‘The Undoing’ Star Hugh Grant Blames 1 Movie for His Lengthy Break from Acting: ‘I Made Such a Massive Turkey’

Over the years, 2003’s Love Actually has developed a divisive reputation. Even star Hugh Grant can’t understand why it’s still so popular. Then again, the actor — who stars in HBO’s The Undoing — has been very vocal about how he lost his leading man status just a few years later. As it turns out, Grant can pinpoint the unfortunate career turn to one particular movie.

Hugh Grant poses on the red carpet
Hugh Grant poses on the red carpet | TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP via Getty Images

Hugh Grant had a hot streak of hit movies in the 1990s and early 2000s

Grant was without a doubt one of the biggest breakout stars of the mid-1990s. Following the success of Four Weddings and a Funeral, the actor began to pop up in more and more Hollywood productions. This late 1990s/early 2000s run includes such hits as Nine Months, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Two Weeks Notice, and About a Boy.

After 2007’s Music and Lyrics, the actor’s big-screen roles became few and far between. In 2016’s Florence Foster Jenkins, he delivered an acclaimed turn opposite Meryl Streep. And his comeback was reaffirmed following a standout role as the villain in Paddington 2. Both performances earned Grant BAFTA nominations, his first since Four Weddings and a Funeral.

RELATED: Hugh Grant Reveals the Biggest Regret He Has About His Acting Career

But 1 movie cut his run as a Hollywood leading man short

Fans of Grant’s work might have wondered why the actor seemed to shun Hollywood for nearly a decade. But as the actor recently revealed in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, he sees that period very differently. In fact, he believes it was the failure of a single movie that put the nail in the coffin of his career as a Hollywood leading man.

“I developed a bad attitude from about 2005 onwards, shortly after Music and Lyrics. I just had enough. Then I went back in 2009 and made another film. At that point, it wasn’t me giving up Hollywood. Hollywood gave me up because I made such a massive turkey with that film with Sarah Jessica Parker [Did You Hear About the Morgans?]. Whether I wanted to or not after that, the days of being a very well-paid leading man were suddenly gone overnight. It was slightly embarrassing, but it left life free for other things.”

Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker must have felt like a can’t-miss combo for Hollywood. After all, Music and Lyrics and the Sex and the City movie had both been big hits recently. Alas, Did You Hear About the Morgans? — which stars the pair as a separated couple forced to go into hiding after witnessing a murder — failed to recoup its budget at the box office.

RELATED: The Primary Reason ‘The Undoing’ Director Wanted Hugh Grant to Play Jonathan Fraser

Hugh Grant and Nicole Kidman co-star in a new HBO limited series

Now having reinvented himself, Grant is back in a variety of projects. In early 2020, he appeared as a shady private investigator in action-comedy The Gentlemen. And now he’s ending the year with another high-profile gig in HBO’s limited series The Undoing.

Based on the 2014 novel You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz, the story follows a psychotherapist (Nicole Kidman) who becomes embroiled in a murder investigation. Grant plays her husband, and both actors are enjoying strong reviews for her performances on the series.