Hugh Grant on Completing “Trilogy” of Narcissists in Amazon’s Real-Life Gay Political Drama

‘A Very English Scandal’ sees the Bridget Jones star play controversial British politician Jeremy Thorpe.

Hugh Grant is returning to the small screen for his first major TV role in 20 years. 

Coming later this month from the BBC and Amazon, A Very English Scandal is a three-part drama that details the brief homosexual affair between British politician Jeremy Thorpe (played by Hugh Grant) and young stable hand Norman Scott (Ben Whishaw) in the 1960s.

Written by Russell T. Davies (Doctor Who) and directed by double Academy Award nominee Stephen Frears (The Queen, The Grifters), the mini-series documents the real-life events which rocked the U.K. political scene and saw an end to Thorpe’s career.

Speaking at the launch of the show at BAFTA in London, Grant said that he felt Thorpe was part three in what he called his “trilogy” of narcissists that he has played in recent years.

“Starting with the guy I played in Stephen’s film Florence Foster Jenkins who is a sort of ‘Me! Me! Me! I want to be on stage’ manque,” said The Four Weddings and a Funeral and Bridget Jones star. “And then there’s Phoenix Buchanan in Paddington 2, which was just outrageous.”

The actor played St. Clair Bayfield in 2016’s Florence Foster Jenkins, directed by Frears, a role which bagged Grant a BAFTA and Golden Globe nomination. 2017’s Paddington 2 also earned the Brit a BAFTA nomination.

Grant continued, “And really, the more I read about Thorpe, the more I realized that – like a lot of politicians, they’re show business, it’s show business for the ugly as they say – it was the Jon Jeremy show. All of his life he was the star: as a little boy; at Oxford he was the star. He was just determined. He had this terrifying ambition to rise, rise, rise.”

Commenting on his relationship with actor Ben Whishaw, whom he also starred with in Cloud Atlas (in which they played husband and wife) and Paddington 2, Grant joked, “I’ve been trying to shag or kill Ben for two years!”

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