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Two Weeks Notice - I like a little more pervy and seediness



Feature by: Jack Foley

HE’S played the charming English fop on countless occasions, winning legions of fans for his portrayal of bumbling idiots in films such as Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill, but ask Sandra Bullock what really attracted her to working with Hugh Grant, and she will glibly reply that it was the ‘pervy and seedy’ side he displayed in Bridget Jones that really got her going.

"After I saw Bridget I was like, wow, I never knew he had this in him, let’s work together," she told a press conference at London’s Dorchester Hotel last week, during the promotional junket for the duo’s new film, Two Weeks Notice.

"But then I like a little more pervy and seediness," she added.

In truth, the two had been looking to work together for some time, without ever finding the right material.

"We had been dying to do something together for ages, filmmaking wise that is," reveals Grant. "I had been watching her for years and years and thinking, that’s the girl I should be doing films with.

"We then met up in New York about five years ago, and had what Hollywood calls a ‘relationship meeting’, and talked about the possibility of doing something.

"I told her a very disgusting story which, I think, offended her and I didn’t hear from her again for three years.

"In the meantime, people did send us tonnes and tonnes of romantic comedy scripts; none of them any good, and finally Marc Lawrence came along, who’d already done Miss Congeniality with Sandy, and the whole thing fitted very neatly into place.

"I personally think he is one of only two people in the world who can write really good romantic comedies and that’s how it all happened."


Bullock concurs, once again alluding to the quality of Lawrence’s writing.

"I think, in general, romantic comedies tend to take one person’s point of view. But every once in a while you’ll get something that’s balanced for two people, that causes enough friction and entertainment, and where both actors are satisfied with all their lines and what they get to do.

"Every time we got a script , it was either good for Hugh and lousy for me, or great for me and lousy for Hugh, and the nice thing about Marc is that he’s wickedly funny, and he catches onto people’s voices.

"It’s always nice when somebody writes something for one of the voices in my head and Hugh’s voice… and it just works."

 

Having found the right material, however, there were still nagging doubts between both stars that the chemistry the two shared off-screen would not translate on.

Bullock continues: "You never know, people have fallen in love while making a movie and the chemistry doesn’t translate and you can’t write over it and make any funnier lines.

"It’s just a nice thing to have and I love watching it when I see it. Look at Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, they had a chemistry that never died.

"It was great writing, great material, so you always hope for a writer to come along who can give you all the elements to set it up and that’s why Marc and I have worked together three times.

"I’d always watched Hugh’s movies and thought that if I could have a partner, like they did in the Thirties and Forties, I would love that. I just didn’t know where I was going to find it.

"When I met with Hugh, I was really nervous because I thought, ‘what if he doesn’t like me’? And the second thought is, ‘what if I don’t like him?’

"But I think because we are different enough, I think we find each other so amusing it keeps us interested."


Grant’s ‘reputation’ for being difficult on-set was also a consideration. The Brit star readily confesses to spreading ‘gloom like a cancer across a film set’, while Bullock revealed that she had heard about his capacity to ‘throw tantrums’ and ‘get pissy (not poofy’)’ at times.

"I was worried that maybe the person I’d met and liked would not be the person on set, because often people change dramatically," she added. "But I have to say, I have never witnessed a tanty or any poofy or pissiness."

Grant, too, maintains that this was the best time he had making a film since Sirens [in which he starred alongside Elle Macpherson, among others].

And he is equally candid about why the wait was so long to find the right material, putting forward a plausible theory about the state of film writing.

"I think the reason why 999 scripts out of 1,000 don’t work is that with romantic comedy, they are very often romantic, but they are very, very, very seldom funny.

"There is great comedy writing in America, but it’s all migrated to television. And I think the reason for that is that they can control their work and run the shows (Marc used to run his shows), so I believe that’s where the good writing is.

"At the moment, in movies, the writing simply isn’t up to scratch, the lines aren’t funny, so when they are, you leap on it like manor from heaven."

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