The Pirates: A Band of Misfits poster

Fans and press gathered at the Event Cinemas on George Street in Sydney on Sunday, as very special guest Hugh Grant appeared for the Australian premiere of his latest film, The Pirates! Band of Misfits.

We also managed to speak with the star, and grab his thoughts on working in animation, film piracy, his piratey influences and the next Bridget Jones film.

We were joined by other colleagues in our media pit, including our good friend Jorge Duran from The Spotlight Report (who provided us with the photo below), some folks from The Dirt and Courtney Dawson of Lip Mag.

We need to thank Sony Pictures, and of course Mr. Grant for his time and generous answers.

After appearing on screen for over twenty years, Hugh Grant makes his animated debut with this film from Aardman Animation. We were interested in what it was like to be confined to a voice booth for the first time:

“That was a plus point. I’ve reached the age where I’m not mad to be sitting in makeup at six in the morning. Just turning up and doing a bit of shouting in front of a microphone is a bit of a luxury. I always say that when you’re on screen, and you’re forty foot high, you want to minimise the acting you do. If you’re just a voice, you have an excuse to overact like crazy, and I think I do that in this film”.

Asked about film piracy, Grant was emphatic:

“I am always surprised by the number of people who boast to me, who say they’ve ‘Oh, I’ve seen your new film’ before it’s come out, when effectively what they’ve said is ‘I’ve just broken into your house and nicked some of your furniture’. Because that’s what it is: it’s stealing”.

Hugh Grant and Richard Gray

Photo Courtesy: http://www.spotlightreport.net/

Meanwhile, we were particularly interested in whether Hugh had any particular influences in playing the Pirate Captain:

“I wouldn’t say there were, really. I ended up sounding like an English actor called Willie Rushton, but I didn’t mean to. It just happened. But I did centre my character around my character’s beard. He had a very luxuriant beard. I found that if I stroked it, it helped. The beard that is”.

Inevitably, the conversation turned to Bridget Jones’s Baby, the mooted third film in the popular series:

“Well, they’re trying to get the script right, and when it’s right, I’m sure we’ll make it”.