Hugh Grant’s Oscars Interview With Ashley Graham Highlights Culture Clash


LONDON — British actor Hugh Grant’s unconventional approach to typical Oscars red carpet chatter has sparked heated debate over whether he was being rude. Some Brits argue: he was just British.

Grant went viral online for his noncommittal responses in a brief interview with the model Ashley Graham, in an interaction double on social media as “delightfully awkward”, as she struggled to hire the ‘Notting Hill’ star.

Asked by an optimistic Graham that he was most “excited” to see him win an Oscar, Grant snapped, “No one in particular.” Focusing on fashion, Graham humorously asked which designer he wore. “Just my suit,” Grant said deadpan. Graham valiantly persisted, asking who had done it. ” I do not remember. My tailor,” Grant added.

Graham then engaged the veteran actor in a conversation about the Netflix thriller film “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.” Grant downplayed his role: “Well, I’m barely into it. I’m in it for about three seconds.

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While Grant, who has been acting since the 1980s, is no stranger to these Hollywood happenings – the exchange was not at all surprising in Britain, where part of the social fabric is to avoid bragging, talking too much about yourself or even admitting how much fun you are having. Arguing about expensive designer labels? A rude misstep.

“American Twitter is so mad that Hugh Grant is giving an interview that would be perfectly normal at any UK event”, said a bystander, defending Grant’s behavior.

“Hugh Grant doesn’t mean to be rude here, but that’s what it’s like to be British and deal with absurdly enthusiastic American extroverts,” another said.

Perhaps nothing summed it up more than Graham’s follow-up to Grant’s short appearance in “Glass Onion.” “But still, you came and had fun, right?” she continued. “Almost,” retorted Grant, as the interview drew to a painful end.

British humor – from sketch comedy troupe Monty Python to dry-humored actor Ricky Gervais – has often been seen as “quirky, sarcastic and self-deprecating”, said Sarita Malik, professor of media and culture at Brunel University London, in an interview on Tuesday. Much of it was transmitted to the public in the United States with “great success”.

However, Grant’s red carpet interview “is a classic case of different senses of humor clashing and interpreted differently,” Malik said.

Grant, she added, had made a career out of “playing this idea of ​​quintessential Britishness. His character is a typical mix of chic charm and grumpiness.

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Another culture shock came when Graham asked Grant his favorite part about attending the Oscars.

“It’s fascinating. All of humanity is here – it’s Vanity Fair,” he joked, referring to British author William Makepeace Thackeray’s 1847 novel, which satirizes the ego , class and rampant consumerism.

“Oh, it’s all about Vanity Fair, yeah, that’s where we chill and have a little fun,” Graham agrees, assuming Grant is talking about Condé magazine’s Oscars after-party. Nast.

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The clip has been viewed thousands of times on social media with reaction from Americans and Brits.

It was “a little pretentious of him to reference in this context,” said an unimpressed viewer. said.

Others questioned why Grant bothered to attend or be interviewed if he had such disdain for the event.

“I don’t understand that from Hugh Grant. If you don’t want to be interviewed, don’t take the microphone, smile politely and keep walking. Kudos to Ashley Graham for repeatedly trying to get something interesting out of him,” another said.

Molly Geidel, a lecturer in American studies at the University of Manchester, said Grant’s response to the cheerful Graham per se was British. “In my experience, one of the things that unites most Britons is the disdain for the American working culture of service with a smile,” said Geidel, who grew up in Vermont before moving to England.

“Until recently people here in the UK bragged about not having to do fake happiness, or what we sometimes call emotional labor,” she added.

Some online in the United States applauded Graham’s efforts.

“I’m so sorry that Hugh Grant was so incredibly disrespectful and rude to you. I salute you for keeping your cool,” a Graham admirer tweeted. “She really took the hits and kept getting up and going. Crazy respect,” another said.

Graham herself was asked about the interview Monday by a TMZ photographer at the airport and said, “You know what? My mom taught me to kill people with kindness, so here you go.

Malik suggested Grant’s critical relationship with the media may have been on display during the interaction.

In recent years, Grant has become a vocal campaigner for a more responsible press, supporting UK advocacy group Hacked Off after he was one of several high-profile victims to have his phone hacked by tabloid journalists.

Undeterred, Graham ended the interview happily.

“It was nice talking to you,” she told Grant with a smile — a performance that some reviewers said should earn her a Best Actress award.

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