My first and last meeting with Hugh Grant was 21 years ago. I don't like to talk about it. Since that afternoon, I have been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as soon as I have to interview a Hollywood star again. The symptoms are always the same: I am nervous, sweaty hands and afraid of failure. But since I watched the video of the Oscars on Sunday, in which a lazy Hugh Grant answers Ashley Graham's questions in monosyllabics, I dare to speak publicly about my experience. Because since then I know: I am not alone! There are other victims in this world that the nice Mr. Grant nonchalantly drives against the wall.
Editor in the "Life" section of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.
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My trauma took place behind closed doors in August 2002. Grant had just made a number of successful romantic films and was considered a heartthrob in Hollywood. I had prepared myself well and expected a quick-witted, charming interlocutor, just as he appeared in his roles. "You have 30 minutes," said the PR woman as she let me into the suite at the Adlon overlooking the Brandenburg Gate.
Grant stood at a small trolley and poured himself tea. He smiled briefly, but the façade quickly gave way to a slightly annoyed expression. He had probably already done several interviews that day. Bad luck that it wasn't my turn until 17 pm. I got nervous, but started bravely with the first question. At first it went quite well. He dutifully answered some questions about the movie "About A Boy", but increasingly seemed like a waiter who has already put the chairs on the tables and waits for the last guests to finally leave.
With question four or five, I can not recap it exactly, it became uncomfortable. I asked him if he always played the cliché Englishman in films like "Notting Hill". Grant looked at me as if I had poured the tea from the silver pot in front of him over his hair, which was not yet graying at the time. From then on, he answers in two-word sentences: "Maybe", "no idea", "no comment". After 20 minutes I had worked through my questions and was desperate. Grant looked out the window. Silence. Finally, I stammered, "Thank you very much for the interview," and stood up. I still remember him looking at me in surprise, because it is probably rare for a journalist to simply leave before the PR command "Last question please!". I stumbled into the elevator, jumped on the bus, sat down in the back corner of the upper floor – and howled. I had messed it up!
It would be another two decades before I realized, thanks to Ashley Graham: I was not to blame then! Hugh Grant is just a stinking boot, doesn't know how to behave professionally, and apparently doesn't need to sell his films. The good thing about this realization is: My trauma is healed!