Feature by: Jack Foley
HES 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, lets work together," she told
a press conference at Londons Dorchester Hotel last week,
during the promotional junket for the duos new film, Two
"But then I like a little more pervy and seediness,"
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, thats 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 didnt 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, whod 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 thats how
it all happened."
Bullock concurs, once again alluding to the quality of Lawrences
"I think, in general, romantic comedies tend to take one
persons point of view. But every once in a while youll
get something thats 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 hes wickedly funny, and he
catches onto peoples voices.
"Its always nice when somebody writes something for
one of the voices in my head and Hughs voice
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 doesnt translate
and you cant write over it and make any funnier lines.
"Its 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 thats why Marc and I have worked together
"Id always watched Hughs movies and thought that
if I could have a partner, like they did in the Thirties and Forties,
I would love that. I just didnt know where I was going to
"When I met with Hugh, I was really nervous because I thought,
what if he doesnt like me? And the second thought
is, what if I dont like him?
"But I think because we are different enough, I think we
find each other so amusing it keeps us interested."
Grants 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
"I was worried that maybe the person Id 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,
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 dont
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 its
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 thats where the good writing
"At the moment, in movies, the writing simply isnt
up to scratch, the lines arent funny, so when they are,
you leap on it like manor from heaven."