Hugh Grant has admitted that he was dreading performing his now iconic Downing Street dance routine when he first picked up the Love Actually script. Speaking as part of the festive favourite's 20th-year anniversary celebrations, Grant told of his trepidation ahead of playing the scene in which he is caught by a personal secretary boogying enthusiastically around the offices of No 10 to 1980s' Pointer Sisters hit Jump.
His thoughts were shared as part of The Laughter & Secrets of Love Actually: 20 Years Later programme, broadcast on US network ABC, with Grant grimacing: "I think I saw it in the script and thought 'I’ll hate doing that'. No Englishman can dance when they’re sober at 8 in the morning." Writer Richard Curtis and co-star Dame Emma Thompson also offer their memories of shooting the movie with the former recalling Grant's dancing reticence.
Curtis joked that the scene was "agonisingly embarrassing" to watch, although he was delighted that Grant agreed to it, however reluctantly. "I think he was hoping I get ill or something and they say, 'Oh, what a shame to lose that dancing sequence'," Curtis smiled. "He was grumpy but he knew it was a contractual obligation."
As the trio reflected on Love Actually's enduring appeal, Curtis did confess that the lack of diversity in the movie now makes him feel "uncomfortable". He said: "There are things that you would change, but thank God society is changing."
"My film is bound in some bands to feel out of date. The lack of diversity makes me feel uncomfortable and a bit stupid.”
But he added that he finds the public's ongoing love for the film "really touching". He said: "There is such extraordinary love goes on every minute in so many ways all the way around the world and makes me wish my film was better. It makes me wish I’d made a documentary just to kind of observe it."
Dame Emma's powerful, teary scene when she realises her husband is having an affair, played out to the soundtrack of Joni Mitchell's Both Sides Now, is another iconic moment in the movie and, paying her tribute to Curtis, she said: "It’s this golden heart he has. He’s truly a good person (and) in our business that’s something to be treasured."
Grant, meanwhile, added: "He is funny, that’s a black and white thing… and (the story) comes from the heart. It’s true."
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